Advising Syllabus

A guide for making the most of your academic advising experience.

Your Penn State experience is unique to you;

  • No two students will follow the same path to their goals.
  • Most students do, however, transition between four stages when working toward determining their major:
    • acclimating
    • exploring
    • planning
    • acting
  • Your ACPC adviser will help you navigate your way through each of these stages.

Acclimate to Behrend

  • Make an appointment with your adviser
  • Identify campus resources

Explore Options

  • Recognize Entrance to Major requirements
  • Understand General Education and its purpose
  • Research majors, minors, and certificates
  • Investigate co-curricular opportunities

Plan Your Path

  • Articulate your academic interests
  • Acknowledge non-linear career paths from majors of interest
  • Interpret a degree audit
  • Develop a semester-by-semester academic plan


  • Transition to a faculty adviser
  • Enter your major or pre-major

What is Academic Advising?

Advisers help students explore their options for majors, minors, classes, and co-curricular opportunities that will help them reach their goals. The advising relationship requires collaboration between the student and adviser, so both individuals have responsibilities and expectations.

Student Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to:

  • Become knowledgeable about University policies and procedures.
  • Understand entrance-to-major and other degree requirements.
  • Attend advising appointments regularly and be prepared with questions.
  • Use tools and resources to assist with exploration of self, fields of study, and career paths.
  • Check your Penn State email daily.
  • Accept responsibility for decisions and actions (or inactions) that affect educational progress.

Adviser Responsibilities

You can expect your adviser to:

  • Listen to concerns while respecting individual values and choices
  • Promote the meaning and value of higher education
  • Assist you with defining academic and personal goals while creating a supportive educational plan
  • Help you identify campus resources
  • Collaborate with others on campus to facilitate comprehensive student support
  • Adhere to the highest principles of ethical behavior and maintain confidentiality

Types of Advising Appointments in the ACPC

Make an advising appointment by calling the ACPC (814-898-6164), stopping by 125 Reed, or going to Please do not email your adviser to schedule an appointment.

Add/Drop Advising

  • During add/drop week each semester
  • First come, first served
  • For topics such as: schedule adjustments for the current semester

Quick-Question Advising

  • After add/drop week
  • First come, first served
  • 10 minutes in length
  • For topics such as: policy clarification, referrals, urgent concerns

Scheduled Advising

  • After add/drop week
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour long
  • With your assigned adviser
  • For topics such as: major exploration, academic difficulty, course planning

In addition to advising appointments, the ACPC offers career counseling to assist with building your résumé, practicing interview skills, and mastering the job search process. Call 814-898-6164 to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor.