Academic Advising

All incoming students at Luther are initially assigned an academic advisor that the college believes will serve the student in the transition from high school to college. At Luther, advising is developmental. It recognizes that student needs change over time, with three particularly important stages—the transition to college, the movement toward concentration in a major, and the journey beyond Luther toward lifetime work and service. Because Luther believes that these conversations between a student and an advisor are vital, it requires that students meet with advisors before registering for each new semester. 

Because the advisor at Luther is an important resource to help students make the most of their four years, it is recommended that once students declare a major, they switch to an advisor in that department. First-year students should keep their initial advisor throughout the first semester and January term. After their first semester, all first-year students are given a form whereby they can request an advisor in their major, or request to stay with their initial advisor.

What an Advisor Can Do:

  • Help you with answers to questions as you make the transition from high school to college. 
  • Help you to understand college policies and procedures.
  • Talk with you before registration to discuss your short-term goals for the next semester, as well as your long-term goals for "life after Luther."
  • Help you to decide whether you should add or drop a course.
  • Make a request to a department head when a course is closed and you need to be enrolled in it.
  • Help you understand how to use the "Program Evaluation" tool.
  • Help you to create a plan for future semesters, including study abroad opportunities, internships, and independent research work.
  • Guide you to the most appropriate office when you are having difficulty with some aspect of your Luther experience. 
  • Help you make good progress toward graduation.

What an Advisor Can't Do:

  • Clear you for registration if you have "holds" due to unpaid bills, or necessary forms due at a college office.
  • Exempt you from a policy that applies to all students.
  • Register you for courses. Students are responsible for completing their own registration.
  • Add or drop you from courses. Students are responsible for completing all add and drop changes to their schedule within the prescribed time periods.
  • Enroll you in a course that's closed. If you need to take a course that is closed, write to your advisor and ask him/her to make the request to the department head.
  • Make changes to the program evaluation; any changes must be made through the Registrar's Office.
  • Arrange an internship or study abroad course for you. These forms must be processed in CDC (internship) or Study Away office (for study abroad).
  • Negotiate for you when problems develop. Students are responsible for consulting with different offices of the college for additional support or problem-solving.
  • Ensure that you graduate on time.  Students are responsible for completing graduation requirements. It is your name on the diploma, not the advisor's!

Remember: Your academic advisor is a mentor, to help guide you through the journey of all-college requirements, major courses, and productive electives that will help you refine your talents and understand your own goals. Communicate often and honestly with your advisor about your work at Luther, and never hesitate to ask questions!