How to Prepare for Course Registration

Every summer, new Luther students meet their faculty advisors for the first time and register for their first semester courses. At Luther, we call this program ROAD, which stands for Registration, Orientation, and ADvising. What happens during ROAD? How can you prepare for the meeting? What is it like to experience a faculty-student advising relationship? Get tips on how to prepare for ROAD from experienced Luther students and faculty.

What Happens During ROAD?

You will have a one-on-one Zoom meeting with your advisor. By the end of your conversation, you will have created your first semester class schedule. But more importantly, you will have started a relationship with the Luther community.

When Aly Haugen ’21 was a Luther senior, she reflected on her ROAD experience with her advisor, Professor Mike Garcia. “Going into ROAD, I remember being really nervous beforehand because I had no idea what to expect going into college. It’s the summer before you start college, so you’re kind of still in high school mode. But then, once we were meeting and we got to talking about what classes I was interested in taking, I almost immediately relaxed and thought, ‘Oh maybe college isn’t going to be so hard—this isn’t going to be scary.’”

A woman sitting at a desk looks at a student, smiling.

An advisor is a mentor for students on their academic journey.

What Is an Advisor?

La Donna McGohan is the director of advising at Luther. “An advisor is a mentor on your academic journey,” she says. “An advisor is there to help you succeed during your time at Luther.”

McGohan, who is also a nursing professor, says that advisors help students in multiple ways.

“Your advisor will help you choose courses, and can connect you with internships and career opportunities,” she explains.

Advisors also provide personal support for students. “We are here to listen to you share your issues and successes beyond just academics,” she says.

Advisors have been through college themselves. “Advisors can help you make the transition into college life,” McGohan said.

How Can You Prepare to Meet with Your Advisor?

Advisors listen to students to understand their academic and career goals. Before meeting with your advisor, think about what you want to share with your advisor.

Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to study, let your advisor know what interests you, whether that’s chemistry, English, history, or something else.

Start thinking about what you want your next four years to look like. You don’t need a plan, but start imagining your future.

Think about where you see yourself in four years.

Above all, advisors say, don’t worry too much about this process. There’s only one simple rule: You need to take at least 12 credits per semester to be considered a full-time student at Luther.

Nothing is set in stone, and things may move around in your schedule when you start classes; that’s normal.

So at this point, the most important thing is to start developing a relationship with your advisor, so that you can have open conversations.

Faculty advisor Jeff Wilkerson says, “I tell all my advisees, until they are assuredly sick of hearing it, that the universe is speaking to them. The most important thing we can do as a college is to open their ears to what the universe is saying and help them make meaning of it.”