Attention! This frequently asked questions document is designed to provide advising information to students. It is not intended to answer every question a student may have or to replace the advisee-advisor relationship. Please use this information as a tool or as a supplement to the interaction with your academic advisor.
Advisor - Advisee Relationship
What can my advisor expect from me?
Your advisor expects you to take responsibility for your own academic career. To this end you will want to:
- Be aware of all academic deadlines, as noted in the Academic Calendar.
- Be well-versed with the requirements for your major and General Education, and monitor your progress toward your degree on the My EC Portal.
- Come prepared when you meet with your advisor to select courses for registration. In addition to following the steps above, you should select courses that you need to or want to take prior to meeting with your advisor and consider alternate courses that will fit into your schedule as well. Information about courses and degree requirements may be found in the College Bulletin (For more details, read the next question and response). Use the meeting to discuss your choices and make adjustments if necessary.
- Discuss any academic concerns (e.g. switching majors, meeting all requirements for a double major, internships, etc.) with your advisor early on so you can receive appropriate guidance.
- Use your advisor as a resource, a guide and a mentor. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you do need to know what questions to ask. Remember, your advisor has your best interests in mind.
How do I prepare for my advising session prior to registering for classes?
- Be well-versed with the requirements for your major(s), minor(s) and General Education. The best way to do this is to read the relevant descriptions in the Elmira College Bulletin. The requirements are also available in the My EC Portal.
- Look through the Course Schedule which is also posted in the My EC Portal to decide which courses you need to or want to take that particular term. Check for conflicting times between classes and prerequisites. Make a list of potential classes that you have identified and an alternate for each class.
- Make a list of any other questions you may have, and bring this list along with your course selections when you meet with your advisor.
What can I expect from my academic advisor?
Your academic advisor’s primary role is to assist you in developing and attaining your academic goals. While individual advisors may fulfill their roles in different ways, you can expect your advisor to:
Help you focus on a particular field of study and identify a major.
- Discuss your career goals and, if necessary, direct you to another individual who may be better able to assist you.
- Discuss your course selections and assist you in choosing appropriate courses that are in line with your academic goals.
- Provide referrals to appropriate resources.
A more complete description of advisor responsibilities may be found in the Academic Advising section of the College Web Site
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How do I contact my advisor?
Your advisor’s campus contact information is in the Faculty and Staff Directory, which can be found on ECWEB
or can be accessed in the Faculty section of the College Web Site
. You can also ask to be connected to your advisor’s campus extension by dialing information at x1800 or (607) 735-1800 from off campus. In addition, your advisor has weekly office hours (published on ANGEL
in the Office of the Registrar Community Group), and is also available by appointment.Top of Page
Can I get advice from my advisor about careers and how to choose one?
- Academic advisors have a wonderful variety of career experiences among them. Your advisor may be able to assist you with exploring career choices, help you build professional contacts, offer tips on how to find employment, or discuss graduate school options with you. Feel free to ask any career-related questions you have. Your advisor will either provide answers or refer you to someone who can.
Where else can I receive information and guidance about career planning?
- Staff in the Carol and Robert Morris Career Services Center, located on the first floor of the Gannett-Tripp Library, Student Learning Commons, will help you explore major and career options, choose a career, find a community service placement, and plan for professional placement. You can visit the center to have your resume reviewed, do a practice interview, receive career counseling, find a career-related internship, and make plans for graduate school, etc. For a detailed look at the services offered by the Career Services Center click this link: http://www.elmira.edu/campus/Student_Support/Career_Services/index.html
How often do I meet with my advisor?
- That depends on you. All students have to meet with their advisor at least once in the fall and winter terms to select courses prior to registering for the following terms. In addition, you will need to see your advisor to discuss course changes, taking a class S-D-F, internships, and directed and independent studies. Each of these options also requires a signature from your advisor on the appropriate form which can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar in McGraw Hall.
- In addition, you may wish to discuss career plans, graduate or professional school admissions, or other academic issues with your advisor during the course of the year which would entail more frequent visits. In the end, how often you meet with your advisor is essentially determined by you.
Can I change my advisor?
- Yes, sometimes students do switch advisors, and for a variety of reasons. Therefore, if you have identified another faculty member with whom you prefer working, ask if he or she is willing to be your advisor. If the faculty member agrees, both of you need to sign an Advisor Change form available in the Office of the Registrar in McGraw Hall. The form must be returned to the Advising Office in McGraw 106. You do not need permission from or the signature of your current advisor.
- Freshmen are encouraged to wait at least until the Winter Term of their first year to switch advisors. In special circumstances an advisor change can be made earlier. Please consult with the Office of Academic Advising in McGraw 106. English as a Second Language (ESL) students should check the “International Students” section of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list.
What is a S.B or A.B degree at Elmira College?
- The requirements for baccalaureate degrees granted by Elmira College have been established by members of the faculty so that each graduate receives a broad general education, explores different fields of knowledge, intensively examines one or more of those fields, and applies the knowledge acquired in the classroom to realistic and appropriate work experiences.
- The Elmira College degree abbreviations are reversed because they follow the tradition of Latin degree names. The traditional undergraduate degrees awarded by Elmira College are the S.B. and A.B. The S.B., Latin for “scientiae baccalaurei,” is the Bachelor of Science (B.S.). The A.B., Latin for “artium baccalaurei, ” is the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.
- Difference between A.B. and S.B. Although different states have different regulations, simply put in New York State, the difference between the two degrees is the number of liberal arts and science credits required. It is not a separation of sciences and arts majors. The S.B. degree requires 60 credits of coursework in the liberal arts and sciences and the A.B. degree requires 90 credits of coursework in the liberal arts and sciences. Some majors can lead to either an S.B. or an A.B. and the difference between the two degrees is determined by the number of liberal arts and science credits the student has successfully completed.
- Reminder: To receive a Scientiae Baccalaurei (S.B.) or a Artium Baccalaurei (A.B.) degree from Elmira College, you must complete a minimum of 120 credits, with a cumulative grade-point average (G.P.A.) of at least a 2.000. The last 30 credits hours must be earned at Elmira College. For the A.B. at least 90 credit hours must be in the liberal arts and sciences; for the S.B., at least 60 credit hours must be in the liberal arts and sciences. You must also earn a minimum grade-point average of 2.000 within their major.
What constitutes liberal arts and science coursework?
Elmira College considers the field code to be the determiner and so courses in the more professionally oriented majors (EDU, SPH, NSG, MGT for example) are not considered liberal arts and science courses unless through the Course Approval Committee, the course has received such designation. One such example is Foundations of Education, EDU 1010. The course has a professional field code but was deemed to have sufficient liberal arts content to be counted as such. These courses are listed in the Cumulative List of General Degree Requirements
available in the My EC Portal
What requirements are there for registration?
In order to register, students must have accounts paid in full or have a deferred payment agreement approved by the Office of the Bursar. Additionally, students must also have their immunization records up to date. Finally, all full-time students must meet with their Advisors. Students can confirm their registration status and view any holds in the My EC Portal
Questions regarding financial clearance should be directed to the Bursar in McGraw Hall, room 215.
How do I register for classes at Elmira College?
Schedule a meeting with your advisor during the designated time period, during which your advisor will help you select courses that meet your individual needs. For details on how to prepare for this meeting, read carefully the section on Academic Advisors. Additionally, upon completing your advising appointment, your advisor will remove the registration hold.
- confirm that all prerequisites are met.
- In order to register, you must confirm your mailing address, update your emergency contact, and agree to pay for any fees associated with courses. You can complete these steps prior to your designated registration time.
- You will register online in the My EC Portal during your designated time, based on your earned credits, including transfer credits, and Honors program status. Your registration time will be available in the My EC Portal and will be distributed by email communications.
- In order to register for Independent or Directed Studies, Field Experiences, or Academic Fellows, you must complete the appropriate paper forms, available in the My EC Portal. These completed forms must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
What happens if I cannot register during the designated time period?
- If for any reason you cannot register during your appointed time, you can register any time after your designated registration time. Please note that there will be brief periods when registration is closed for administrative review of enrollment and course schedule adjustments. Closed times will be communicated via email and will be announced on the My EC Portal.
How do I drop a class, and what is the difference between dropping and withdrawing from a course?
- Within the first two weeks of Fall and Winter terms, using the My EC Portal, you may drop a course with no notation on the transcript. Most forms of financial aid and participation in Athletics require that you be registered for a minimum of twelve credits. Please be sure to discuss your plan with your Advisor prior to making any schedule changes.
- Simply not attending does not constitute dropping a course.
- After the second week of the fall and winter terms, you can withdraw from a course using the appropriate paper form available in the Office of the Registrar, and receive either a grade of W or WF, at the discretion of the instructor. The Elmira College Bulletin contains the time frames for terms of different lengths (twelve-week, nine-week, six-week, and three-week terms).
- After the published drop period, you must withdraw from the course. If you withdraw, you will receive a grade of WF unless the course professor assigns a W. Full-time students may withdraw from a course with advisor approval at any time without a fee.
How do I add a course?
- You may add any open course during the Fall and Winter terms through the first week of classes online via your MyEC portal. Please be sure to discuss your plan with your Advisor prior to making any schedule changes.
- Simply attending does not constitute adding a course.
- Addition of a course between the end of the first week and the end of the second week of the fall and winter terms requires the approval of your Advisor and the course instructor using the appropriate paper form available in the Office of the Registrar.
- Addition of a course after the end of the second week of the fall and winter terms is only allowed under unusual circumstances and requires the approval of your Advisor, the instructor and one of the academic deans. The Elmira College Bulletin contains the time frames for terms of
different lengths (twelve-week, nine-week, six-week, and three-week
- Addition of courses during a six-week term is allowed using your MyEC portal. The course instructor must also approve the addition of the course through the first week of classes. After that time, the academic dean must also approve the addition of the course. This occurs only in unusual circumstances.
What is the maximum number of credits I may take each term?
- Full-time students at Elmira College normally complete 30-35 credit hours per academic year by registering for 12-14 credits, not including Community Service and the Encore Program, in the Fall and Winter terms. The Spring course load is 6-7 credits (6 credits of 3-6 credit courses and 1 credit hour of physical education or private music lessons).
|Year|| Fall/Winter Minimum|| Fall/Winter Maximum||Spring Minimum|| Spring Maximum|
|First Year||9 || 16|| 4|| 7.5|
| Beyond First Year||9|| 18|| 4|| 7.5|
Overload: students may take more than the above described limits with the approval of either the Registrar or the Office of the Academic Dean. Each overload credit is subject to an additional charge based on the part-time student rate.
- Transfer students coming in with more than 20 accepted credit hours will be considered students beyond the first year; transfer students with 20 or fewer accepted credit hours will be considered first year students.
- Students may take a minimum of 9 credits in the Fall and Winter terms. However, this must be confirmed with NCAA credit requirements and your financial aid package.
- There is no minimum number of credits you can take during the Summer terms. For information regarding the maximum number of credits you can take, please consult with the Office of Continuing Education.
How do I register for my career-related internship?
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- This may vary by program, but registration is done with the help of your Academic Advisor and with the consultation of a faculty member in your major and should reinforce your academic preparation. For detailed information and downloadable forms, please visit the The Carol and Robert Morris Career Services Center located on the first floor of the Gannett-Tripp Library.
What is a Directed Study?
- Directed Study provides students access to an Elmira College course that is not currently offered. The course title, content, learning objectives, and methods of evaluation are the same as the course when it is offered in a more typical fashion. A Directed Study may require more independent work from the student. A Directed Study form (also referred to as a Directed Study learning contract) must accompany the registration of the course. Approval comes from the instructor and Advisor. When the course is being taught by an adjunct instructor, the Division Chair, Associate Dean of Faculty or the Registrar must also approve the course.
How do I register for a Directed Study?
To register for a Directed Study, you must obtain a Directed Study Form, which is available on your MyEC portal
. Complete one copy and have it signed by the instructor and your Advisor. A Directed Study must be entered on the drop/add form as “(Field Code) 2540” or “(Field Code) 4540” based on the content level of the course equivalent.
What is an Independent Study?
- Independent Study enables students to explore topics for which Elmira College does not offer courses but in which faculty expertise exists to provide adequate guidance.
- A form (also referred to as an Independent Study learning contract) must accompany the registration of the course. Approval comes from the instructor and advisor. When the course is being taught by an adjunct instructor, the Division Chair and the Associate Dean of Advising must also approve the course.
How do I register for an Independent Study?
- To register for an independent study, you must obtain an Independent Study Form which is available on your MyEC portal, complete one copy, and have it signed by the instructor and your advisor. An independent study must be entered on the registration form as “(Field Code) 2500” or “(Field Code) 4500” based on the level of the course content.
What is a substitution/waiver form? When and why would I use one?
Elmira College degree and major requirements are defined in the Elmira College Bulletin and have been approved by the New York State Department of Education. Any deviations from the printed requirements listed in the Bulletin must be reviewed and approved according to established procedures.
There are different substitution/waiver forms for major and general degree requirements:Substitution/waiver of a major requirement
. The form for substitution/waiver of a major requirement must be thoroughly
completed, including the signature of your advisor, the appropriate Division Chair(s) or Program Director, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. You will be notified of the results.Substitution/waiver of a general degree requirement
. The form for substitution/waiver of a general degree requirement must be thoroughly
completed, including the signature of your advisor, and submitted in the Office of the Registrar for review by the Educational Standards Committee. You will be notified of the Committee's decision.Top of Page
What are some general guidelines for the Scientific Method requirement?
- The Scientific Method requirement in the Elmira College General Degree Requirements includes one course from the Physical and Life Sciences and one from the Behavioral and Social Sciences. One of the two must include a laboratory experience.
- Some of our four-credit laboratory courses do NOT fulfill the requirement (e.g., Microbiology). Each term the Office of the Registrar publishes a full listing of Elmira College courses that fulfill the requirement, available in MyEC. If the course is not in this list, it does not fulfill the requirement.
- For transfer courses to fulfill the requirement, the student may be requested to produce a course description or syllabus. The Registrar should be consulted so that the student’s progress toward graduation can be updated.
What are some general guidelines for the Culture and Civilization requirement?
- For the Culture and Civilization requirement, a breadth of courses must be taken. Therefore, no more than nine credits in any one field code may be used. A history major, for example, must take at least two courses or six credits outside of HIS to complete the fifteen credits of the requirement.
- Three to six credits must be completed in United States Culture and Civilization (US)
- Three to six credits must be completed in European Culture and Civilization (EU)
- Three to six credits must be completed in Non-Western Culture and Civilization (NW)
- The General Culture and Civilization (GN) designation is optional, and anything between zero to six credits may be completed.
- In order to use foreign language courses, a two course sequence in the same language must be successfully completed. This will fulfill six credits of the Culture and Civilization requirement.
- For transfer courses to fulfill the requirement, the student may be requested to produce a course description or syllabus. The Registrar should be consulted so that the student’s progress toward graduation can be updated.
How do I register for Community Service?
- If you are a new student, you will be registered prior to the beginning of classes. Returning students will secure a placement within their first six weeks on campus through the Carol and Robert Morris Career Services Center, located on the first floor of the Gannett-Tripp Library, Student Learning Commons, (607) 735-1830.
- You must also submit a completed work agreement (contract) for your service project by the stated deadline within your first term at the College, or an F will be recorded until the experience has been completed.
- You may also opt to register for a second 1.5 credit Community Service as an upperclassman, provided that you have sufficient Pass-Fail credits remaining.
- For detailed information and downloadable forms, please visit the Career Services page at http://ecweb/careerservices/default.shtml.
How are transfer credits applied toward the Elmira College degree?
- Your advisor receives a Transfer Evaluation form from the Office of the Registrar that lists course equivalencies, general degree requirements fulfilled, as well as other courses accepted for credit. The form also indicates whether you need courses in the Writing program, First Year Seminar, or math competency.
- If you or your advisor wish to review or change the recommendations by the Registrar, a course description or syllabus is needed. The Registrar and advisor will consult and the initial recommendation may be changed.
What is the S-D-F Option, and how do I use it?
- You may elect the S-D-F option for up to 12 credit hours of course work in which the announced grading system is A-F according to the following guidelines.
- Such election cannot be taken in course that applies to the major, minor, specialization or concentration.
- Be aware that some graduate and professional programs restrict the use of S-D-F credit for certain pre-requisite courses.
- The Office of the Registrar will administer a prorated number of S-D-F credits for transfer students based on the ratio of transfer credits earned to the 120 credit hours needed for graduation.
- Students electing a S-D-F grade must indicate this option during the last two weeks of classroom instruction (prior to Final Exam Week) in a long term and during the last five days of classroom instruction in a six-week course.
- S-D-F forms may be picked up in the Office of the Registrar, McGraw Hall, room 113 and must be filed with the Office of the Registrar during the appropriate period. The advisor must sign all S-D-F forms.
- S (Satisfactory) grades do not affect your GPA, however, credits are awarded toward earned credit hours. D-F grades do affect your GPA, as they normally would.
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How do I declare a major and how many majors can I have?
- You are encouraged to declare a major during Summer Registration or as soon as you are reasonably sure of your decision.
- To change majors, you should record your new major on the Declaration of Major/Minor form signed by your advisor (and including specialization or concentration, if applicable) and submit this form with the Office of the Registrar.
- You must declare a major by the end of your sophomore year.
- There is no restriction on the maximum number of majors other than time.
How do I declare a minor and how many minors can I have?
- Elmira College offers minors in certain academic disciplines. A minor is not required for a degree but is offered as a supplement to the major or permits you to explore another area of knowledge in some depth.
- You may declare a minor on the Declaration of Major/Minor form.
- Courses that count toward the major requirements may also be counted toward completion of a minor.
- You should work closely with your advisor in planning your major and complementing it with a minor.
- There is no restriction on the maximum number of minors other than time.
How do I register for summer classes at Elmira College?
- You register for summer classes through the Office of Continuing Education, which is located in room 117 of McGraw Hall. Fill out a registration form in this office, and pay the tuition. Your advisor’s signature is not necessary, but keeping your advisor informed is strongly encouraged.
What if I wish to take summer courses at another college?
- You must get prior approval from your advisor and the Registrar if you want to receive credit toward an Elmira College degree for courses taken at another institution. Complete a “Petition for Transfer Credit” form in the Office of the Registrar and submit it to that office after you have completed the form. If you have earned 68 or more credits from a two-year college, you may not take additional credit at a two-year college. If you have earned 90 or more credits toward an Elmira College degree, you may not take additional degree credit work at another college or university.
- The last 30 credit hours for any Elmira College undergraduate degree must be completed at Elmira College. This is known as the “Residency Requirement” and is standard practice at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Can I take summer courses at both two-year and four-year institutions?
- You may transfer credits for courses taken at two-year institutions unless you already have earned 68 credits from a two-year institution. You may transfer credits for courses taken at four-year institutions unless the credits are part of the final 30 credits hours for your Elmira College undergraduate degree. The final 30 credit hours must be completed at Elmira College (“Residency Requirement”).
Is a certain grade required for a course to transfer?
- Yes. A grade of C- or higher is required. However, a grade of D+, D or D- may be used to waive a requirement; no credit will be accepted.
- Keep in mind that the last 30 credit hours of any Elmira College degree must be completed at Elmira College. This is known as the "Residency Requirement" and is standard practice at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Do English as a Second Language (ESL) credits count toward graduation?
- Yes. Since 2006, all ESL credits are counted toward graduation at Elmira College.
When may an ESL student become a "regular" student at Elmira College?
- This decision is made by the Director of ESL. If you are required to take more than nine credits of ESL courses, you are still considered a full-time ESL student. As your English improves and you are required -- based on the judgment of the Director of ESL -- to take no more than six credits of ESL courses, you will become a half-ESL and will be assigned to a faculty advisor.
When may an ESL student choose or change his or her advisor?
- The timing to switch advisors from the Director of ESL to a faculty member of your choice -- often based on your major -- depends on whether or not you are a full-time ESL student. While a full-time ESL student, the Director of ESL advises you. After becoming a part-time ESL student, you will be referred to the Office of Academic Advising to select a new advisor.
May international students receive financial aid from Elmira College?
- Since the conditions under which international students are admitted to Elmira College vary between individuals, international students should contact the Office of Financial Aid (phone: 607-735-1728.) to inquire regarding eligibility for aid.
What is the minimum number of credits international students are required to take each term in order to maintain their legal status as students in the United States?
- International students are legally required to take at least nine credits of course work in each regular term and at least four credits in Term III.
May international students borrow money from Elmira College?
- No. If you need further assistance, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Are international students required to complete an internship before they graduate?
- Not unless your academic major requires it. For details, please contact the Office of Career Services (607) 735-1830.
Are international students required to complete Community Service?
- Yes, all regular students -- regardless of their citizenship status -- are required to complete Community Service. ESL students, however, are exempted from this requirement until they graduate from the ESL program or until the Director of the ESL program judges that the student is capable of meeting the requirements.
Are international students allowed to take courses in their own native language and apply those credits toward graduation?
- Generally, no. If your major requires a foreign language, you may waive the requirement by submitting a Substitution Form.