Academic Advising at Otterbein University

Student Expectations

  • Making an appointment for consultations during posted office hours when possible and keeping appointments.
  • Consulting with your advisor at least once per semester.
  • Seeking assistance with the decisions to be made rather than expecting the advisor to make them.
  • Seeking additional counsel from other appropriate sources if necessary.
  • Running a degree audit each term, in Self-Service Banner, to check how you are progressing with your graduation requirements.

The collaboration between students and their advisor is the foundation of the students’ educational and career journey.

Advisor Expectations

  • Understanding all aspects of Otterbein’s grading policy.
  • Understanding the mechanics of enrolling a student, such as scheduling, the add/drop process and closed section situations.
  • Knowing where to refer students in case of special needs.
  • Helping the student plan a complete course designed through personal interaction between the student and the advisor, utilizing career interests and academic records.
  • Relaying information that he/she may have about extracurricular activities and career opportunities that may enhance the student’s learning experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I need to change advisors?

If you need to change advisors, you can pick out another advisor with whom you’d like to work. Ideally, you will pick someone in your field of interest, from whom you have taken one or more classes, with whom you have spoken with outside of class and who has a communication style/personality that meshes with you.

Ask the faculty member if they would be willing to advise you. If they are willing, fill out and print the Request to Change Advisors form on the Registrar’s web site under Forms for Students. You can also fill out a form in the Registrar’s office (lower level of Towers Hall). Your new advisor must sign the form before you can turn it in. If you do not know who you would like as your new advisor, simply fill out the Request to Change Advisors form and request to be reassigned to a new advisor.

What should I do if my advisor is on sabbatical or they are not in their office?

If your advisor is on sabbatical (doing research or professional development off campus for a quarter), please contact the department chair in that department for a temporary replacement. You can also reach out to the Center for Student Success for supplemental advising while you advisor is away.

If your advisor is not in their office, check their door and/or course syllabus for his/her normal office hours. If your advisor does not have office hours or you cannot meet during normal office hours, email or call your advisor to set up an appointment at a time that is convenient for both of you.

How often should I meet with my advisor?

You should meet with your advisor at least once per semester. Your advisor can help make your Otterbein experience richer and more meaningful by suggesting courses, activities and lectures in which you might be interested. He/she can recommend how to handle different academic situations and resolve scheduling issues. Ultimately, your advisor may be someone who helps you find an internship, writes you a letter of recommendation for graduate school or serves as a reference for your first job.

How should I prepare for a meeting with my advisor?

Have a clear purpose for your meeting: Finalize your schedule? Find an internship? Add or drop a class before the deadline? Know what you want to accomplish and jot down questions, ideas, classes that interest you, etc. prior to the meeting. It may also be helpful to print out your degree audit from Self-Service Banner (under Registration) to see if you are meeting your requirements.

Is my advisor the only person that can help me with my academic plans?

No. Otterbein has many people who want to help you succeed. Your advisor is your official guide when it comes to academic planning, but you can also seek advice and guidance from other faculty in your department or with whom you’ve taken classes, and staff from various departments on campus. For example, if you are unsure about your major or career path, you can visit the Center for Career Planning to discuss options and explore various majors.