About Advising Roles at CWRU
Advising and mentoring are critical components of an education at Case Western Reserve. Advisors and mentors welcome and acclimate students to the university, help students explore curricular and extracurricular opportunities, refer students to resources, guide students in selecting coursework, support and advocate for students when needed, and have conversations about post-graduation plans. Advisors and mentors also derive professional and personal satisfaction from these meaningful connections that help students thrive.
While we can all support students, we formally identify certain roles to ensure that students are systematically supported and guided. These formal roles are four-year advisor, pre-major advisor, and major advisor.
- Four-year advisors serve as the resource for students, faculty and staff to understand policies, procedures and requirements of all academic programs as set forth by the faculty, as well as points of contact for academic support systems as needed. Four-year advisors are assigned before matriculation and support students through graduation.
- Pre-major advisors are students' first faculty connections at the university and are essential guides to their transition to our scholarly community. They provide individualized guidance to students to build a foundation for academic and personal success at CWRU. They will support students until major declaration and then remain an important source of counsel throughout their Case Western Reserve experiences.
- Major advisors are assigned once students declare their majors; they serve as key relationships for students, providing expert discipline-specific guidance including for each student’s long-term goals.
Quick Reference: Common Faculty Advising Questions
With the creation of the two new offices of Undergraduate Advising Support and the Provost's Office for Curriculum, faculty may have questions on where to direct questions that were previously referred to the Office of Undergraduate Studies or navigators in Student Advancement. Below is guidance for common topics/questions.
General Bulletin: "Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Each instructor is free to determine the extent to which absences affect the final grades of students but should make the policy regarding attendance known at the start of the course. Instructors should report excessive absences to the student's four-year advisor in the Undergraduate Advising Support Office."
- Exceptions to an instructor's authority to decide on consequences are when a student has an approved accommodation for attendance from Disability Resources or the Office of Equity, or the student is missing class due to religious observance.
- Students unable to attend classes because of illness should seek appropriate medical care. In most cases, students will notify their instructors and make the appropriate arrangements directly with the instructor.
- For prolonged absences due to illness, family crisis, or other significant unforeseen events, the four-year advisor can support with collecting information and documentation so that the student and faculty can determine appropriate arrangements.
Students seeking to substitute degree requirements with other coursework should obtain the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form, available from the Undergraduate Advising Support Office website. If they are seeking to substitute a course toward a general education requirement, they should contact the appropriate person based on the list below. If approved, the student should submit the completed form to their four-year advisor in Undergraduate Advising Support.
Students matriculating Fall 2023 or later, following the new Unified General Education Requirements should fill out their request and send it for review to their four-year advisor, who will consult with the Associate Provost for Curriculum, Peter Shulman.
Students matriculating in Spring 2023 or earlier, following the older school/college-specific General Education Requirements should fill out their request and send it for review to:
- College of Arts & Sciences (including students majoring in Computer Science BA, Economics, and departments housed in the School of Medicine) - Rebecca Benard, email@example.com
- Case School of Engineering (including students majoring in Engineering Physics) - Daniel Lacks, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing - Beverly Capper, email@example.com
- Weatherhead School of Management - Jenny Hawkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
- If it is a course for a SAGES requirement - Erika Olbricht, email@example.com
Students seeking to substitute degree requirements with other coursework should obtain the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form, available from the Undergraduate Advising Support Office website. They will need to have the substitution approved by their major/minor advisor or departmental representative, who will then sign the form. The student should submit the completed form to their four-year advisor in Undergraduate Advising Support.
General Bulletin: "A student who wants to register a complaint about course instruction or evaluation should first bring the matter to the direct attention of the professor or instructor involved. If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, the student should go to the chair of the academic department in question and seek departmental review. If neither step resolves the complaint, the student may take the matter to the faculty member's college or school dean for final review and decision." For the complete Academic Grievance Policy, see the General Bulletin.
Contact for further guidance:
Students seeking guidance and coaching on an academic grievance can contact their four-year advisor for assistance.
General Bulletin: "All degree candidates begin their academic careers in good standing. Those who fail to meet the requirements to continue in good standing, as defined in the General Bulletin, are ordinarily placed on academic probation for the following semester in order to signal the need to improve their academic performance and to help them develop plans for improving their academic performance and returning to good standing. Those who fail to meet a minimum set of academic standards defined below or who have two consecutive semesters in which they do not meet the requirements of good standing are ordinarily separated from the university for a period of two academic sessions, including the summer session."
Contact for further guidance:
- Students (and/or their advisors) with questions about their current or potential academic standing should contact the student's four-year advisor, as listed in SIS.
- Faculty questions about the Academic Standing Board should be directed to Senior Advisor to the Provost for Learning Jeffrey Wolcowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Bulletin: "If any member of the university community suspects that an undergraduate student has violated academic integrity standards, they shall advise the student and the department chair and consult with the Dean of Undergraduate Advising or their designee about the appropriate course of action. Before speaking with the student, they also may choose to consult with the chair or dean about academic integrity standards. If, in consultation with the dean, it is determined that the evidence is not adequate to charge the student with a violation, the matter will be dropped." Please see the Academic Integrity procedures as listed in the General Bulletin.
Designated point of contact for faculty with academic integrity concerns: Senior Advisor to the Provost for Learning Jeffrey Wolcowitz, email@example.com
Faculty who are teaching or advising an undergraduate student can contact the four-year advisor (as listed in SIS) with any questions or concerns.
Faculty with any concerns about the well-being of a student are encouraged to share their concerns with the Dean of Students Office via the online CARE report, by phone at 216.368.6945, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online CARE Reports will be reviewed during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Four-year advisors in the Undergraduate Advising Support Office support students, faculty, and staff to understand policies, procedures, and requirements of all academic programs as set forth by the faculty. Faculty with questions such as: a student's semester course registration; major or general education requirements or substitutions; progress toward graduation; decisions about P/NP, course withdrawal, or term withdrawal; academic standing; or any other academic advising issues can contact the four-year advisor (as listed in SIS). Four-year advisors will engage with major advisors, and when needed, departmental academic representatives, for major-specific curricular nuances and substitutions.
Faculty with questions or concerns about grading policies should refer to the General Bulletin and should consult with the Dean of Undergraduate Advising.
Designated point of contact for faculty with questions about grading policies: Senior Advisor to the Provost for Learning Jeffrey Wolcowitz, email@example.com
General Bulletin: "The Incomplete grade (I) is assigned by and at the discretion of the instructor when (a) there are extenuating circumstances, explained to the instructor before the assignment of the grade, which clearly justify an extension of time beyond the requirements established for and met by other students in the class, and (b) the student has been passing the course and only a small segment of the course, such as a term paper, remains to be completed." For the complete Incomplete Grade Policy, see the General Bulletin.
Contact for further guidance:
Students and faculty with questions can first contact the student's four-year advisor, as listed in SIS.
Students seeking to receive transfer credit for work completed at another domestic, accredited institution after matriculation to CWRU should obtain the Off-Campus Study Form, available from the Undergraduate Advising Support Office website. They will need to have the course approved by the designated departmental academic representative at CWRU, who will then sign the form. The student should submit the completed form to their four-year advisor in Undergraduate Advising Support. Students should take note of the eligibility requirements, noted in the General Bulletin, and refer questions to their four-year advisor.
Note that students seeking transfer credit for study at an overseas institution via study abroad (which includes study through a US university in an international setting) or study in their home country, must work with the Office of Education Abroad to determine eligibility and to apply, completing the Course Approval Form as part of the study abroad process.
Registration advising holds can only be lifted by Pre-Major Advisors (if a student is not yet declared) or Major Advisors (if the student has declared).
Students who are requesting an exception to an academic policy must formally request this through the special request petition process to the Undergraduate Advising Support Deans Committee. To obtain this form and start this process, students should contact their four-year advisor. The UAS Deans Committee meets regularly to review and decide on petitions. Please note that course substitutions and other curricular exceptions should use the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form (see above).
Additional Resources for Faculty
Concerned about a student? Submit a CARE Report to the Dean of Students Office.
General Bulletin quick links:
- Academic Policies and Procedures
- Academic Standing
- Unified General Education Requirements (for students who matriculate Fall 2023 or later)