Northern Michigan University...Michigan's ThinkPad University

Academic and Career Advisement Center
Cohodas Administrative Center
Room 208
Phone: 906-227-2971
Fax: 906-227-1751

Web page

James G. Gadzinski

Assistant Director
Kim Rotundo

Barbara A. Quick
Lena G. Throlson

Lenette A. Pynnonentle
Undergraduate Bulletin


Academic and Career Advisement Center


Academic Advising Philosophy

Northern Michigan University is committed to the academic and professional development of its students. While a student’s academic program is ultimately his or her own responsibility, the university, through the academic advising process, provides the student with information about career options, educational programs, courses, resources, policies and procedures.

The academic advising process is a shared responsibility which involves administration, faculty, staff, and student peers. However, a key element is the student-advisor relationship. In this relationship, a faculty or staff advisor and student work together to select, plan, and accomplish the student’s academic and professional goals. This relationship also provides students with an opportunity to affiliate with professionals in their chosen disciplines.

Advisor Assignment

After selecting a major, students are assigned to an advisor in the department which houses their major. Students should maintain close contact with their advisers and keep their own personal file of their academic progress. Students are ultimately responsible for meeting the academic requirements for their desired degree.

Students who are undecided about a choice of curriculum and who do not wish to declare a major are assigned advisers from a core of faculty and staff selected to work with "undeclared” students. These students should work closely with their advisers to build course schedules satisfying general graduation requirements and also providing some exposure to new fields of interest. During the semester, undeclared students should work with academic advisers in the Academic and Career Advisement Center  (ACAC) to discuss potential majors. They may also take advantage of career planning activities coordinated by the ACAC.

Students who plan to enter pre-professional and other interdisciplinary programs are assigned advisers from the appropriate academic departments.

Student Responsibilities

Communication is the key to a successful advising experience. Each person involved in the advising relationship must understand his or her role in the advising process. Students at NMU are responsible for:

  • seeking out assistance early in their college experience to identify and/or confirm any major and/or career choices;

  • knowing the degree, major, and minor requirements applicable to them as outlined in this bulletin and in departmental publications;

  • keeping accurate records of their progress and degree plans;

  • playing an active role in advising meetings by identifying areas of uncertainty and asking for advisers' assistance in finding the answers or exploring options;

  • discussing any proposed changes to their class schedules, including dropping or adding classes, with advisers prior to making the changes.

Advisor Activities

Advisers are members of the NMU faculty or staff who:

  • know the university’s academic policies and graduation requirements;

  • have been assigned to meet with specific students for academic guidance;

  • will help students identify problem areas and create action plans in order to be successful;

  • expect that students will be honest about current/past academic performance;

  • can refer students to sources of academic, career, or personal support on campus should the need arise.

Meeting with Academic Advisers

Meeting with advisers should be an on-going experience and not a once-a-semester meeting to schedule courses for an upcoming enrollment period.

Students should be prepared to discuss the following types of issues with their advisers:

  • career plans and how experiences so far have reinforced or changed them;

  • current classes and what, if any, support services might be appropriate;

  • tentative course schedules designed for the next semester; 

  • which classes are most appropriate based upon current and/or past academic performance and interests.

An advising meeting is not the time for students to:

  • finally “crack open” the schedule of classes for the next semester; or

  • expect advisers to select courses for them.

There are many resources available on the NMU campus to assist students in obtaining an excellent education. Students should become familiar with the staff, faculty and other resources available to them and seek these resources out in a timely manner. 

Any undergraduate student who would like to discuss an academic and/or career advising issue at NMU can schedule an appointment with an academic advisor in the Academic and Career Advisement Center, 208 Cohodas, 906-227-2971.

Registrar's Office, 301 Cohodas Administration Center
1401 Presque Isle Ave | Marquette, MI 49855 | 1-800-682-9797
Technical questions? E-mail
Admissions questions? E-mail

©2003 by the Board of Trustees of Northern Michigan University
Page created by: Kimber Olli of Northern Michigan University
Northern Michigan University is an AA/EO Institution.

Northern is Michigan's only participant in IBM's ThinkPad University Program. ThinkPad is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation.

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 09, 2003