Advising Notes Fall 2009


Advising Information


Quick Reference

  • Registration for the winter 2010 semester begins Friday, October 30th.
  • Last day to drop a fall 2009 full semester course and receive a “W” grade is October 30th.



Academic and Career Advisement Center

Visit ACAC online at: ACAC website is a comprehensive web resource for advising information:  



Academic Support Services

Free academic support services are available for NMU students.  Please visit for detailed information about these resources, or click below to visit the resource of your choice:

Do any of your advisees experience academic difficulties not addressed by the services listed above?  If so, the Academic and Career Advisement Center's Skill Development web page may prove helpful.  The web-based resources are meant to be used as a means to facilitate discussion related to academic skill development.

For additional information, or to make a referral, please contact Bill Richards (Coordinator, Academic Support Services) at campus extension 2971.



Career Exploration

Meeting with an advisee that is unsure about their major?  Their career path?  Their options?

ACAC offers an on line career assessment for all NMU students. FOCUS V2 is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool. It enables students to self-assess their career-relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with their assessment results. Students who use FOCUS make better decisions about their goals and plans and learn how to self-manage their career selection.

If your advisees are interested in taking the Focus V2 Assessment, please have them schedule an appointment with an ACAC adviser to arrange for a user name & password.  Appointments can be scheduled by calling campus extension 2971.



Financial Aid Office

Are you working with a student that wants/needs to repeat a course?  How will that course repeat impact their financial aid eligibility?  You might be surprised.

Faculty advisers should become familiar with the NMU Financial Aid Repeat Policy. Knowledge of the policy is the best way to avoid potentially adverse financial aid situations related to repeating courses.



Laptop Return?

The immediate return of the NMU Notebook is required upon complete withdrawal from NMU, graduation from NMU, non-payment of required fees, or notification by NMU of the required Notebook computer return.  Detailed information regarding return dates, guidelines, and instructions can be found on the Academic Computing Services website:



Online Degree Evaluation

NMU’s on-line Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning (CAPP) Degree Evaluation program is available to students through  Students have the capability of generating an unofficial degree evaluation for the program in which they are currently declared. 

Advisers are also able to generate informal degree evaluations for their advisees.  Directions are below:

  • Log in to,
  • Once logged in, click the “Advisor Services” tab, 
  • Refer to the “Advisee Information” section,
  • Click the ‘Advisee Degree Evaluation (degree audit)” link,
  • Then follow the prompts.

Faculty are reminded that most, but not all, majors are available on CAPP.  For a list of those major programs not available on CAPP, visit: /registrar/node/37.

Faculty with questions on how to access online degree evaluations should first talk with their department head.  They may also contact the Assistant Registrar, Sara Niemi, at 227-1350.  Sara is in charge of the degree audit process and keeps online programs up-to-date.  She specifically wants to hear from anyone who believes there is an error with the online evaluation system.

Each October and March, Degree Audit staff review records for undergraduate students eligible for an official degree evaluation: Bachelor candidates with 87 earned credits; Associate candidates with 36 earned credits; and Certificate/Diploma candidates with 16 earned credits.  Once an evaluation is generated, students and their major department are notified by email that an official evaluation is available.



Student Athlete Advising

Some tips for advising student athletes:

  • Each semester, student athletes MUST be enrolled in at least 12 degree-applicable credits.
  • Furthermore, course choices must be filed with the Registrar’s Office and submitted as part of the student’s Plan of Study.  Bottom line:  Student athletes cannot enroll in “random” courses. If a student athlete is taking elective courses, those elective courses must be approved by the adviser, and then filed with the Registrar’s office.
  • In order for student athletes to be eligible for athletic participation and competition, they must be actively pursuing a baccalaureate-level degree.
  • The university administration endorses a policy that permits student athletes to be excused from class due to athletics travel or home competition. Faculty members are to provide student athletes with reasonable accommodations to make up missed course work due to the circumstances listed above.

If your student athlete advisee has questions that you cannot answer – please feel free to contact:

  • Bridget Beerman (Assistant Director of Athletics).  Bridget is very knowledgeable regarding NCAA academic rules and regulations for student athletes.  Via phone at 227-2371, or via email at
  • Julie Rochester (Associate Professor and NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA). Julie provides oversight and advice in the administration of the institutional athletics program, including academic oversight of student athletes.  Via phone at 227-2026, or via email at



Undergraduate Bulletin: When are Courses Offered?

The 2009-2010 Undergraduate Bulletin allows users to query when certain courses are offered.  This will be especially helpful if you work with a student who wants to plan out subsequent semesters, and needs to know during which semester(s) a course will be offered.

  • Visit,
  • Select the “Courses” tab at the top of the page,
  • Click the “Search for courses” link,
  • Provide the course information,
  • Then select the term in question using the “Offered” tab,
  • Finally, make sure to hit the “Search” button at the bottom of the page.

Departmental News



Center for Native American Studies

The Center for Native American Studies is pleased to offer the following courses during the winter 2010 semester:

  • NAS 101 - Anishinaabe Lang, Culture & Community (Division V)
  • NAS 280 - Storytelling Native American Women
  • NAS 295 - Special Topics: Anishinaabe Language and Winter Exploration
  • NAS 310 - Tribal Law & Government (Division IV)
  • NAS 320 - American Indians: Identity & Media Images
  • NAS 330 - Native Cultures and the Dynamics Religious Experience
  • NAS 342 - Indigenous Environmental Movements
  • NAS 488 - Native American Service Learning Project (ASL) designation




Advisers should know that students should take either the Math Placement or Math Diagnostic test prior to enrolling in CH 105, CH 107, or CH 111.  Students will not be able to register for the above courses until an appropriate math placement result (or pre-requisite course) is in place.  Advisers are also encouraged to refer to the course description section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for further clarification of math course prerequisites for the chemistry courses listed above.

CH 108 will not be offered during the winter 2010 semester, and will very likely be offered infrequently in future semesters.  CH 108 has been replaced with CH 109.

Questions should be directed to the Chemistry department, at campus extension 2911.



College of Business

The College of Business provides several minor programs that are well-aligned with most non-business major programs.  Current College of Business minor offerings are: Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Office Services.  For more information, please visit



Criminal Justice

Students interested in pursuing a Criminal Justice degree should meet with advisers in the Criminal Justice department. Faculty in that department use advising sheets specific to their academic program to advise students.  It is best if students are advised using the Criminal Justice department’s specific advising sheets.




Before your advisees register for EC 101, they should consider:

  • In order to register for EC 101, a student must have never earned credit for a college-level economics course (particularly EC 201 and/or EC 202), or received advanced placement from a high school experience. 
  • A student cannot take EC 101 concurrently with any other economics class. 
  • If a student dropped or failed any economics class (including EC 101, and assuming the student has no other economics credit), he or she may enroll in EC 101. 
  • If the above conditions are met, EC 101 may be counted toward the economics major or minor.




Those students choosing a major or minor in English Secondary Education should take EN 350 (Materials and Methods of Teaching English) the semester just prior to their student teaching semester.  Those students who are eligible to student teach in winter 2010 should contact Dr. Kia Jane Richmond via email at  The following information should be included:

ID #
Minor (or 2nd major)
Accepted to Methods                                       Y/N
Taken and passed MTTC Basic Skills Test         Y/N
Planning to student teach winter 2010                Y/N



Mathematics and Computer Science

All mathematics courses have the prerequisites included with the course descriptions. If your advisees do not have the prerequisites for a course, the Banner system will not permit them to sign up for that particular class. If the student believes he/she has the correct prerequisite for a class and cannot sign up, have him/her contact the Mathematics and Computer Science department office.

There are two placement exams, and it is important that students take the correct test.

  1. The Mathematics Placement Exam is for freshmen coming straight out of high school.
  2. The Diagnostic Test is for all other students who have been enrolled at NMU for a semester or more.  This includes transfer students, non-traditional students, etc.

Selecting the appropriate Mathematics course:

  • If a student has taken a math course at NMU, that information should be available in the student’s records.
  • If a freshman has not taken a mathematics course yet, review their placement test results and help them make the appropriate course choice.  (If those results are not readily available, please contact the Math and Computer Science Department at campus extension 2020 to inquire about the results).
  • If a student has taken a mathematics course elsewhere, ask to see NMU’s transcript evaluation before enrolling them in any mathematics course.
  • If math placement information is not readily available, call the Mathematics and Computer Science department (227-2020) and ask the secretary to provide that information.
  • Students who are eligible to enroll in the MA 090 class should be advised that they are unable to register for this class without first visiting the Student Service Center. Students CANNOT register for this courses using

Tutoring Available:

  • The Mathematics Department provides mathematics tutoring services each semester.  The Math Lab is located in West Science 3810 and is open Monday through Thursday 9:00am – 4:00pm, and Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm.  No appointment is necessary.
  • Computer Science course tutoring is also available each semester in the Computer Lab, NSF 1207.  Hours vary from semester to semester.  No appointment is necessary.

Additional information for Elementary Education students:

  • As of fall 2009, students choosing a major or minor in Elementary Education Mathematics are required to take MA 231.  For Elementary Education Mathematics majors, MA 231 replaces MA 103.
  • Elementary Education Mathematics majors who entered NMU prior to fall 2009 (and who have not already completed MA 103) are encouraged to take MA 231 in place of MA 103.
  • MA 231 will be offered during fall semesters only.



Modern Languages and Literatures

Proper language course placement is essential to student success and satisfaction with their language course.  When advising students about language courses, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • If a student HAS HAD foreign language courses in high school, advisers should encourage them to take the Modern Languages and Literatures department’s placement test so that they can be placed in to the appropriate language course at NMU.
  • If a student HAS NOT previously taken foreign language courses, they should take NMU’s 101 level language course.
  • Students desiring to take foreign language courses at NMU should be directed to the Modern Languages and Literatures department so that they can be assisted with planning their language course sequence in a manner that will not delay their anticipated graduation.




The Music department would like advisers to remind students that choose to MINOR in music that their course curriculum must be approved by Professor Donald Grant (department head).  Contact information: (906) 227-1039 or via email at



Office of International Programs

NMU sends students to study abroad in a variety of placement settings: 1:1 exchanges, service learning internships, university direct enroll, and traditional cultural/language immersion centers.   Programs range from short-term field experiences, led by NMU faculty members, to a semester or academic year abroad.    

The Adviser’s Role:

  • Encourage your advisees to consider working a study abroad into their academic program.  Your influence plants a seed that will grow.
  • Start them out early:  Even freshmen can begin to plan a study abroad.  (In fact – more and more incoming students seek us out during freshman orientation, eager to find out when and how they can study abroad.)
  • Send them over to visit with us in the Office of International Programs, 145 Whitman.   We are staffed to help students select programs that best suit their needs and interests.
  • Better yet – Invite us into your classroom for a brief presentation.   (Returnees love to help us spread the message about study abroad.)
  • Department Heads usually prefer to sign off on specific study abroad course pre-evaluation,  but students will ask for your input as well.   They should be prepared to show you contact hours, recommended U.S. credit, and course description and/or syllabus.   You can help them fit electives, major/minor credits, and liberal studies requirements into their particular degree program.




NMU’s Physics department would like to remind advisers that students enrolled in major programs that require physics courses (PH 201, PH 202, PH 220, PH 221), should take the required physics course PRIOR to their senior year.  This allows for the most flexibility in the case that the course needs to be repeated.



Political Science and Public Administration

For students with either Political Science or Public Administration minors, please be aware that if following an Undergraduate Bulletin that is 2005-2006 or newer and they earn less than a C in a PS course, it will not count towards their minor.

This same policy applies to all Political Science majors as well.



Additional Submissions

From Carol Strauss (Modern Languages and Literatures department):
Reminder: Many academic majors require that students also complete a minor as part of their overall degree requirements.  Minors are listed in the program requirements for the major, but can sometimes be easily overlooked.  Please take caution to notice minor requirements when advising students.


From Jane Milkie (School of Art and Design):
S/U grades are translated by many graduate schools as “C” grades.  Please keep this in mind if advising a student that plans to pursue graduate school.