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Freshman Advising

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know who my Freshman Academic Advisor is?

You will be assigned to an advisor based on your major. You can call the Academic Advising Center at 903.565.5718 or reserve a time online to schedule an appointment with your advisor.

What is THEA? How do I know if I need to take it?

Unless a student is exempt, the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requires all undergraduate students entering a public college or university in Texas to be assessed for readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the following four testing instruments to be used to determine a student's readiness to enroll in college-level courses:

Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA)

ACCUPLACER

COMPASS

ASSET

If you have questions regarding your TSI status, talk with your advisor.

Who do I contact for more information about some of the special programs such as CAP and Supplemental Instruction?

Each of these programs has been assigned to one of the Freshman Advisors. For information about CAP, contact Carlos Alvarez. For information about Student Learning Communities, please contact Mary Anyama.

What does the four-digit course code mean?

Example: ENGL 1301

The first digit indicates the level of the course.

(1 = Freshman, 2 = Sophomore, 3 = Junior, 4 = Senior, 5 = graduate)

The second digit indicates the credit hour value of the course.

(1 = 1-credit hour class, 3 = 3-credit hour class, 4 = 4-credit hour class)

The last two digits may indicate sequence.

(For example, students take ENGL 1301 prior to ENGL 1302.)

How many hours do I need to take in order to be considered a full-time student?

A student who is enrolled in 12 or more hours is considered a full-time student.

How many classes am I taking if I’m a full-time student?

Being a full-time student means that you are enrolled in 12 hours or more. Since most classes are 3 hours, you will need at least 4 classes in order to be considered a full-time student.

How many classes should I take if I’m working a part-time job?

Of course, all students are different. However, most full-time students who work part-time find that taking 12 hours is the maximum course load they can successfully complete.

How long do classes last?

Classes that are held three days per week such as MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) meet for 50 minutes each day.

Classes that are held two days per week such as TR (Tuesday, Thursday) meet for 1 hour, 15 minutes each day.

Classes that are held once a week, meet for 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Lab classes generally meet once a week for an extended period,

For example, biology labs meet for 2 hours, 50 minutes. Chemistry labs meet for 3 hours or 4 hours depending on the course.

Is it a good idea to schedule all my classes on the same day?

This sounds like a good idea – several days off per week, more free time, more hours to work, etc. However, this is probably not the best idea – especially not in your first semester. If you are like most students, you will probably not look at your homework on your days off. This leads to extra work on school days and more stress in the long run. Also, when test time rolls around, you will have all your exams on one or two days (more stress) rather than spread throughout the week.

What happens if one of the classes I need is closed when I meet with my advisor?

If this happens, you have two options. First, talk with your advisor to see if there is another course you can take instead. If there are no other suitable options, then you can contact the professor and department chair of the closed course to see if space can be made available for you.

I’m going to be participating in intercollegiate athletics. How do I know when to schedule classes so they don’t interfere with practice?

Before you meet with your advisor and attempt to register, talk with your coach to find out when practices and games are scheduled. Also, you may find it helpful to let your professors know that you are a student-athlete. This is especially important if you have to miss a class in order to participate in an athletic event.

I’m having trouble deciding between two majors. What can I do that might help me decide?

First, don’t let this stress you out. This is not uncommon. Many students are undecided or still deciding between two or more majors. UT Tyler Student Services offers an interest inventory assessment that can help students choose a career and the appropriate major for that career. You can contact them at 903.566.7079. You may also want to talk with an advisor in each of the departments in which you are interested. They may be able to answer questions and provide you with the additional information you need in order to make a decision.

How often should I contact my advisor throughout each semester?

As a general rule of thumb, students are encouraged to talk with their advisors on a monthly basis or, at least, twice a semester. This keeps you up-to-date on degree requirements and ensures you are on the right track for graduation. Feel free to visit with you advisor as often as you like.

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