Instructions for Faculty Advisors

Useful Links:

Keys to a Successful Registration
Web Course Step-by-Step Instructions for Submitting Web Course Choices
Don’t Just Check Off Those GE Requirements!

Before meeting with your advisees:

  • Contact all advisees to make advising appointments.
    1. Go to the SIS
    2. After logging in, click on the Advisees link in left column.
    3. Use the Send an e-mail to this list of advisees link at the bottom of your Advisee list.
    4. Note that your e-mail will blind-copy each student to the message, in compliance with FERPA regulations.
    5. Remind advisees to come prepared with their degree audit and a completed registration worksheet
  • OFFICE HOURS ON SIS: All faculty are encouraged to post your office hours on the SIS Faculty Personal page.  Here’s how: Log into the SIS, choose Personal under Faculty on the left, and then add your office hours and click “Update Office Hours.”
  • SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS ON GMAIL: Using your St. Olaf gmail calendar, you can also define times for scheduling appointments.  This is a good way to schedule advising sessions and other meetings with students, because it is FERPA-compliant (unlike the practice of posting a paper schedule on your office door and having students sign up for appointments there).  To use:
    • log into your St. Olaf gmail account,
    • go to the calendar and choose either the “day” or the “week” view.
    • define a block of time for appointments by clicking on the starting point and dragging the cursor to define the desired block of time.
    • When the little window comes up to name your event, choose instead “Appointment Slots” on top.  The first time you do this, you will get an explanatory message.
    • Name your event (“What”) and pick the duration of your appointments, then click on “Edit details.”
    • You’ll see a long URL, which you can copy and paste into an email to a group of students (which you can create via the SIS to be sent to a class, your advisees, etc., or blind-copy the students you wish to include.
    • The students will receive this and can then choose slots; their names will appear on your calendar but will not be visible to others who are scheduling appointments.
  • Access online degree audits for your advisees.
    1. Log in, then:
    2. Click on the advisees link in left column.
    3. Next to each advisees name is a pull-down menu in the far-right column.
    4. Highlight degree audit and click the green GO button. You can print a copy.
    5. Contact your AAA and/or the Registrars Office at x3015 if you have difficulty or need assistance.
  • Advisers must electronically authorize each student to register before the web course choice submission process opens, or the student will not be able to submit course choices via the SIS.

To electronically authorize a student to register:

  • Log into the SIS
  • Under Faculty on the left-hand side, go to Advisees.
  • Pull down the drop-down menu on the right-hand side, next to the individual student’s name.
  • Click on Approve Registration. That is it. You will see OK under the Reg? column.

What is the role of the advisor/faculty member?

  • Help students consider and clarify their overall goals and interests.
  • Provide guidance in completing students academic program in a timely way according to faculty-approved academic policies on graduation requirements. Make sure students are aware of the information at the top of their degree audit concerning remaining credits.
  • Work within the context of the students four years to help them determine which course(s) absolutely need to be taken the next term and which ones could be postponed until a later term.
  • Encourage students, to the degree possible, not to focus simply on one required schedule, but to see that flexibility in scheduling is possible. They should leave your office with the notion that while they may have one preferred option, it is important to have other schedule options different courses, or different sections of the same courses, or different sections of a course and/or different section of a lab/discussion.
  • Once we open the course submission process, you can see your advisees registration page, check whether they have submitted results, and look at what they have submitted. To access this page, click on the Advisee link, then for each student, use the pull-down menu on the right and choose Registration.
  • For your own courses, during and after registration, class lists should be monitored carefully using the online lists. (Do not use MOODLE for checking official class lists.) No paper copies of class lists will be distributed.
  • Wait Lists: Chairs/directors or individual faculty members (depending on department/program), not the Registrars Office/SIS, maintain wait lists.

What to do if students have questions about the web registration process:

  • Emphasize to students the importance of reading the detailed instructions, looking at the examples, and submitting more than one schedule.Almost all students who had problems with web registration in the past had submitted their choices incorrectly and/or had submitted only one possible schedule option. Please refer students to the Registrars Office if they are confused about the process of registration itself (how to enter their choices into the system).
  • The Web Course Choice Submission Worksheet will help students to plan for submitting choices. Encourage them to begin to fill it out before coming to see you, and use it as the basis for your conversation with them.
  • If students have specific questions about the technical process of submitting their web choices, by all means refer them to the Registrars Office ( or Do not feel that you must become proficient in this area in order to be helpful to your advisees.