Guiding TRiO SSS students from orientation to graduation
TRiO SSS offers an array of academic support to eligible students. All services are free of charge and available for the duration of each student's college career. TRiO SSS employs three academic advisors: Darlene Samson, Janet Zupan, and Heather Hibbard. Because they spend the majority of their time answering an array of academic, financial, and personal questions, TRiO SSS students receive perhaps the highest quality of advising found on the UM campus.
How do TRiO SSS students benefit from our advising?
- Time and attention are two of the greatest benefits you'll find when working with TRiO SSS advisors. Students can meet with TRiO SSS advisors by appointment, or by walk-in, when available. Students are not limited to the amount of time they can spend discussing issues of special concern. Many students will meet one-on-one with an advisor several times over the semester until their concerns are satisfactorily answered.
- Confidentiality: TRiO SSS students can remain secure in the fact that all advising contact is kept in strict confidentiality by all TRiO SSS staff. We believe that in order to truly help a student, that student must feel comfortable to address all of their circumstances.
- In the advising loop: TRiO SSS is just one floor below the Undergraduate Advising Center, UM's central advising office. Our close proximity to UAC benefits students in that the latest advising information is constantly circulating among staff. TRiO SSS students can be sure that they'll receive accurate advice because the staff are knowledgeable of current changes in advising policy.
Questions that come up during advising
Q: What does it take to be successful? How can I achieve this?
A: Your success as a college student is our mission in TRiO SSS! Start by joining, taking the C & I 160 class, Learning Strategies for Higher Education, and utilize the support and services offered to you through the TRiO SSS Program.
Q: What do I do if I cannot find parking before class?
A: Parking is often difficult to find on campus! But there are good options besides purchasing a UM parking pass.
Park and Ride Shuttles are available from convenient locations. You can park off-campus and ride in for free. Follow this link for detailed information: http://life.umt.edu/asum/asum_agencies/Transportation/bus/parknride_udash/default.php)
Mountain Line Bus. Griz-card carrying students ride the Mountain Line at no cost. Check out this website for the schedules and routes: http://www.mountainline.com/index.php/ride/
Park and walk. Park at the curb just outside of the University restricted areas (a 3-4 block stroll in most cases). Meditate, review your upcoming lecture, listen to birdsong. It’s a healthy alternative to stressing out over no open campus slots.
Q: I attended the last registration. I was not given an advisor at all or any help to sign up for classes. I had to run around to find someone and went through 3 different people.
A: It’s a good idea to check your one stop account to find the name of your current advisor. If you have a declared major, we encourage you to talk with your department. If you are undeclared, pre-comm, pre-psyx, or freshman business, TRiO SSS advisors are ready and willing to meet with you.
Q: What is a good interest test to take and where do I take it?
A: A great start is to utilize TRiO SSS’s SIGI (System of Interactive Guidance and Information) .
Additional options include meeting with a Career Services counselor who can provide other testing services. http://life.umt.edu/career/careerplanning/planning.php
Q: Do 4 Bear students need to meet with their advisors sooner than non-4 Bear students?
A: It’s always nice to introduce yourself to your advisor prior to registration. Your advisor can review your major and help you develop a four year plan to graduation. Because Four Bear students are given priority registration, it is important that you meet early in the pre-advising period so that you’re all set to register when you time comes up.
Q: How do I change my advisor?
A: This process varies from department to department. We encourage you to talk with a department representative to learn more about how you might connect with a preferred advisor.
Q: What if 2 of my finals are on the same day at the same time?
A: The finals schedule is designed to avoid this type of conflict, but this happens from time to time. First, check the official UM Finals schedule; if conflict still is present, check in with the professor from each course to confirm date, time, and location. Negotiate with your professors early in the semester, so that you can straighten out the conflict. Adjustments can be made so that one of the finals is moved to an alternate time.
Q: If I already have an advisor for my major, should I stick with them or change to TRiO SSS? What would be better?
A: TRiO SSS0 advisors encourage students who have a declared major and/or departmental advisor to maintain contact with their assigned advisor. TRiO SSS advisors offer supplemental advising and are glad to meet with you.
Q: Is there a way to see what our grades are?
A: Final semester grades are posted in your Cyber Bear account. If you are concerned about your grades in classes, we encourage you to talk with your professors and/or advisor.
Q: What happens if a scholarship doesn’t come thru?
A: We encourage you to speak with financial aid for guidance on managing scholarships, as well as the organization granting the scholarship, if appropriate.
Q: What if you don’t get into upper division? (Music Ed)
A: We encourage students to step back and evaluate progress every semester. If you are making good progress, assume with a confident attitude that you will complete the upper-division requirements in your major. If not, talk with your departmental advisor who can give you guidance and recommendations.
Q: What happens if you can’t find work study?
A: Here’s a good source of information: http://life.umt.edu/finaid/work-study.php. There are additional resources available to help you learn how to better develop your application materials, know how to interview, and sell yourself, including TRiO SSS, Career Services, and Internship services.
Q: What if you can’t get into the class you need?
A: Always consider alternative classes if a particular class is full. You can also contact the instructor to see if she/he has a waiting list. Visit Cyber Bear frequently (in case seats open up). Sometimes, a professor will sign an override slip on the first or second day of the class; attend the class for the first session to see if that’s an option and submit the signed slip at the Griz Central Registration counter. Override slips are available at Griz Central.
Q: What’s the best way to get academic advice if you have no idea of what career you want to go into?
A: Resources and helpful UM staff are available to help you develop a plan for your education and career. Job Shadowing, interest and ability inventories, meeting with a career counselor, and using career exploration software programs, are some ways to gain guidance and direction. Career Services sponsors 3 luncheons each semester where you can meet with UM graduates who have careers in various fields. We encourage you to talk with a Career Counselor or a TRiO SSS advisor and begin exploring your interests and options.
Q: How do one semester’s grades affect my student loan money for the following semester?
A: Visit this link for a more detailed breakdown of how one semester’s grades affect ongoing financial aid support: http://life.umt.edu/finaid/maintaining-eligibility.php
Q: Writing Proficiency dates?
A: The WPA dates are always included in Cyber Bear for each semester or you can find the dates on the Writing Center’s web site: http://umt.edu/udwpa/
Q: What does an advisor do for you? How often should you meet with them? Here’s how NACADA defines an advisor’s role: Academic advising is integral to fulfilling the teaching and learning mission of higher education. Through academic advising, students learn to become members of their higher education community, to think critically about their roles and responsibilities as students, and to prepare to be educated citizens of a democratic society and a global community. Academic advising engages students beyond their own world views, while acknowledging their individual characteristics, values, and motivations as they enter, move through, and exit the university.
A: TRiO advising is a collaborative educational process where students and Advisors are partners in meeting and ensuring academic, personal, and career goals.
Q: If we transferred from another school, how do we know which catalog we fall under? What is the web site for catalogs?
A: If you are an undergraduate student who has previously attempted fewer than 12 college credits you must meet the catalog requirements for the year you enter UM. If you have more than 12 credits, it is best to meet with your advisor to determine the appropriate catalog year to use. Catalogs can be found at http://www.umt.edu/home/catalogs/
Q: When should I start applying for scholarships?
A: The general UM Scholarship requires students to have a 3.40 gpa and submit an application no later than February 1st. The NAS scholarship deadline is March 1st of each year. If you conduct your own scholarship search, deadlines vary. TRiO SSS staff maintain a scholarship search through the year. If you would like to join that list serve, contact Darlene at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why should I be a part of TRiO if I already have an advisor?
A: In addition to academic and supplemental advising, as a Student Support Service, TRiO SSS assists students in managing higher education. Our services include tutoring, laptop loans, workshops, and special programs.
Q: How do I get into a general education class that is perpetually full?
A: We encourage you to register during your assigned time every semester to allow you opportunity to get into these classes. Assigned registration occurs before orientation. If the class is full, you may want to inquire with the professor whether they would allow you to enter the class with an override slip.
Q: I’d like to know more about transfer information.
A: To determine what courses meet general education course, a good web site to look at transfer equivalencies is at: https://webprocess.umt.edu/cyberbear/uwskxfer.P_SelState As well, you should review your transcript with your assigned Advisor who can provide guidance on coursework meeting general ed and/or major requirements.
Q: Where can I go for counseling?
A: Personal counseling can be provided through Curry Health Center. For more information, consult http://life.umt.edu/curry/departments/CAPS/default.php
Q: I’m a transfer student. Did my classes all transfer as my general or for my degree or both?
A: Talk with your advisor who will review your transcript with you and give you appropriate information as to what transferred, how UM accepted the credits (i.e. general education, major, electives) and what credits you may still need to take.
Q: How are the circumstances different for a student athlete?
A: Student athletes receive advising through the Athletics Program. Other support and encouragement includes tutoring, study tables, and workshops. See your Athletic Academic Advisor for the most current information. Student Athlete Handbook:
Q: What if you don’t have enough credits after your freshman year to become a sophomore?
A: There is no penalty for not having 30 or more credits after your freshman year. Many students pick up more credits the next year or enroll in summer or wintersession courses. If you are a 4-Bear student, please refer to 4-Bear guidelines for meeting minimum credit requirements http://www.umt.edu/oss/fourbear/.
Q: Catalog navigation help? I had a hard time finding class as most are in major sections.
A: It does take a bit of practice to navigate the catalog. We recommend using the A-Z index in the catalog for starters, and conducting a search when you struggle to find the right information. Please don’t hesitate to talk with a TRiO advisor and we’ll go online with you to find what you are looking for.
Q: How early can we sign up for spring and/or winter session?
A: Advising begins on October 18th for spring 2011 semester with registration starting on October 25th. A rotation for class levels and those who have priority registration can be found on the Cyber Bear web site. Winter session starts on October 25th.
Spring Advising begins on April 4, 2011 and registration begins April 11-22nd.
Q: What if I don’t like my advisor?
A: You have the option to seek another advisor. We encourage you to be in contact with your major department’s main office.
Q: What if you’re not taking the classes that are on your catalog course study?
A: It’s great that you are looking at your plan of study if you have a declared major. Without knowing what you are enrolled in, we suspect that you are taking courses that meet your general education requirements or courses to build your skill level for upper division courses. Talk with us to review your specific courses and how they apply to your degree requirements.
Q: Are gen ed classes less exciting than the ones for your major?
A: Great question! In an advisor’s opinion, there are many exciting general education classes that you have an opportunity to explore while meeting some dynamic faculty! We encourage you to take classes you might find interesting, keeping in mind that you are gaining a great education in liberal arts.
Q: Is your departmental advisor the best person to ask about financial aid concerns and general ed concerns outside the major?
A: If you are concerned about your financial aid or have questions, TRiO SSS Advisors can help you better understand the financial aid process and where to go for help. Never be afraid to seek help from the Financial Aid desk in Griz Central. Not every Advisor has knowledge of the financial aid process or how financial aid is allocated.
*TRiO SSS is funded each year at $437,886, 93% of which is federal funds. More information on the federal TRiO programs is available on the US Department of Education website.