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Academic Advising News

Academic Advising News is published as a service of the Academic Advising Portal, an academic advising and information website maintained by Penn State's Division of Undergraduate Studies.

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Academic Advising News: February 2015

February 1, 2015

The Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (AAPPM) provides guidance on the implementation of Senate and University policies and procedures related to undergraduate education at Penn State. Recently redesigned, the AAPPM is now searchable by topic or procedure code and is accessible by mobile devices. 

On Friday, Feb. 6, noon to 1:00 p.m., in 110 Henderson Building, University Park, members of the advising community are invited to a presentation and discussion about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Robert Kubat, University registrar, and David Dulabon, associate general counsel in the Office of General Counsel, will share their knowledge, provide resources, and discuss advising best practices.

On Monday, Mar. 2, noon to 1:00 p.m., in 110 Henderson Building, University Park, interested faculty and staff members are invited to attend a presentation on LionPATH and its future impact on academic advising. Hear the latest on the implementation timeline and learn about advising resources that are planned.

Academic Advising News: January 2015

January 1, 2015

Every semester the Division of Undergraduate Studies invites the Penn State community to lunchtime presentations featuring academic advising topics. These lunch-and-learn sessions provide opportunities for professional development, networking and advising discussions. No registration is necessary, and all faculty and staff members are welcome to attend and bring a lunch. 

A phased roll-out of the new Project LionPATH student information system is expected to begin this fall and be completed in late 2016. Visit the project’s website to stay informed about LionPATH’s progress, implementation plans and implications for Penn State’s academic advising community. Feel free to also subscribe to periodic Updates for Advisers.

Academic Advising News: December 2014

December 1, 2014

Any faculty, staff, student, or community member may nominate a Penn State undergraduate student from any campus for the Stand Up Award. This award honors students demonstrating courage, fortitude, and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, cause, or belief. Successful nominees will be honored at a ceremony in April 2015 when they will be presented with a $1,000 award.

In response to accessibility requirements and new design technology, the University Faculty Senate recently unveiled a contemporary website with a user-friendly interface. The site provides information on Senate committees, including agendas, minutes, and reports; student academic policies; curricular procedures; and course/program changes across the University system.

Academic Advising News: November 2014

November 2, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Division of Undergraduate Studies academic advisers Elena Galinova and Irma Giannetti recently authored a book titled “Advising International Chinese Students: Issues, Strategies and Practices” to educate the advising community about this special population and to contribute to discussions about related advising strategies and institutional reforms.

Nominations for the 2015 Shirley Hendrick Award, which is administered by the Commission for Adult Learners and recognizes a senior Penn State administrator who has significantly advanced efforts for adult learners at Penn State, will be accepted through Nov. 7. Nominations are open to administrators University-wide, including, but not limited to deans, associate and assistant deans, chancellors and directors.

On Monday, Nov. 17, members of the University community are invited to attend this year's Engaged Scholarship Expo to learn how out-of-classroom academic experiences can complement in-classroom learning. Attendees will hear about engaged scholarship projects already happening and learn about new projects in development. The event takes place 5:00–7:00 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center (Heritage Hall) at University Park. 

Academic Advising News: October 2014

October 1, 2014

From now through Friday, October 31, students may nominate advisers for the 2015 Penn State Excellence in Academic Advising Award. Sponsored by the University Advising Council and the Office for Undergraduate Education, the award recognizes and rewards advising excellence. One award is given annually to a faculty member and one to a professional academic adviser. All current full-time University employees with advising responsibilities are eligible. Students who wish to nominate an adviser may complete a short, online form available below.

On Friday, October 24, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., in 102 Kern Building, University Park, the Division of Undergraduate Studies invites interested members of the Penn State community to attend a panel presentation, "Faculty Senate Petitions: What Advisers Need to Know," part of the Academic Advising Noon Seminar series offered every semester. This presentation will also be available via videoteleconferencing to accommodate participants at other campuses. 

“Some students put a lot of pressure on themselves and think the major they choose will define them for life,” says David Smith, associate dean for advising and the executive director of DUS. “In reality, many careers can come out of any one major. We want to help students understand their options and which may work best for them.”

To help them along, advisers in DUS have developed two web-based tools — MajorQuest and MinorQuest — to help narrow down the possibilities. The tools prompt students to check off their interests and then filter the lists of majors and minors to reflect the students’ choices.

Academic Advising News: September 2014

September 1, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s first annual college fair takes place on the University Park campus from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, in East Halls (Johnston Commons). The fair will offer prizes, giveaways and information about majors as well as opportunities for new students to begin thinking about ways to relate their interests to what they can study at Penn State.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Every semester the Division of Undergraduate Studies invites the Penn State community to lunchtime presentations featuring academic advising topics. These lunch-and-learn sessions provide opportunities for professional development, networking and advising discussions. No registration is necessary, and all faculty and staff members are welcome to attend and bring a lunch.

The Division of Undergraduate Studies will host Penn State’s fifth annual Business Majors Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in 110 Business Building, for students interested in learning about University Park majors that focus on business.  

Details and a preregistration form are available at

The 13th annual Professional Development Conference on Academic Advising will take place 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. This year’s theme highlights “Advising Smarter: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications for Student Success.” 

Penn State President Eric Barron will give opening remarks, and during the noon hour, guest speaker Phil Gardner, director of Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, will offer the keynote.  

Academic Advising News: August 2014

August 1, 2014

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the thirteenth annual professional development conference on academic advising will take place at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College. This year's theme is "Advising Smarter: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications for Student Success." The conference is open to academic advisers, administrators, faculty members who advise, and others interested in the field of academic advising. A registration form with fee information is available at

Penn State's Academic Advising Portal launched in May as the University’s gateway to academic advising information, resources and policies. As fall semester approaches, advisers, faculty members and students may find the tools and resources at especially helpful as they plan and manage the many educational processes and opportunities that can inform a student’s experience at Penn State.   

University Park, Pa.—A study by Esther Prins, co-director of the Goodling Institute and the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy, and her colleagues Cathy Kassab and Kimeka Campbell, challenges educators, researchers and policy makers to recalibrate their understanding of who college students are. A recent study of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants from Pennsylvania found the average applicant was 24-years-old, 35 percent were adult learners, 40 percent were financially independent, and 16 percent were not single.

Academic Advising News: July 2014

July 1, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Turfgrass science. Golf management. Immunology and infectious disease. Medieval studies. Wildlife and fisheries science. Organizational leadership. With more than 160 majors and hundreds more minors on the books, it seems as though everyone can find something right for them at Penn State.

To assist academic advisers address global citizenship education and intercultural competence with their students, Think Global recently introduced a preliminary global education library. Called Resources for Academic Advisers at, the library offers a growing list of articles focusing on the meaning of global citizenship as it applies to college students, the essential constituents of a global perspective, and the conceptual implications of cosmopolitanism for the work of higher education practitioners. To suggest additional articles, contact Elena Galinova at

UNIVERSITY PARK / CARLISLE, Pa. -- The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University announced today that the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (the ABA) has approved the University’s proposal to operate two independent and fully accredited law schools: Penn State Law at University Park and Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pa.

Academic Advising News: June 2014

June 2, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Division of Undergraduate Studies recently introduced the Academic Advising Portal as Penn State’s new online gateway to academic advising information, tools and resources. The portal, at, replaces Advising @ PSU as the University’s one-stop, searchable source of academic policies and procedures and will help students locate what they need to plan and manage successful educational experiences. The new site also supports academic advisers, faculty and staff members as they advise undergraduates and highlights opportunities for professional development and collaboration.

Penn State will offer its newest massive open online course (MOOC) "Presumed Innocent? The Social Science of Wrongful Convictions," produced by the College of the Liberal Arts. The MOOC employs the perspective of the social scientist to understand why and how wrongful convictions occur. The course will open to thousands of students for free on the Coursera platform in late June, and will also be offered for Penn State credit at a reduced tuition rate beginning July 2.

To help students identify minors that match their interests, the Division of Undergraduate Studies created an interactive site called MinorQuest, available at The new resource prompts students to select areas of interest from a menu and then locates those Penn State minors that provide opportunities to study all areas selected. Because minors can often include special considerations, such as hidden prerequisites and controlled courses, MinorQuest also provides both a planning checklist and a worksheet to help students determine if and how they can realistically complete a minor of interest. 

Academic Advising News: May 2014

May 7, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Freshman John Swab’s interests have taken him far during his short time at Penn State. His research on the impact of streetcars on the historical growth of Baltimore won the freshman award at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Undergraduate Poster Exhibition, and he was one of the few freshman students to join more than 240 others from across the University to present his findings at the University-wide Undergraduate Exhibition in the HUB-Robeson Center.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Division of Undergraduate Studies is accepting proposals through May 16 for the 13th annual Professional Development Conference on Academic Advising. This year’s conference takes place Wednesday, Oct. 1, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel and will focus on “Advising Smarter: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Applications for Student Success.” 

The University's goal is to adjust to shifting student interests and to accommodate all qualified students in the undergraduate majors of their choice. When limitations of space, faculty, or other resources make this goal unattainable, the college dean responsible for the major may request administrative enrollment controls.