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Academic Advising Model


Academic Advising


Read the academic catalog carefully and be familiar with degree programs and requirements at the university:

  • Seek out answers to their questions and make use of all resources on campus
  • Develop self-awareness and self-advocacy
  • Keep scheduled appointments
  • Follow through on advisor recommendations
  • Accept ultimate responsibility for their decisions


  • Being knowledgeable about university and departmental requirements, policies and procedures
  • Maintaining adequate office hours throughout the semester
  • Providing a respectful and supportive atmosphere
  • Keeping accurate records
  • Ensuring that students are provided access to services on a fair and equitable basis
  • Recognizing the limitations of their positions and being familiar with university resources in order to make appropriate referrals

Advisors provide information on general education and major requirements, clarify policies and procedures, discuss educational and career options, monitor academic progress, and direct students to other resources when necessary.

Tip: Students can print out a detailed worksheet for the requirements of their major and associated liberal arts core classes.

Freshman Seminar

During the first semester of their freshman year, new students will be enrolled in a one-credit-hour course called Freshman Seminar (GNED 101). The course is an introduction to the meaning and significance of higher education, to the challenges inherent in university life, and to the values characterized by Christian higher education—and by Charleston Southern University, in particular. Topics include making the transition to campus life, academic/classroom skills, goal setting, lifestyle decisions, and the integration of faith with learning.

Retention research clearly supports Freshman Seminar courses as a best practice for promoting academic and social integration among new students. The CSU model for Freshman Seminar is uniquely designed to integrate with first-year academic advising. Many sections of GNED 101 are offered in the fall term, formed around an array of university majors and programs. Instructors are hand-picked faculty in each university discipline who also serve as the academic advisor for the students in their section. As an added bonus, students have the opportunity to connect with other new students who have like career interests.

Major Decisions

The Career Center is located on the first floor of the Strom Thurmond Center. The staff specializes in professional assessments to guide career and major choices, diversity programs, and civic engagement. Detailed resources are available on their website, including the four steps for choosing a major, the freshman through senior four-year road map, informational brochures to show how majors at CSU parlay into various career choices, and current data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifying the demand for certain careers.

Students also have free access to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a career-directive personality inventory and the Strong Assessment that measures your student’s interest in a broad range of occupations and activities to illustrate the kinds of work where he or she might be most satisfied.

Tip: Your student’s Freshman Seminar instructor also serves as his or her academic advisor during the first semester. Freshman Seminar is offered in numerous sections in the fall term, grouped by the various majors offered at the university.

Declaring a Major

Students can declare or change their major or minor by completing the online declaration form located on the Student tab in MyCSU—under Forms. The declaration form is also available in the Student Success Center, located on the first floor of the Strom Thurmond Center. After submitting the declaration form, the Student Success Center will assign your student to an advisor who teaches in his or her chosen major. Students can find information about their assigned advisor in MyCSU on the Student tab—under My Advisor.

Tip: Students should contact the Career Center to get a login and password for both the MBTI and the Strong Interest Inventory. After taking the inventories, they should contact the Career Center at 843-863-8019 to schedule an appointment to obtain and review their results.

Tip: When students change their major they automatically update to the degree requirements in the most current academic catalog for the major and minor. When students add a second major, they update to the most recent catalog for both majors and the minor.

Changing a Major


  • “I’m bored to tears in my current major courses”
  • Your student is doing poorly in his or her current major courses
  • Your student chose his or her current major without much thought
  • Your student keeps reading and asking about other majors

Be sure to ask if the classes are required for the major or part of the liberal arts core. All students are required to take a minimum of 47 hours in a broad range of disciplines as part of their graduation requirements.

Be sure to ask if your student has taken advantage of tutoring services and professor office hours to get assistance.

Be sure to ask your student if his or her decision was made with the help of a career counselor either in high school or college.

Be sure to ask your student if he or she has sought out advice from an advisor.