More Information.
More details.Hide details.
  • The Four Year Advising Discussion Guide

Academic Support Center

  • Print
  • Academic Advising Commitment

    University Mission: Minnesota State University Moorhead is a caring community promising all students the opportunity to discover their passions, the rigor to develop intellectually and the versatility to shape a changing world.

    Advising Mission: Academic advising creates an educational environment with relationships that support students in discovering their passions and facilitates student’s understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education and promotes intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning.

    The Four-Year Advising Discussion Guide

  • Advisors initiate discussions with their advisees in the areas noted.
    First Year: Exploration Who am I?

    Discover Passions


    How the Liberal Arts and Science Curriculum contribute to an educated person

    • The mission of MSUM is to develop knowledge, talent and skills for a lifetime of learning, service and citizenship. The Liberal Arts and Sciences (LASC) Curriculum is constructed to provide basic knowledge and skills as well as breadth.

    Personal and academic skills, abilities, interests and values that help explore majors


    Develop Intellectually


    Critical thinking skills, academic success strategies and positive learning attitudes

    College resources

    Academic Integrity

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    How to find and use the Degree Audit Report (DAR)

    Graduation requirements and major requirements

    Connections between LASC courses and major curriculum courses

    Shape a Changing World and Participate as a Community Member


    The roles and responsibilities that characterize successful advisor-advisee relationships

    The mission of MSUM

    Behaviors that promote wellness and advance a healthy campus and community

    The importance of meaningful relationships with faculty, staff and students

    • Benefits of creating relationships with Faculty/Staff:
      • Guide student on which major to declare
      • Assist with time management issues and suggest effective study strategies
      • Connect students to internships, competitive awards, graduate programs, or summer jobs related to major
      • Provide letter of recommendation
    • Benefit of creating relationships with other students:
      • Develop lifelong connections
      • Connecting socially is a great stress reliever
      • Learn from people who are different from you
      • Engaging in college builds confidence and leadership skills

    The importance of participation in the campus community

    • With all the different organizations and clubs, you will find many ways to meet new people, improve your leadership skills, build self-esteem, take on more responsibility, and accomplish goals that will enhance your future.

    The significance of cultures for self and others

    Understand personal finances and student debt management

    Advisors initiate discussions with their advisees in the areas noted.
    Second Year: Reflection Who do I really want to become?

    Discover Passions


    Choosing and/or committing to a major

    Sources for academic majors and career information

    Student Relations Coordinators

      Hanson, Dana
    • College of Arts, Media and Communication
    • Office: BR 250
    • Phone: 218.477.2508
    • Email:

      Proulx, Megan
    • College of Science, Health, and the Environment
    • Office: HA 107
    • Phone: 218.477.2259
    • Email:

      Schluter, Makenna
    • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Office: FR 154
    • Phone: 218.477.2704
    • Email:


    Develop Intellectually


    How to shape an academic identity


    On and off campus learning opportunities

    Realistic academic and personal expectations

    Scholarship and research opportunities

    Leadership opportunities in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities

    Confirm requirements specific to major

    • Bulletin
    • Review DARs and graduation requirements with Advisor

    Shape a Changing World and Participate as a Community Member


    The benefit of engaging differences

    The responsibility of contributing to the campus and the broader community through meaningful service and leadership

    Serving as role model for first-year students and others

    • "Being a role model to first year students means showing them what MSUM really has to offer. When I first came to school, I wanted to be a dentist. (I love teeth and smiles are my favorite). Dentistry is not what I will be doing with my life. From learning about myself in these four quick years, I know that I have real passion for motivating and supporting people. That could be in health and fitness or just being happy with who they are. At MSUM, its not just about an education. It’s about bringing out your best self. Each opportunity that MSUM offers us, especially through first year programs, is like receiving a piece of a puzzle. The more pieces of the puzzle you collect, the more clear it becomes on who you want to be and what you can do in the future." -Jackie Woods, 2015 Homecoming Queen
    Advisors initiate discussions with their advisees in the areas noted.
    Third Year: Clarification What is my place in the world?

    Discover Passions


    Internships and a well-rounded education

    Graduate school options and the necessary preparation for acceptance


    Develop Intellectually


    Graduation policies and requirements

    Opportunities to participate in public lectures, presentations and scholarly research

    Assuming academic and co-curricular leadership

    Junior DAR review and plan for completion of graduation requirements

    Shape a Changing World and Participate as a Community Member


    The importance of ongoing relationships with two or three key faculty

    • “When she became my advisor I was a new, and very unfocused, communication studies student. For the next two years, Dr.Hest went above and beyond to make sure that I was not only successful as a student, but as a working professional. She helped me identify my passions, make the most of my course schedule, and personally checked in with me often to make sure I was on the right track. Without her help I would have never been able to figure out how to graduate with a major, a double minor and certificate in just four years.” -Bethany Hill, 2013

    The roles and responsibilities that come with being an upperclassman both on and off campus

    • What are your plans after graduation?
    • What do you want to do once you have your degree?
    • How will you use what you learned in college to help your community and shape a changing world?
    • Strong professional connections are important. How will you stay connected with people who provided guidance and support?

    Essential connections between classroom and out-of-classroom learning

    Advisors initiate discussions with their advisees in the areas noted.
    Fourth Year: Transition How can I shape a changing world?

    Discover Passions


    Career opportunities in major and beyond


    Develop Intellectually


    Final check on degree/graduation requirements

    Application for graduation at last advising meeting

    Specific plans and preparations for graduate study

    Resources available to help with transition


    Shape a Changing World and Participate as a Community Member


    How to tell my MSUM story

    • How would you define Dragon Pride?
    • How have you changed since your first year at MSUM?
    • How has MSUM prepared you for a lifetime of learning, service and citizenship?

    Share your alumni story.

    How to establish mentoring relationships with alumni and other key professionals


    Evaluate leadership roles on and off campus
    Many transferable skills are developed while in leadership roles. Transferable skills are the skills that are applicable from job to job and to a variety of work settings.

    • Thinking about your position, develop a list of job responsibilities within this position.
    • What transferable skills have you gained from your position?
    • What accomplishments (both recognized and unrecognized) have you made in the position?

    Dragon Central

    How an MSUM degree is preparation for a changing world

    What it means to be a MSUM Alumnus