While one role of academic advising concerns the selection of courses, the pastoral counseling and spiritual care programs aim to provide a relationship between student and advisor that focuses on success in the program, professional development, and intellectual growth as you journey with us.
Master of science and master of art students are assigned a group academic adviser who assists students with academic planning while matriculated in individual pastoral counseling programs. Ph.D. students and M.S./Ph.D. students are assigned a faculty mentor when they are accepted into the program. Read more information concerning the student-mentor relationship for Ph.D. students and M.S./Ph.D. students.
Student needs are diverse across all of our academic programs and we realize that you may have concerns about your progression through the program, your ability for success in certain academic areas of concern, and the critical balance of life, work, and school. As you proceed through your program of study, it is recommended that you proactively ask your advisor questions, express your concerns, and alert your advisor when any concerning issue arises that may affect your academic standing.
Students are asked to explore the links below for specific information related to their degree program and to find the required electronic forms for academic advising.
The expectation is that students meet with their group advisors to secure information or advice about which courses best meet their needs, to determine when they are ready to begin or continue the clinical portion of a program, to plan their courses of study, to resolve academic problems, and to select or register for their courses.
Students are responsible for:
- Completing and maintaining a current electronic copy of their Academic Planning Guide on file with their academic advisor (academic advising forms);
- Keeping track of all courses taken and grades received, including knowledge about required grades (e.g. A 3.00 average must be maintained every semester);
- Completing all paperwork and/or electronic forms for registration, course drop/add, and graduation;
- Keeping the clinical director aware of any and all problems, changes, or aberrations in the clinical portion of the student’s program;
- Coordinating their schedules to meet with their academic advisor at designated times and throughout their academic program; and
- An awareness of departmental policies as outlined in the pastoral counseling student handbook and University policies as outlined in the graduate catalogue.
When concerns about academic performance or professional development arise, students will be contacted by and will meet with their academic advisor. The purpose of the meeting will be to dialogue with the student about the issue or perceived concern. Through the time together, the academic advisor and the student will develop a strategy that will successfully and adequately address the concern.
Assignment of Students to an Advisor
Each student is assigned an advisor when entering the M.S./Ph.D. or the Ph.D. The advisors will work with their students for approximately three years until a student becomes all but dissertation (ABD) and enters the dissertation process. Students are encouraged to contact their newly assigned advisor as early after acceptance as possible.
- Helping student to select the basic core courses;
- Assist student in designing the student’s advanced individualized curriculum;
- Meeting the student’s career goals;
- Assisting the student in possible problem situations; and
- Selecting a dissertation committee.
Students have the right to request an advisor change. The process to change advisors begins with the students and the advisor meeting to discuss the change and selecting another advisor. The students then contacts the new advisor to ascertain if the faculty member is willing and available to be the student’s advisor. The process continues until a new advisor is found. Faculty mentors also have the right to request that the students be reassigned if the faculty mentor believes that the match between the student and advisor is not productive. The advisor helps the student select another advisor. In the unlikely case that a student is unable to find a suitable advisor, the department’s academic committee will mediate.
Yearly Professional Assessment Review (PAR)
Each year the faculty advisor performs a routine Professional Assessment Review (PAR) with the student, including a written evaluation of the student’s progress which will be placed in the student’s department file. The student will complete the yearly Professional Assessment Review Form and email the completed form to the advisor before the yearly PAR meeting occurs.
If there is a problem area that emerges during the year, then a more formal PAR is conducted. The formal PAR will include the advisor, the student, and two additional faculty members. Students are encouraged to read more about the PAR process in the Pastoral Counseling Student Handbook.