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Advising and Registration for Freshmen

In order to assist students in maximizing their collegiate experience, an academic advising program exists that specifically suits the needs of the USD community regarding registration for classes. The program is consistent with the university’s desire to foster a supportive, interactive environment that regards all students as individuals. In academic advising, each student works individually with an advisor both on procedures for completion of the degree and on development of the skills needed to make informed decisions. Therefore, advisors assist with information about academic policies, course selection, class reservation and registration procedures, and graduation requirements, as well as facilitating decision making about educational goals, alternatives, and career needs.

Incoming Freshmen

Incoming freshmen are registered in classes during the summer prior to the fall semester by faculty members serving as summer advisors. This program initially involves faculty advisors for incoming freshmen in a small class called the preceptorial. The preceptorial class provides an opportunity for first semester freshmen to meet with their faculty advisor frequently to exchange thoughts on the student’s intellectual and academic progress. In addition to teaching the preceptorial course, the preceptor serves as the academic advisor for students in the course from the time they enter USD until the end of their sophomore year. By that time, students should be encouraged to either declare a major (where the advising responsibility shifts to the major department) or they should be referred to the Dean’s office, which provides academic advising for undeclared students.

All incoming freshmen will have advisor holds placed on their registration until they meet with their Preceptor during the Torero Days orientation. Holds will prevent incoming students from making damaging changes to their schedules, since many students do not yet fully understand the academic requirements at USD. One of the purposes of the Torero Days Preceptorial meeting is to introduce students to the Core Curriculum and the major and to trouble-shoot student schedules (math and foreign language placement, AP credit, etc.). Immediately following the Torero Days meeting, all freshmen advisor holds will be lifted automatically. During subsequent registration periods advisor holds will be used for all undeclared students, but lifted and remain lifted once a student has declared a major (with the exception of tardy graduation petitioners as outlined in point 5 below). NOTE: Undeclared freshmen and sophomores will continue to be advised by their Preceptor.

During the fall and spring semesters Preceptors are required to advise their Preceptees for the subsequent semester. As is the case in the current Banner system, freshmen eligibility for enrollment is determined by number of units completed. Prior to the registration period, all freshmen will receive an electronic notification urging them to meet with their faculty Preceptor.