Undergraduate Students' Academic Advisement


In American universities, every student, especially one who is new to the university, is required to meet regularly with an academic advisor in order for them to succeed academically and to graduate in time.

To better prepare you for the academic demands of higher education in the U.S., these activities are designed to expose you to authentic experience through video clips showing a meeting between an academic advisor and a student at California State University, Los Angeles, an urban state university located in the heart of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

  Sequence: Click on each box to explore the activities in the order as shown.


1   2   3   4


Declaring your Major

Transferring Credits

Speeding up General Education (GE) Courses


It is alright if you are not certain which major you would like to select while studying in the university. In the U.S., many freshmen are entering the university with an 'undeclared-major' status. The following activities allow you to learn more about general rules and appropriate academic practices you need to know in making a decision about or 'declaring' your major.


Print out the pre-meeting checklist and use it as a preparation guide for questions or issues you may want to discuss with your academic advisor during the meeting.

You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this page.


Visit this Web page to learn more about an academic advisor and use the information read to fill out the pre-meeting checklist provided in Step 1.


View the following video clip. While viewing, pay attention to these issues:

    1) The type of help or options that are available for undeclared major students at this particular university.
    2) Ask yourself which option you would go for if you were in the same situation as the student shown in the video clip.

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Video Clip

Declaring Your M

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Incorporate the information learned from Steps 1 - 3 to complete this multiple-choice activity


At Cal State L.A., there is a course called UNIV 101, which is specially provided for undeclared-major undergraduate students in addition to the personal assistance provided by the Academic Advisement Center.

In the U.S. higher education system, students have an option to transfer their credits from one institution to another midway through a degree as long as certain requirements are met. The flexibility of this credit system allows students to combine credits taken from different institutions towards their degree requirements as long as the credits transferred are acceptable in place of the credits at the institution where the degree is pursued.


View the following video clip. While viewing, pay attention to these issues:

    1) The type of classes the student can take from another institution.

    2) The process needed to follow when transferring credits.

    3) How the courses at these two institutions are being compared using the Articulation Manual.

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Video Clip

Transferring Credits

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Use the information learned from Step 1 to complete this multiple-choice activity.


To better understand how the Articulation Manual works, print out this sample courses articulation chart.

Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this page.


Use the printout chart in Step 3 to complete this matching activity.


General Education (GE) courses are courses that every undergraduate student is required to take in order to fulfill degree requirements. These GE courses cover diverse fields of study including politics, economics, sociology, written and oral communication, critical thinking, mathematics, as well as arts and literatures. Usually, it takes one to one and a half year to fulfill GE requirements, however, if you want to complete them faster, there are options that you can take to fulfill such needs.


View the following video clip. While viewing, pay attention to these issues:

    1) The options available for this student to fulfill his needs.

    2) Ask yourself whether you would also like to speed up your GE courses? If so, which option would you take? If not, why?

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Video Clip

Speeding up GE Courses

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To learn more about another option to speed up GE requirements at California State Universities, read the EPT & ELM tests page.


 Incorporate the information learned from Step 1 and Step 2 to complete this multiple-choice activity.


If you want to learn more about GE requirements, check out these Web pages provided by California State University, Los Angeles:
- GE Advisement page

- Goals and objectives of the GE requirements

Let's move on to the Final Checklist

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 Copyrightę 2004 R. Suchin
This page was last updated on January 30, 2005