2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Academic Advising

Students who enter either as first time freshmen or transfer students are provided with an educational passport that allows them to move beyond traditional classroom experiences to take advantage of the diversity of opportunities available through the University. Critical to student participation in any offerings at the University is careful and thoughtful academic advising that begins when a student enrolls in the first semester. Once the advising process begins, students and faculty begin development of an advising relationship that continues throughout the student's educational experience.

All first year students are advised by professional advisors in one of the two Undergraduate Academic Advising Centers. Each undergraduate school has a distinct advising office with directors for each unit. During this first year, students learn about the choices and opportunities available to them through the University, gain understanding of the scope of the curriculum, and identify academic areas of interest to pursue. Students who enter as First-year-traditional CLAS students are assigned to a faculty advisor in their chosen area of study in the fall of the junior year. Traditional first-semester transfer students in CLAS are generally assigned to a faculty advisor in their second semester at Lesley or after they have earned a minimum of 60 credits. LA+D students are each assigned a professional advisor and a faculty mentor.

Faculty advisors help students with course selection in their major and provide advice and mentoring on other matters relating to the educational passport, including:

  • Exploration of the academic and studio options available at Lesley, including the choice of majors, specializations, and minors;
  • Exploration of course options available within each program, as well as the general electives available outside the field of special interest;
  • Taking responsibility for their learning to achieve their academic, visual competencies, and professional goals;
  • Building strong and trusting relationships to ensure effective communication between advisors and students, and extending to the academic support areas of the University;
  • Understanding the role of co-curricular activities in relation to their academic programs of study;
  • Assessing life and career goals;
  • Pursuing learning opportunities such as study abroad, independent study, or other forms of experiential learning.

Adult students who are either attending classes part-time or full-time also have the benefit of a professional academic advisor through Lesley’s Center for the Adult Learner (LCAL).  LCAL advisors work closely with returning adult students in conjunction with program faculty to ensure an easy transition to Lesley and assist adults in navigating their paths to graduation.  Students who identify themselves as adult (non-traditional) learners to Lesley’s admission counselors will be matched with an LCAL advisor who typically will remain the student’s advisor throughout their time at Lesley. Certain programs will transition adult learners from LCAL advisors to faculty advisors early in the student’s time at Lesley.

All students should meet regularly with their advisors to seek advice about how to successfully meet the requirements of their degree program(s). The final responsibility for fulfilling these requirements rests with the student. All students should utilize the services and resources of the appropriate undergraduate academic advising center to maximize the advising support available from the professional advisors in the centers.

The Missions of the Academic Advising Centers

Academic Advising at Lesley University facilitates student academic success through proactive advising and the promotion of self-advocacy. At the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Advising Office provides outreach and proactive initiatives to support undergraduate students in their transition to college and, in particular, their acclimation to the University as a place to discover, learn and grow. The academic advising team is committed to empowering students to take ownership of their academic, career, and personal aspirations by assisting them in the development of intentional and strategic educational plans that align with their long-term goals.

At the College of Art and Design, professional advisors and faculty mentors assist students in developing aesthetic awareness, professional creativity, and productivity. Advisors guide students in gaining perceptual, conceptual, expressive abilities, and strong communication skills. Academic advising relationships foster student learning in the areas of problem solving activities, independent thinking, and understanding student roles and responsibilities for self-advocacy during college-life and beyond.

Advisors in the Center for the Adult Learner offer adult students across the university specialized advising based on their knowledge of the often unique needs of working adults who are balancing their busy lives and higher education.

Academic Advising Goals

  • Guide students as they explore their individual values, interests, and skills in relation to majors and academic opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Ensure that students have access to knowledgeable and informed advisors who demonstrate care and respect for human and cultural differences.
  • Communicate regularly with students and provide accurate information regarding policies and procedures to make informed decisions.
  • Continually assist students in understanding the relationship between a liberal arts education, academic success, and lifelong learning.
  • Foster partnerships between students and advisors, recognizing that each share responsibility in the advising process.

Advisee's Role and Responsibilities

As members of a diverse college community, students recognize that they are committed to the process of lifelong learning and strive to work with their advisors in this process.

The advisee-advisor relationship is based on a philosophy of shared responsibility. Ultimate responsibility for satisfying college and professional requirements rests with the student.

The following are responsibilities of advisees:

  • Read the academic catalog carefully, be aware of degree programs and requirements at the University, and make use of all academic resources on campus
  • Come to advising meetings prepared by gathering all relevant decision-making information
  • Become knowledgeable about college programs, academic policies, and deadlines-and follow them!
  • Accept responsibility for decisions made
  • Keep advisor up to date on any changes in your academic progress and/or plans and any medical, financial, or personal issues that may affect your academic performance
  • Regularly read Lesley University email and the MyLesley Advising Community website
  • Communicate with your advisor; ask questions if a specific concern or an issue is not clear
  • Attend pre-registration and other advising meetings
  • Obtain advisor sign-off on course selections each semester
  • Monitor progress of meeting program requirements
  • Utilize university resources
  • Meet deadlines as appropriate

Advisor's Role and Responsibilities

Professional and faculty advisors view academic advising as integral to the college's educational philosophy of being responsive to the needs of students.

The advisor-advisee relationship is based on a philosophy of shared responsibility. Ultimate responsibility for satisfying college and professional requirements and goals rests, however, with the advisee.

The following are the responsibilities of advisors:

  • Help students define and develop academic and career interests/goals
  • Assist students with developing an educational plan that is consistent with their goals, interests, and abilities
  • Understand and effectively explain curriculum, graduation requirements, and university and college policies and procedures
  • Match students’ needs with available resources and make appropriate referrals
  • Listen to students’ concerns and respect their individual values and choices
  • Monitor students’ academic progress
  • Be available to answer students’ questions through scheduled meetings or email
  • Create student-advisor collaborative relationship
  • Encourage exploration across disciplines
  • Promote integration of academic and life experiences
  • Assist student graduation within appropriate time-line
  • Support students to prepare for graduate study and/or a professional career

Student-Athlete Academic Support

Students who represent the University in intercollegiate competition are assisted with transitions to the campus and balancing athletics with college academic life. Lesley University Athletics is committed to ensuring that student-athletes meet University and NCAA standards while working on academic requirements for degree completion. Through the student athletes' academic advisors and with the collaborative assistance of faculty advisors and the Dean's offices of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Art and Design, student athletes are encouraged to excel in the classroom. Student-athletes are encouraged to utilize tutoring and academic support services provided by the Center for Academic Achievement, which is located on the second floor in Doble Hall.

Change of Advisor

Students requesting a change of advisor should submit a change of advisor form to their respective Academic Advising Center. Requests for a particular advisor are granted upon consultation with the requested advisor and the Director of Advising.

Declaration of Major

CLAS students usually declare a major at the point of admission. Students who enter as undeclared however, must declare a major by the completion of 48 credits. Students choosing to major in Education or Art Therapy must declare their major upon the completion of 30 credits.

LA+D students usually declare a major at the point of admission. LA+D students who are unsure as to the major upon entry are recommended to choose a major upon completion of 30 credits.

Program Evaluations

Any student with a declared major has access to their program evaluation (i.e. – degree audit) on LOIS at any time during their Lesley career.  Program evaluations are maintained by the Registrar’s office and are updated as necessary. Using the information detailed in the program evaluation, each student is required to meet with his/her academic advisor every semester to plan an appropriate schedule for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. Students and advisors should communicate any adjustments to the program evaluation (such as course substitutions, course waivers, or changes to the distribution of credits) to the Registrar’s office.  It is the student's responsibility to schedule this appointment with their academic advisor. Failure to do so may result in an error in course selection, which could adversely affect a student's graduation date.