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Professional Studies

Academic Advising

Contact Professional Studies  

Professional Studies


Lawrence Center Rm. 222
West Chester, PA 19383
Fax: 610-436-2600


Professor Bruce Norris

*To set up an appointment for in-person program information,
change of major or your semester appointment, contact Professor Norris'
administrative support at 610-436-3548,

Academic Advising

Academic advising plays a significant role in the student’s successful completion of any degree program. The Professional Studies program of study is as unique and varied as the individual students in the major. As a result, regular consultation with your academic advisor becomes essential.

The academic advisor’s role is to make certain that the requirements for the major are clearly explained to the student. However, the academic advisor’s role goes beyond this simple function.

Your advisor

  • serves as a sounding board for the student as they prepare and execute their designed academic program;s
  • serves as a source of information about university academic policies and procedures; and
  • serves as a resource with whom to discuss an investigate options available to the student after graduation.

As a result of good academic advising along with active involvement by the student in the process, the student is empowered to make informed decisions about their academic program of study and their academic plan. In essence, the student takes ownership of their educational experience. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements for the degree are met in order to earn their degree.

Professor Norris, the program director, is a long-time member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA): the Global Community for Academic Advising. Over the years, he has presented on relevant academic advising topics at the local, regional and national level.

Responsibilities of Advisor

  • Assisting the student as they develop their individualized academic program of study;
  • Exploring with the student their individual interests, abilities and goals;
  • Counseling the student in the selection and sequencing of courses that meet the various degree requirements;
  • Identifying university resources that may be of value to the student, and making appropriate, timely referrals to those resources; and
  • Being aware of university academic policies and procedures as they relate to the needs of the student.

Responsibilities of Advisee

  • Check your WCU email on a regular basis for important communication from the University and from the Professional Studies Dept.;
  • Meeting with your academic advisor at appropriate times during the semester/term;
  • Being aware of important, relevant deadlines and then meet them;
  • Completing all relevant procedures in a timely fashion (i.e. change of major, addition of minors, course enrollment matters, application for graduation, etc.);
  • Reviewing university policies and procedures as needed;
  • Developing and clarifying the values and goals that impact your academic decision-making;
  • Creating an academic plan for your remaining semesters;
  • Understanding the requirements of the major and chosen minors;
  • Understanding the university general education requirement;
  • Having knowledge of the university undergraduate catalog;
  • Examining your academic record and your Degree Progress Report on a regular basis;
  • Saving all academic advising and course registration documents;
  • Being aware of course prerequisites and sequencing related to your minors; and
  • Recognizing the value of the resources available on campus and making good, timely use of them.

Academic Advising in the Major

Academic advising for the Professional Studies major begins at the initial meeting between the student and the Program, almost always occurring prior to the student’s acceptance into the major.  At that time, the various requirements of the major will be explained to the student.  An academic advising sheet will be completed, incorporating all courses taken to that point, along with courses being taken at that time. There will be a discussion about the requirement that two academic minors be chosen and completed, as well as a preliminary exploration of possible minors of interest. The student’s short-term and long-term goals will be discussed. Students are then encouraged to complete the change of major process which is executed via the myWCU portal. Minor applications may also be submitted at that time, also via myWCU.

Students are expected to use the information they receive at this initial meeting to develop an academic plan. The plan should include the minors they wish to pursue, the courses they want/need to take and a tentative timeline to degree completion.

The student should plan to meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester, more often if the student or the advisor sees the need. Ideally, the required meeting should take place approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the student’s course enrollment date for the upcoming term/semester. At that meeting, the student’s progress toward degree completion is evaluated, the academic plan is reviewed and modified if needed and course selection is examined.

Students are encouraged to consult their academic advisor at any time they have a question or want to address an issue of concern. That consultation may take place over the telephone, email or office visit. Please note that email communications should NOT be considered confidential. Please exercise appropriate levels of caution. Do not include any information such as student id numbers, social security numbers, grades, GPA, etc.

Academic Advising for the Minors

Students in the Professional Studies program are required to earn two academic minors as part of their degree requirement. Upon acceptance into the minor, students will be assigned a minor advisor. Often, the department chair will serve in this capacity. In some departments, individual faculty are designated as minor advisors. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the minor advisor as soon as they apply to the Professional Studies major. At that meeting, the requirements for the minor are explained and course options are given. The student is responsible for completing all minor requirements. Students who fail to consult their minor advisors are accountable for any mistakes made in pursuing the minor.

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