FAQ for Advisors

Information Specific to the Degree Plans

How should I name the plans each semester?

  • In the description field of the plan the name of the plan should reflect the term for which it is being modified or created

Ex: if you are advising for Fall 2014 then the plan should be described as Fall 2014, 2014-15 History Major (BS)

  • If there is not enough space in the description field, remove the academic year

Ex: Spring 2015, Recreation & Sport Mgt, Recreational Therapy Concentration (BS)

What do I do in case a student is in the honors program?

  • Students enrolled in the honors program should have FS SBS, FS LS, FS FPA, FS ESR, and 1 FS UDIE removed from the degree plan. These should be replaced with the G_H courses, G_H 101, G_H 201, G_H 301, G_H 401.
  • Please note: if an advisor has removed the FS courses and replaced them with the G_H courses, the FS courses can still be monitored in the degree audit.

What are the differences between “Worksheet” and “Plan”?

  • The “Worksheet” tab in MySam displays the students “Degree-Audit”, that is, it is a complete history of what courses the student has finished and what courses the student has left to do in order to complete their degree and graduate. This information is pulled from Banner and updated nightly.
  • The “Plan” tab in MySam displays what courses the student has planned to take in order to graduate in four years. This information is inputted by the advisor and is updated at every advisement meeting and before priority registration of each semester.

What is a good strategy for Critical Courses?

  • Critical courses are those courses that the department has deemed important and should be taken in the semester they are listed. When a student does not take a critical course in the semester they are required to, they are deemed “off-track.”
  • Advisors should leave critical courses in the semesters they are to be taken while duplicating the missed critical course in the next available semester. Although this will create two instances of the course, the degree plan is for what the student still needs to take. Additionally, leaving the critical course in the semester it was supposed to be taken allows for the tracking and reporting of missed critical courses.

How do I handle the addition of Majors and Minors?

  • Students who add/drop second majors and minors should have those majors and minors put into their degree plans. Even though only the first major is covered under the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee, the addition of a second major and/or minors needs to be reflected in the student’s degree plan. Remember the plan is for what courses the students need to take in order to graduate, this includes second majors and minors.

Selection of Catalog Years

  • Degree templates are based on a Fall-Spring Academic Year and students degree plans should reflect the semester and year in which the student starts. Some students (especially those prior to 2013) will change the catalog year of their major. In this case, the degree template for the catalog year desired is selected, but the fall in which they started should still be selected.

Ex: A 2012-2013 cohort student changes their catalog year to 2013-2014, the new degree template should have a start date of Fall 2012 selected.

What are the differences between “Save” and “Save As”?

  • “Save” button saves the plan and all changes made.
  • “Save As” button creates a saved copy of the plan with all changes that were made. This means you should only use “Save As” two times a year (Before priority registration for the fall/spring).

EX: Fall 2014, 2014-15 Psychology Major Spring 2015, 2014-15 Psychology Major (Use “Save As” when making this change) In either case, whether using “Save” or “Save As,” always select “SAVE AND APPROVE NOW.” Remember to save often as prolonged changes without saving do not always get saved