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Advising Arcana Made Plain
How many hours should a student take?
The standard load is 15 hours per semester; students must average that many in order to graduate in eight semesters. The University treats the range from 12 to 20 hours as a full load, and charges extra for hours over 20. Students who need full-time status must take at least 12 hours; some students will have scholarships that require them to carry at least 15.
How do I get an up-to-date DARS?
From the Advisee List, click the DARS icon:
When the DARS page appears, click “Refresh Audit."
How does a student declare a concentration?
She doesn’t. The DARS will distribute classes to the Core and among the Concentrations in accordance with the best algorithm the Registrar’s Office could apply to our situation. When a concentration is completed, that requirement will turn green/convert to a plus sign. When both the Core and one Concentration are completed, the Major will turn green/read “OK.”
Where does the concentration show up on the student’s transcript?
It doesn’t. It may be helpful to present the Concentrations as less like a mini-major and more like an organizational tool, a way of creating depth and intellectual coherence within the broad variety of the major. So there is no real adverse consequence of “accidentally” fulfilling one rather than another.
My advisee meant to take a class to fulfill one category, but it is appearing somewhere else on the DARS. How do we fix that?
First, we probably have to wait until after the grade is submitted to know for certain where the course is going to end up on the DARS. If it can meet a requirement, it may well initially be placed there—even if that requirement is already met. After grades come in, the “extra” courses from individual subrequirements should move either to the next specific requirement that the course could fulfill or to the elective category. If the course is still in the wrong place after it has a grade, then the Undergraduate Director needs to ask the College to manually change the DARS.
How do I access a TDCP?
If a student has an approved TDCP, the clickable icon appears next to the one for the DARS on the Faculty & Advising page:
(Students who did not fully complete TDCPs may have an icon with a star rather than a magnifying glass.)
What do I do with the TDCP?
Ideally, encourage the student to take his classes in accordance with it. Yes, the student can move things from one semester to another, but both your lives will be easier if you keep the shuffling to a minimum.
Why is the TDCP so ugly?
We’re all about keeping it real.
TDCPs approved at the Department level are (officially) valid for advising about major courses only—they are not a binding agreement with the College. Ask Beth for a scan if you think you have an advisee with such a TDCP.
My advisee is doing the new major, but the DARS still shows the old one. How do I best advise her for the time being?
There are two tools to help. First, run a What-if DARS for English with catalog year 2012-13. (To create a What-if DARS, go to the page from which you would normally select which of the student’s DARS you want to see; the Request What-If DARS Report button is in the bottom center of the screen.)
If the student has a TDCP, check the attached Major Worksheet to see what quarter-class substitutions we had approved for the semester requirements. (If these are not showing up in the right place on the What-If DARS, they will have to be processed individually after the correct official DARS has been generated; see below). You should now have a picture of what her remaining English coursework looks like, and can use the TDCP to schedule it.
My advisee doesn’t have a TDCP. Which major should he do?
Students who have taken all three surveys (251/2/3) should do the old major. Students who have taken only two surveys may choose—although Creative Writing majors/concentrators will almost certainly be better off doing the new major (fewer classes required). Students who have done only one of the surveys should do the new major.
My advisee who doesn’t have a TDCP is doing the new major. How should his quarter classes count toward the semester requirements?
Use this chart.
How do we get my advisee’s actual, official DARS to show the new major?
The student needs to ask the College to change her catalog of entry. To do this, she should email from the student’s official OU email account; the student should request that her catalog of entry be changed to 2012-13, and include both her PID and current major code. If the student has one of our now-discarded major codes—Creative Writing (BA5232), Pretheology (BA5233), or Prelaw (BA5234)—she will ALSO need to request a change of major code to the current English one, BA5231.
Remind me which courses substitute for quarters requirements.
Use this chart.
The electives section (subrequirement #5) says that the student needs a total of 10 hours. (For CW majors, this is subrequirement #7, and it says 8 hours.) That doesn’t come out to an even number of classes—what does the student really have to take?
The number of hours stated on the DARS is a straight conversion from the quarter hours—either 16 quarter hours converted to 10 semester ones or 12 hours quarter hours converted to 8. Of course, we usually don’t think in terms of hours—we think of those requirements in terms of classes. Because the number of classes required on semesters was not a whole number, we rounded the required number of classes down when we did the TDCP; I called this the “transition discount.” In effect, English and Prelaw students need 3 electives (3 classes with the normal number of hours or a combination of classes and internships adding up to the normal hours for three classes) and Creative Writing students need 2. There will be some hours left that are still “needed,” according to the DARS; if the number of hours left over is less than 3, you and the student can ignore them.
My advisee, who is a Q2S student, has questions about fulfilling his minor. What do I tell him?
Tell him to consult an advisor in the department of his minor. We have no power over other programs’ curricula, so any advice we give is open to countermanding from the department that actually owns the program.
How does a student fulfill the requirement?
One of three ways:
- 1) The most common way is to take and pass the last course of the second year of instruction (i.e., the course numbered 2120; on quarters it was 213). Both AP and transfer credit count.
- 2) OU placement more advanced than 2120. If the student’s placement test puts her in the third year or after, the requirement is fulfilled. If the student speaks a language other than English at home, this is likely to happen. You can find the list of languages for OU placement tests through the college.
- 3) Fluency demonstrated through the NYU Foreign Language 12-point exam. This costs about $350, and is the only way to test out of a language we don’t offer here. Students interested in pursuing this should contact the A&S Undergraduate Student Affairs office.
Do we offer ASL?
Yes, but only in Lancaster.
Do the semester College distribution requirements include the old depth (at least so many hours in a subject) or breadth (more than one subject) requirements?
No. A student can take three classes in POLS and be done with the Social Science category, or take one each from three different departments.
My advisee is fulfilling the quarters version of the major, so that part is fine, but the DARS still shows the quarter requirements for the College as well. Does she have to do what is shown on the DARS for distribution?
No. The College will in fact allow her to graduate using the new requirements (33 hours total, with at least 9 hours in each area).
My advisee’s semester DARS shows more than 8 but less than 9 hours for one of the Arts & Sciences distribution areas. Do I get to round up, or does the student need more hours?
If this is a Q2S transition student and the fraction comes from converting quarter credits, you can round up. The College will accept 8.1+ as equivalent to 9 for individual areas in the A&S requirements.
Who should get one?
Any student who is currently taking what (she thinks) is her last term of classes OR—even better—any student who has preregistered for her last term of classes.
How does the student request a graduation check?
She goes to the A&S Undergraduate Affairs office (bottom floor of Wilson). Important note: If the student made the Q2S transition and does not have a College-approved TDCP, she needs to take a completed Departmental Grad Check Form and a copy of her DARS with her to the College. The form must be signed by the student, the academic advisor, and the Undergraduate Director.
Um... what am I supposed to do with the Departmental Grad Check form?
The left column is for ENG courses remaining to complete the major. The right column is for non-ENG courses required to complete the major; this is only of use to us for Prelaw concentrators, who may have extradepartmental electives left. If the courses remaining are straightforward and will not require any fancy substitutions on the DARS, fill it out using the course numbers the student is taking or will take, sign it, have the student sign it, and give it to the Undergraduate Director (who will let the student know when she can pick it up again). If it is not straightforward or does require fancy substitutions, send the student to the Undergraduate Director.