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First Meeting: Things to Cover

Course Election for Fall Term

Pre-Meeting Blitz

  • Blitz your advisees to tell them during what half-hour block you have scheduled their meeting on 9/13.  You can ask your advisees to do the following in preparation:
  • Instruct them to fill out the "Advising Questionnaire" form online before their appointment with you.
  • Encourage students to take any and all placement tests for subjects in which they might have proficiency.  Better to do so and score abominably than not and find oneself wasting time and money in a class a student didn't need to take.  Placement tests are offered online and on campus before and during orientation. Please note that the chemistry and music, exams are ONLY offered on Tuesday 9/10. Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew and Japanese speaking exams are ONLY offered on Thursday, 9/12.  The full placement exam schedule can be found on the Orientation website:

Things to Cover

  • Review of first-year requirements:
    • Residency Requirement (three-terms of residence)
    • Writing Requirement: Writing 5, or its two-term equivalent Writing 2-3, followed by a first-year seminar.  The Humanities 1-2 sequence, if both completed, can fulfill the first-year writing requirement in place of Writing 5 and a first-year seminar
      (For more information see General Academic Requirements for Graduation)
  • Review and explain Distributive Requirements
    (For more information see Distributives)
  • Discussion of language requirement, options, and plans
    (See The Language Requirement)
    • A student must have completed the language requirement by the end of the seventh term.
    • Ask advisee what his or her plans are for fulfilling the language requirement.  It is a good idea that the student:
      1. know which language they want to study to complete the requirement
      2. know how many terms they will need to complete the requirement
      3. know whether they want to incorporate off-campus-study into their D-Plan.

The language requirement need not be begun in a student’s first term at Dartmouth. However, it is a good idea that the courses be taken sequentially, and should be coordinated with potential plans for an LSA or LSA+, which is often done in the sophomore year.

Discussion of Schedule and Course Election

  • Students who have been placed into Writing 2-3 will already be enrolled in a section by their advising meeting, and they will choose their other two courses around the time slot of their Writing 2-3 course.
  • Students placed into fall term Writing 5 will elect one Writing 5 section at the same time as their other two fall term courses online through course election in Bannerstudent.
  • Students no longer select alternate schedules.
  • Check enrollment sizes and caps for all courses in which your advisee is interested. This is important in order to: 1) have a notion of the likelihood of your advisee getting in to his/her desired courses, and 2) plan a balance of courses, so that your advisee isn't taking only large lectures.
  • Students should plan for alternate scenarios in case they do not get into their preferred Writing 5 section, or fall term courses during initial course election. In that case, they will need to choose another section of Writing 5, or an alternate course from among those with space available beginning Saturday, September 14.
  • Use the Faculty Advising Phonebank to call representative faculty regarding courses about which you may have questions

Remind students that they are not locked into their initial selections for the first two weeks.  They can drop or add any class freely until Sept. 22.  They can add a course with the permission of instructor until Sept. 29. They can drop a third course without penalty until Sept. 29.  A fourth course dropped AFTER Sept. 29 will exhaust one of the three eligibilities for taking a fourth course without extra tuition.  They can drop a fourth course without penalty until Oct. 24.

If a class seems inappropriate they can consider other alternatives.  The choice of their schedule is ultimately their own.

Last Updated: 9/26/13