Academic Advising Handbook

The academic advising handbook is an online document that is designed to aid faculty and staff members in their roles as an advisor. The academic advising handbook is updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in advising procedures. Suggested course sequences are updated on an annual basis to reflect any changes in curriculum.

General Policies

All freshmen entering Milligan University are assigned a faculty mentor who will function as the academic adviser for that year. All other students will be assigned an adviser, usually from within the discipline in which the student is majoring. Milligan University requires regular meetings between students and their academic mentors or advisers—three meetings per semester for freshmen and once per semester for all other students. At one of those meetings, the adviser approves a student’s schedule of classes for the following semester. Failure to meet with academic advisers will result in an inability to register for classes.

Students are especially encouraged to consult with advisers on a regular basis. While a student‘s satisfactory progress toward graduation is the responsibility of the student, regular contact with one‘s adviser can help ensure timely progress toward graduation.

Faculty Responsibilities

All faculty members who have been at Milligan University for more than one year will have advising responsibilities unless excused by the academic dean. First year faculty members are not required to provide academic advising. Academic advising by first year faculty members is strongly discouraged.

Faculty members are expected to keep appropriate records for students in an advising folder. Advisers are encouraged to keep accurate records in an advising folder for each student that they advise. The Registrar’s office has a standard form for advising; however, faculty members are free to use or construct any form that they feel is most helpful to them in the advising process.

Faculty members are expected to meet with their advisees prior to registration and approve their schedules via self-service. After their advisees register for classes, the adviser must review the students’ schedule electronically and approve their classes.

Suggested Course Sequences »

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the current Catalog?

It is important for both advisors and students to be aware of the current Catalog under which the new students are entering. This Catalog constitutes a contract between the University and the students which lasts for six years. After six years, students have to meet current degree requirements. This Catalog specifies the academic requirements of these advisees for graduation. All students should be familiar with the general education requirements, their major requirements and minor requirements (when applicable). Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to manage his/her graduation requirements. You may access the Catalog online at

Can a student change catalogs?

Students may choose to use the catalog they entered into Milligan OR they may use any catalog and its requirements for any of the years that they are enrolled at Milligan. However, they can not pick and choose from the catalog. They must use all of the graduation requirements of the catalog they choose.

Is advising students who want to pursue a teaching license really that difficult?

Yes, it is a complicated maze of state requirements that often changes on a yearly basis. Students wishing to pursue teacher licensure must have a major in an academic major and take classes for teacher licensure. With the exception of the child and youth development major, students pursuing teacher licensure will have two different advisors: their major advisor and their education advisor. Indeed, to aid in their academic career, students wishing to pursue licensure must file an Intent to Pursue Teaching Licensure Form in the CASE Center.

Do developmental studies classes count for graduation?

No, developmental studies classes are not included in the 128 hours that is needed to graduate. However, they do figure into a student s GPA.

Are there any classes that students can test out of?

Yes, when students enter the University they can take foreign language, mathematics or computer placement testing. The only class that a student can receive credit through Milligan University testing is IS 275 (Windows Applications) for which students can receive 3 credits through testing. Questions about CLEP tests, AP credit, transfer credit, and other such questions should typically be answered through the registrar s office.

When can students drop classes without them appearing on their transcript?

Typically, students can drop classes without anything appearing on their transcript within the first two weeks of classes. Students can typically drop a class with a guaranteed W during the first 11 weeks in the semester. This date is posted on the Milligan University website.

Can a student reschedule final examinations?

A student can reschedule an exam only if a student has 3 exams scheduled on the same day. If this occurs he or she may request permission to reschedule one at a later date. The student should submit a request for rescheduling an exam to the Dean with faculty endorsement attending the request. The Director of Academic Advising encourages faculty to grant relief to students with 3 exams scheduled on the same day. Cheap airfare or the desire to get a good price on a cruise is not a valid reason to reschedule exam.

Are minors required at Milligan University?

A student may choose to pursue a minor but they are not mandatory. Some majors, such as pre-med (e.g., biology or chemistry), may strongly encourage minors. Also, students pursuing licensure in secondary education must still complete all of the teaching requirements required by Tennessee state law which is equivalent to an Educational Studies minor.

Can a course fulfill both a general education requirement and a major requirement?


  • A course can count for both a major and a general education requirement. For example, Psychology 150 is required for psychology majors. It is also a general education requirement. Thus, a psychology student might wish to take PSYC 150 and have it count towards both his or her major requirement and general education requirement. This would free up room for electives or other courses of interest.
  • A course can count for both a minor and a general education requirement.
  • Up to three courses can also “double” count for both a major and a minor requirement. For example, Business Administration majors are required to take ECON 201 and 202. The economics minor requires ECON 201 and 202. Thus if a student wanted a major in business administration and a minor in economics, ECON 201 and 202 would fulfill course requirements for both their business administration major and economics minor.


  • A course cannot fulfill more than one general education requirement. For example, a student could not count GEOG 202 as both a social learning requirement and an ethnic studies requirement.
Does a student really have to fill out paperwork to withdraw from a class?

Yes. I know this seems like a silly question, but each semester there are students who stop coming to class or drop out of school without officially withdrawing. This will result in an F. Please remind students that if they choose to withdraw from a class, they must fill out the proper paperwork.

What happens if a student does poorly in one class and afterwards decides to retake the class?

As long as the class is taken at Milligan University, the most recent grade will be the one that is figured into a student s GPA. Their past grade will be dropped from their GPA. If a student performs worse in their most recent class, the most recent class is still the grade that counts toward the GPA.

Can a student pump up their GPA by taking courses at a less demanding institution?

Beginning with students transferring in after Spring 2001, their grades will not figure into Milligan GPA s. In other words, the hours will count toward graduation, but a student’s Milligan GPA will be based only on courses taken while at Milligan.

Can a student avoid Humanities classes by taking equivalent classes at another college?

Once a student enrolls in traditional undergraduate program at Milligan University, still needing humanities courses as part of the core, those courses must be taken at Milligan University. Initial transfers can receive some Humanities credit, depending on their courses.

When does a student go on academic probation?

An undergraduate who fails to receive a 2.0 GPA during any semester of enrollment in Milligan University or who fails to have a 2.0 cumulative GPA is placed on academic probation or dismissed. If a student fails to achieve a 2.0 the following semester, the University is not obligated to grant the privilege of further study.

How do I seek accommodations for a student with a learning disability?

Students wishing to receive special accommodations for their learning disability must submit appropriate documentation to the Academic Dean. The professional counseling staff or special education faculty of Milligan University will then evaluate it. This evaluation will recommend specific accommodations. After these accommodations are approved by the Dean, the Dean will notify the student’s instructors.

I know that Humanities is a 16 hour sequence, but I have a student who transferred into Milligan with 6 hours of Humanities credit. Which Humanities course should the student sign up for?

The registrar s office completes a transfer evaluation for all students which will aid you and your advisee in choosing the appropriate Humanities credit or substitution class.

What should I do if a student is having serious social, emotional, or academic problems?

A variety of resources exist for the student experiencing these problems.

  • Our Campus Minister, Brealle Davis (423.461.8335), is an excellent resource for students who are experiencing spiritual difficulties.
  • Free counseling is available to our students at the Milligan University Counseling Center at 423.461.8500.
  • The Student Success Office is one of our key resources for students experiencing academic difficulties and can be contacted at 423.794.3088.
  • If the student is a resident student, it also advised that you contact the residence life director at 423.461.8735.

Advising Loads

  • Normal undergraduate student advising loads are considered 12-25 students. Above 25 students is an advising overload.
  • Normal graduate student advising loads are considered 6-18 students. Above 18 students is an advising overload.
  • Graduate faculty who have the reduced graduate faculty teaching load may be expected to carry both an undergraduate and a graduate advising load. In this case the total number of major advisees (not licensure) should not exceed 25.
  • Advising overloads will be factored into general load calculations, either as part of the regular faculty load if there is a low teaching load, or as a paid overload if there is a full load. Overloads are calculated as follows:
    • 1-10 students advising overload = ½ hour overload
    • 11-20 students advising overload = 1 hour overload
    • 21-30 students advising overload = 1½ hour overload
    • No faculty should have more than 30 students advising overload. Some faculty may have a reduced advising load, if requested by the Area Chair and approved by the Dean.
  • The Registrar’s Office will assign freshmen to advisors, based in part on the need to balance loads across disciplines, taking into consideration special needs of some majors by concentrating more students among selected advisors. If it is necessary to assign students to advisors outside of the major, this will be done in consultation with the area.
  • Area chairs shall assign major advisors (to rising sophomores), attempting to balance loads within the guidelines noted above. All advising load assignments will be submitted to the Dean’s office for final approval.
  • Freshman mentors are compensated by either reduced load or overload pay on a separate basis, and would not be calculated into the general advising loads defined above.


Milligan and ETSU participate in a cooperate (co-op) education agreement. The agreement allows Milligan students to take undergraduate-level courses at ETSU for the specific purpose of completing a Milligan degree program and according to the following criteria:

  • Courses taken through the co-op program must be required for completion of student’s major or approved program of study.
  • Courses equivalent to those required in a Milligan curriculum may be taken through the co-op program when there is a legitimate schedule conflict or the course will not be offered within a reasonable period of time prior to a planned graduation date. Co-op courses may not be approved for students who change their program of study in junior year or later.
  • The grades for co-op courses are recorded on the student’s Milligan transcript and count toward the student’s Milligan GPA.
  • Students must submit a Co-op Request Form to the Milligan Registrar’s Office. The form must include the reason for the request and signatures of the student, academic advisor, and area chair (for the area that typically offers the required Milligan course).
  • TN eCampus (previously Regents Online Degree Program) courses are not eligible for co-op registration.
  • Students must be enrolled as a full-time students (minimum of 12 credits) at Milligan in order to take courses through the co-op program.
  • As long as enrollment in the ETSU course falls within the 18 credit hours of a full-time course load, no additional tuition will be charged for the co-op course. However, if the course incurs additional fees (e.g. online, lab, art, etc.), the student will be billed by Milligan for the additional fees.

Undecided Students

Advisers of undecided students have the special challenge of getting their students to broaden their horizons by taking a wide variety of courses and to channel their interests into a more defined area. The following suggestions are directed to students. You may find some of them helpful in getting students to look at the old question of “What’s the best major for me?”

  • First, get to know the majors that are open to you. You may be familiar with English, History, Chemistry or Math, but do you have any real idea what Sociology, Communications or Humanities are all about as major fields? Before you choose a major field, read a catalog description of each major and then talk to faculty members in those academic areas.
  • Get first-hand experience. Experiment with different courses before making decisions. A note of caution: don’t limit yourself to beginning level courses that exist primarily to fulfill general education requirements. They sometimes are too broad in scope to give you an accurate picture of the major.
  • Evaluate what you’ve earned to date. What courses have you enjoyed the most? Least? Why? How do the majors you’re considering relate to your interests, abilities and values? This evaluation should help you narrow your choices to a few possibilities.
  • Review the career resources available at the Milligan Career Planning website.
  • Evaluate the majors you’re considering. You’re close to making a choice. The following checklist may help you confirm or reassess your decision.

Do you know:

  • What preparatory courses are required?
  • What is the minimum Grade Point Average for acceptance into the major?
  • How many courses in the major are required?
  • Are the courses in the major field sequential or non-sequential?
  • Are the examinations in the field finite reasoning or easy?
  • How much freedom is there for elective courses?
  • How many credits are needed to graduate in the major?
  • Who is the area advisor? Can I work with this person?

Excerpted by Bert Allen from “Choosing the right major,” At&T’s College Series