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Academic Advising

Office of Undergraduate Studies
Kansas State University
103 Leadership Studies
Manhattan, KS  66506

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For Advisors: Advising Special Populations

culturally diverse students

Student Athletes

At Kansas State, being a champion is more than winning trophies on the field or on the court. It is about being a champion in the classroom, and most importantly, becoming a champion in life.

Advising Needs
The NCAA has specific eligibility requirements, and every year each student athlete’s eligibility must be evaluated. There are two ways the student-athlete may complete these requirements:

  1. The student may earn twenty-four countable hours during the academic year and only 25% of those may come from the summer semesters.
  2. The student-athlete may average twenty-four countable hours over full-time semesters. If the student-athlete does not meet one of these requirements, then the student-athlete is ineligible. In addition, the student must pass six countable hours each long semester.

Some possible mistakes can lead to a student-athlete becoming ineligible:

  • Developmental Courses: A developmental course only counts as an eligible hour the first year the student is enrolled in any University. If the student-athlete is not a Freshman, then the course will not count toward the twenty-four hours.
  • Repeat Courses: A course that a student has already received credit for will not count toward the twenty-four hours. The advisor reviews the student’s records to make certain that he has not taken the class before. If the student did not pass the class, then he may retake it for hours if it is not developmental. In addition, if a student wants to retake a class to improve his G.P.A., then he must understand that he will not receive any more hours for the repeated course.
  • Activity Courses: This really depends on the rules of the University. At Midwestern State University, all students are required to take two activity courses unless their major is Kinesiology; then they must take two more, but these are restricted to Kinesiology majors. Some students wish to take more than two. In this case, the student-athlete must be aware that these extra activity classes will not count toward the twenty-four eligible hours.
  • Change of Major Form: If a student-athlete changes his major, then there must be a record on file of this change. The new advisor will keep a copy of this record with the new degree plan. If a student does not complete the change of major form, then the classes in the new major will not count toward the twenty-four eligible hours. The major will remain the same until the official change of major form is completed.
  • Progress Toward Degree: A student-athlete must show progress toward a degree. By the beginning of the fifth long semester the student-athlete must have declared a major and a degree plan on file in the advisor’s office. In order to show progress toward the degree, the student can take only classes on his degree plan. If a student is undecided, then he may take core courses that are requirements regardless of the major.

National Resources
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Advising Student Athletes Listserv from NACADA

Kansas State University Resources

  • The program of Student Services for Intercollegiate Athletics assists, directs, supports and promotes student development, academic achievement, academic athletic eligibility, and progress toward graduation.

    Student Services for Intercollegiate Athletics
    Athletic Learning Center
    2201 Kimball Avenue
    Manhattan, KS 66502
    Office Fax: 785-532-5191
    Phone: 785-532-5190
  • Through the Student Athlete Advisor Committee (SAAC), athletic department administrators and the Intercollegiate Athletic Council (IAC) discuss with student-athletes issues regarding the management, operation and rules that govern the Athletic Department and its sport teams.
    K-State Sports
  • The Second Wind degree completion program was developed at Kansas State by Bill Snyder, Head Football Coach, and is now implemented by all Head Coaches, Athletic Department administration, and academic counselors.

Adapted from:
Nimetz, Amanda and SusAnn Key. (2005) Midwestern State University. Staying on Top of the Game. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web-site

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First Generation Students

First-generation students are defined as students not having a parent who graduated from college with a baccalaureate degree (Thomas et al., 1998).


  • Often these students have little family support or guidance, and, in some cases, their attendance is resented by those closest to them. For the support needed to succeed in college, many first-generation college students turn to their academic advisors, not just for academic advice, but also for the guidance considered necessary to navigate day-to-day campus life.
  • For these students, attending college may be their only chance to "make it out" or to "break the cycle." Consequently, they feel the pressure to succeed but do not know the resources that can help them do so. Riehl (1994, p.16) maintains that it is the institution's responsibility to understand and address the needs of first-generation college students through orientation and advisement programs.

Advising Needs
Many first-generation students seek to build a trusting relationship with their advisors, a relationship that is based on their advisor's understanding of their background. The successful advisor becomes familiar with these students' backgrounds and family lives. Pardon (1992, p. 73) has indicated that "Parents and siblings can frequently be nonsupportive and even obstructionist."

  • If a student feels guilty about attending college or is receiving pressure from the family to come home, the advisor must be willing, and able, to address the issues behind the guilt and offer helpful suggests.
  • Advisors must have a comprehensive knowledge of the campus resources that could help these students including programs geared for first-generation students.
  • Being involved and interested lets students know that you care. Individual attention is also a powerful factor in ones willingness to stay at the university.
  • Encourage first-generation students to use available resources to succeed. Help students establish not just academic goals but the personal goals needed to support their academic objectives. Hold your advisees accountable for reaching these goals.
  • Questions from a first-generation student can take a lot of an advisor's time during the student's initial college terms. However, as the months progress, the first-generation student will depend on the advisor less.


  • TRIO Many campuses provide programs for first-generation student s through TRIO, a federally funded government program established by the 1965 Higher Education Act. TRIO has grown to include six outreach programs that can help first-generation students persist and succeed in obtaining baccalaureate degrees.
  • Upward Bound allows high school students to obtain college credit, either through or after the school day, on Saturdays or in summer classes with a nearby participating college or university. These classes focus on mainstream academics such as math, science, language arts, and foreign languages. Upward Bound often provides mentoring, tutoring, and other supporting services to the participants.
  • Talent Search is a program that identifies individuals with backgrounds that make them "at risk" for success. Once a student is identified, the program offers assistance in understanding college 'ins and outs' including providing counseling for academic, career and financial issues. Talent Search can identify and work with students in middle school age to keep them on the right track headed for college.
  • Student Support Services is a program targets individuals who are first-generation, are from low-income families, or have disabilities. SSS helps these students obtain admission to college and works with them through graduation from the institution. This program often offers mentoring, career counseling, and can help students at two-year colleges transfer to a four-year school.

Adapted from: Sickles, A.R. (2004). Advising First-Generation Students. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues

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Honors Program

National Resources
National Collegiate Honors Council
Golden Key International Honour Society

Kansas State University Resources
University Honors Program
The Kansas State University Honors Program is designed to provide exceptional students with an understanding of contemporary concepts of common and diverse intellectual traditions, as well as discipline-specific knowledge and abilities.

University Honors Program

Dr. Justin Kastner, Director
Kansas State University
Fairchild Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: 785-532-2642
Fax: 785-532-6507

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International Students

Kansas State University Resources
Office of International Programs
Kansas State University
304 Fairchild Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1111
Phone: 785-532-5990
Fax: 785-532-6550
Email: oip@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.k-state.edu/oip/

English Language Program
Mary Wood, Director
205 Fairchild
E-mail: elp@k-state.edu
Website: www.ksu.edu/elp

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Diverse Populations

NACADA: Multicultural Awareness
Resources for advising diverse student populations

Multicultural awareness is essential for academic advisors, for our cultural identity "is central to what we see, how we make sense of what we see, and how we express ourselves" (DuPraw and Axner, 1997). Lack of understanding about what constitutes cultural identity, and how we are affected by the various aspects of our worldview, can be a source of conflict and a great hindrance in the development of productive relationships. As DuPraw and Axner (1997) note, "oftentimes we aren't aware that culture is acting upon us. Sometimes we are not even aware that we have cultural values or assumptions that are different from others!"

Cunningham, L. A. (2003). Multicultural awareness. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Multicultural.htm

Office of Diversity and Dual Career Development

Multicultural Clubs and Activities at K-State


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Military Students

Veteran Defined
Employee who served in the military, ground, naval or air service of the US on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized. A complete listing of campaigns and expeditions is available at the following web site: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vgmedal2.htm

Disabled Veteran Defined
(A) A veteran who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Dept of Veterans' Affairs for a disability (i) rated at 30% or more, or (ii) rated at 10% or 20% in the case of a veteran who has been determined under Section 3016 of Title 38, U.S.C. to have a serious employment handicap, or (B) a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

Kansas State University Resources
Kansas State University ROTC
Department of Military Science
101 Military Science Bldg.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-2101
Phone: 785-532-5173 or 785-532-6754
Email: jporter@k-state.edu

Veterans Information Sheet

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Nontraditional Students

According to Kansas State University’s Adult Student Services, a nontraditional student is any student meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Married
  • A Parent
  • 25 years of age or older
  • Returning to college after having been out of school for several years.


  • One characteristic of current and prospective adult students that is often overlooked, particularly by the administration, is the fact that they are consumers and are generally looking for the most out of their time and money.
  • If a learner's mate, friends, or coworkers are vested in particular ways of viewing the world, they may find it unsettling, at best, and threatening, at worst, to be challenged (by new) perspectives, (Taylor, Marienau and Fiddler, 2000).
  • Few adults wish to invest a good deal of their resources into a situation that will not allow them the freedom to learn in a cooperative and interactive environment.
  • And then there's the competition. How does your program compare to all others available out there? In addition, adult students expect that you have all of the resources, staff and latest technology at your fingertips to provide instant answers and processing of requests. Little do they know about the budget realities that many academic institutions face. After all, what you are selling costs a fortune.

Advising Needs

  • The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), in a recent publication (2000), outlined their "Educational Principles That Work for Adults Who Work." Included in their list of principles of what the institution should provide adult learners were the following: to overcome barriers of time, place, and tradition to create lifelong access; to address the career and life goals of adult learners; to provide an array of payment options; to assess skills acquired through the curriculum and experience; to provide multiple methods of instruction; to enhance student capabilities to be self-directed learners; to provide information technology to enhance the learning experience; and, to engage in strategic relationships and collaborations with employers and other organizations.
  • Adult students have a greater need for motivation, inspiration and guidance since they have more responsibilities than younger students whose primary responsibility is school," Julian said.
  • Julian goes on to say that, adults respond better to low pressure and that trust is very important in the relationship with their advisors. Julian believes that many adult students have some degree of fear and stated, "When they verbalize their fears, they feel better about the investment.

Kansas State University Adult Student Services
101 Holton Hall
Phone: 785-532-6434
Email: nontrad@k-state.edu
Nancy F. Bolsen, Ph.D, Director

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Students Studying Abroad

For info about the Study Abroad program, visit http://www.k-state.edu/studyabroad --or-- contact Karli Webster at karlis@k-state.edu / 785-532-5990

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Open Option/Undecided Students

NACADA: Advising Undeclared Students
An excellent resource for advising undeclared/open option students

Kansas State University Resources
Arts and Sciences Open Option

The Academic Career Information Center (ACIC) provides assistance to students in choosing or changing a major and/or career goal and planning an educational path.
Holton Hall, Room 14
Phone: (785) 532-7494
Fax: (785) 532-6457

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Pre-Health Majors

Health Professions Advising Office
College of Arts and Sciences
Kansas State University
113 Eisenhower Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1011
Phone: 785-532-6900
Website: http://www.k-state.edu/artsci/phpp/

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Teacher Certification Students

Refer inquiries to Diane Murphy, the Kansas State University Licensing Officer in the College of Education at (785) 532-5524 or email dim@k-state.edu, if you:

  • Have a teaching license from another state and want to be licensed in Kansas
  • Have a degree in a specific subject (such as English) and want to teach in the public schools
  • Want to obtain an undergraduate degree in education to be licensed to teach
  • Have questions about whether a certain course can be used to recertify
  • Have questions about adding an endorsement

Teacher Re-Licensure
Refer to the State Department of Education Licensure Office at (785) 296-2288, if you:

  • Currently teach and want to recertify
  • Received an undergraduate degree in education from Kansas State University and had a teaching license, but let the license lapse.

For further information, visit the Kansas State Department of Education web site at www.ksde.org

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Transfer Students

Students who transfer from one institution to another constitute a significant portion of the current college population, and they consume a considerable amount of the time and effort of advisors at both two-year and four-year institutions. While transfer students bring some higher education experience with them, they are new to the (receiving) transfer institution. They are, in a sense, an anomaly in that they are first-year students with some experience in higher education.

Office of Admissions: Application info for transfer students

Transfer Equivalency: Find out which courses/credits will transfer to K-State

Advising Needs
This article serves as an overview. The various authors of the chapters in the monograph have identified several broad considerations that need to be addressed on many campuses in order to enhance the success of transfer students. These are summarized as follows:

  1. Recognize that “transfer shock” really exists. All transfer students enter a new and different institutional environment, which has different policies, different procedures, different advising structures, different terminology, different faculty and academic expectations, etc. Improving application materials and resources, strengthening Orientation programs, and expanding campus programs for transfers will all serve to overcome this “transfer shock” syndrome.
  2. Strengthen articulation agreements. The real value of articulation agreements has somewhat eroded as a result of recent trends toward legislated Statewide mandates, common course numbering systems, and other seemingly well-intended guarantees for transfer students. However, most of these trends have diminished value if they are not articulated within specific degree programs, that is, the student’s major academic program of study. Without this context, some agreements have served as no more than public relations and recruitment functions. Program-to program articulations better serve the transfer student and both institutions.
  3. Use technology wisely. On-line admissions applications, course equivalency determinations, electronic transcript submission and retrieval, and advance registration capabilities have improved the transfer process quite readily. Institutions should maximize the opportunities and capabilities of these technological improvements in order to serve transfer students more effectively, more efficiently, and more successfully.

Finally, the monograph editors observed a variety of recommendations that are provided throughout the document. They have attempted to synthesize these recommendations into a “common” set. These are:

  1. Enhanced communication must occur. Both two-year and four year-institutions need to improve upon this critical aspect in the transfer process; clearly publicized articulation agreements, course-to-course equivalencies, enhanced Websites and other technological media, and on-site campus visits at other institutions are just some of the ways that this recommendation can be realized.
  2. “Transfer Centers” should be established. The communication links suggested above can only be positively facilitated if a specific unit, office, or individual person is identified as the primary contact for transfer students. The concept of “one-stop shopping” has already been implemented for various student service areas on many campuses; the Transfer Center should simply become an extension of this concept. Where a smaller population of transfer students exists, an individual or specific office should be designated as the primary resource for transfer students.
  3. Orientation Programs must be improved and/or Transfer Courses should be developed. The seamless transition will not occur only on paper; students must be prepared for their planned transfer to a specific school (orientation out of the community college, for example), and the receiving transfer institution must provide a full and complete orientation to the new environment for all transfer students. The course format, similar to many First-Year Seminars, offers a more systematic and sustained way to acculturate all transfer students into their new environment.
  4. Similar opportunities should be afforded transfer students as are native students. Access to Honors Programs and curricula, scholarships, restricted upper-division majors, early entry to graduate and professional schools, and even individual course selection opportunities should be afforded the transfer students who meet or exceed the same criteria as native students.

A full description of these, as well as other recommendations, examples, and resources, are provided in the monograph. The authors, the editors, and the NACADA leaders look forward to this new monograph and trust that you will find it useful as well, as you monitor, review, and revise your services for transfer students. Find out more about resources for advising transfer students in the Clearinghouse at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/Links/Transfer.htm.

Tom Grites, Co-Editor, Advising Transfer Students: Issues and Strategies NACADA Monograph
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 

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