By Janis Albright, Advisor

We are excited to continue our Advising Advice column in the Free Press and welcome you to the new fall semester at USM. The column’s purpose is to help you use your advising resources. Weekly topics written by students, faculty advisors, advisors and staff should cover many of your academic questions.

This week’s column acquaints you to the role of advising, for those new to USM, as well as a quick review for returning students.

USM has a dual advising program which means you benefit by having both a Professional Advisor, and a Faculty Advisor in your declared major. If you don’t have a major yet, your future department will assign you a faculty advisor when you declare. We encourage new students to meet frequently with your advisors, and returning students, a minimum of once a semester and anytime you have questions.

So you may ask, why meet? Topics with your Professional Advisor may include selecting a major or minor, your graduation plan, course selection (for those with up to 53 credits), navigating through USM, and overall support. Your Faculty Advisor is the primary advisor responsible for developing an early and ongoing connection beginning in the first year, as well as course selection for students with over 53 completed credits. They can also help with expert advice about their field, internships, grad school, writing letters of recommendation for you and much more.

The Student Center, on MaineStreet lists your Advisors. Click “detail” by each name for their emails, so you can contact them. Ask them where they are located (additional contact information is listed below). Many departments and Advising will reach out to you in September, requesting a meeting so you can both get to know each other; it also gives you an opportunity to ask questions. Please take advantage of this, and know that you can also take initiative and connect on your own, at any time.

What is the best way to prepare for appointments? From a previous column, Dave Champlin, Associate Professor of Biology, suggests that you start an Advising notebook (handwritten or electronic) that you can use throughout your experience at USM. During your conversations a lot of detailed information will be exchanged. Use your notebook to record questions, plans, internship ideas and other tips. You may not know when a suggestion will be useful so it is good to be organized, so that you can refer back to those important pieces of information later. In summary, we welcome you and encourage you to take full advantage of Advising at USM.   


Professional Advisors:   Portland: 137 Luther Bonney Hall, (207) 780-4040
                                         Gorham: 119 Bailey Hall, (207) 780-4555
                                         Lewiston: 119 Lewiston-Auburn College, (207) 753-6536
                                         General e-mail: [email protected]

Faculty Advisors:            Call your department:  

or use USM’s Faculty directory:


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