First Year Student Advising

Welcome to the College of Charleston and the Academic Advising and Planning Center (AAPC)!

We're here to help you on your path to degree completion and the timely and informed pursuit of your academic major.

We'll first meet with you during New Student Orientation and will continue to work with you during your first year at the College of Charleston. Once you declare your major, you will meet with your faculty advisor for advising and planning.

Preparation for Orientation Advising

As a new, first year student, you will meet with an academic advisor during new student orientation. All new first-year students, except Honors, student athletes, and new transfers, should access the online learning module that will help you better prepare for orientation.

Note: Make sure you can log into MyPortal prior to orientation and bring your login information to your session.

The Academic Advising and Planning Center will email you prior to your registered Orientation session with instructions for accessing the online learning module in OAKS (the online course delivery system availble via MyPortal). Please note that the completion of this learning module is designed to better prepare you for your advising experience at the College of Charleston.

You are not expected to create a course schedule during this module. You will register for courses with your advisor during New Student Orientation.

Academic Advising During New Student Orientation

Day 1: At New Student Orientation, you will meet with one of our professional academic advisors with the support of a trained Peer Advisor. Together, we'll cover graduation requirements, general education requirements, the rigor of college, and other essential information in small group advising sessions.

You will receive a homework assignment to prepare you for the registration process the next day. 

Day 2: Course registration. You must have completed your homework from the day before in order to register. You'll meet in a computer lab in a small group setting with the same advisor you had on Day 1. The advisor will check your schedule for appropriateness based on your discussions.

You will be able to make changes to your schedule after orientation is over; however, it is strongly encouraged that students check in with their academic advisor before making changes. 

Note to parents: We appreciate your interest in your student's schedule and academic career at the College of Charleston. However, parents are not permitted in the advising or registration rooms for any reason. Our advisors are highly trained, and will work closely with your student during our time with them. Remember, you student's best interest is also ours. Talk with your student in advance of their orientation day about any concerns, questions, or learning challenges. For many students, this may be their first effort in self-advocacy. 

First-Year Advising

During your first year, you are required to meet with your academic advisor at least once per semester. This is often referrred to as "mandatory advising." However, this is also an opportunity for us to discuss your personal path to completing your degree, selecting your major and exploring campus resources to help you with your academic journey.

Honors students and student athletes are advised by their respective programs, not the AAPC.

In most cases, first-year students will be advised by our office. However, if you have declared your major, you may be advised by a faculty advisor instead under the following conditions:

  • You declare your major before academic advising holds are placed on your registration (typically mid-October/mid-March) AND
  • Your academic major requires academic advising (If your academic major does not require advising, then you will be advised by our office.)

Declared students meet with their faculty advisor for mandatory advising and have their hold removed if declared in the following majors:

  • Art History
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Biochemistry,
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Computing in the Arts,
  • Dance
  • Data Science
  • English
  • Engineering
  • Geology
  • Historic Preservation and Community Planning
  • History
  • Meteorology
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Secondary
  • Education
  • Spanish
  • Theatre

Check with your assigned faculty advisor to find out whether your academic major requires advising.

If you are not sure whether someone is your AAPC advisor or your major advisor, check DegreeWorks: each will be listed by name after 'Major Advisor(s)' or 'AAPC Advisor(s)' as appropriate.

The AAPC will send you an email notification beginning in late September/mid-February reminding you to schedule your mandatory advising appointment either with the AAPC office or your academic department.

Schedule your semester appointment with your assigned AAPC advisor online through Appointment Manager, via the Appointments tile in MyPortal, or call the AAPC office at 843-953-5981.

You will receive an appointment confirmation email when the scheduling process is complete.