Academic advising offers new students advice

Academic advising offers new students advice

By Annie Kuzmanovic

It’s a new year and a new beginning for all of us here at CI, more for some than others. Freshmen and transfer students embarking on your quest for a higher education, welcome! There is so much in store for you, but also so much to learn and familiarize yourself with. Take heart and take a few tips straight from our Academic Advising staff to you. Claudia Sitlington, CIs Peer Advising Coordinator, was happy to sit down with The CI View and offer some helpful tips for those who are preparing to begin mapping out their university experience.

Do not take on more than you can handle. Sitlington shared that advising’s data proves that freshmen who take on more than 12 units have a difficult time succeeding and oftentimes end up on academic probation. “You know you best,” said Sitlington. They understand the haste, but want to advise you to start small, because the university level is noticeably more difficult than the high school or even community college level.

Transfers, get to know your major advisor. Sitlington said that your major advisor knows your map the best. It is also just useful to establish a teacher-student relationship with an involved professor and network.

  Freshmen, visit advising and see your peer advisors. These peer advisors are helpful to speak with because they have been through a lot of the same things you are going through and can offer you advice based on those experiences. They also help you get more acclimated to your surroundings.

Don’t be worried or ashamed if you are undecided on a major. Sitlington wants you to know that there is nothing wrong with you or the fact that you have not decided on a major. In fact, she believes quite the opposite. “You’re smart because you’re not jumping into something that you’re not sure about,” she said. “Be sure before you jump into it.”

If your major is not what you thought it would be, all is not lost. Sitlington said that students are sometimes enamored with the idea of a certain career, but the coursework turns out to be so much more than they thought it would be. “That’s where we just have to have these really candid, transparent conversations,” she said. “Just say, you know, this is probably not the greatest path for you. And then we have to decide that if this is not the right path, what are some other paths that we can think about going down.”

Sitlington and the rest of the Academic Advising team are wonderful, encouraging individuals who are there for you. They table for your awareness, they advertise workshops you can benefit from and they even take advantage of Zoom on myCI to make themselves as available as possible. They are on your side and working for a smooth transition for all new students as this new academic year begins. Their offices are located in Bell Tower 1595, and you can reach them by phone at 805-437-8571 or email them at

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