Advising Year by Year

Each of the four college years has a distinct role to play in a student’s development. Students should accomplish specific tasks each year as they progress through their undergraduate careers.

Here’s a quick snapshot to help you assess your progress. Are you on track?

Freshman Year

  • Develop your academic, personal and professional goals; write them down so they become "real."
  • Create a plan for developing your personal and academic strengths and offsetting any weaknesses.
  • Assess your study skills. If they need bolstering, don’t wait to seek help.
  • Explore your options within majors and areas of concentration that appeal to you.
  • Transition to a full college life – find opportunities for the extracurricular activities and/or community service that will enrich your undergraduate years.
  • Begin academic planning for your sophomore year. Make sure you don’t overlook any prerequisites!
  • Keep an eye out for potential mentors. Everyone could use some caring encouragement and a friendly push to challenge themselves!
  • Build your financial literacy. You must know what FAFSA is and when and how to reapply, how student loans work, and the details of your student work-study program, if applicable.
  • Reflect on your current classes. What subjects fascinate you? What class size and teaching style suit you best? What is going well and what could be better?

Sophomore Year

  • If your major is still undeclared, explore possible majors ASAP so that you can make an informed choice when you file your major declaration by the end of this year.
  • If you’ve already filed your major, keep refining your goals and assessing your progress in your major field.
  • Review your personal and professional goals, too. Remember, you need to keep developing as a total person, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Refine your academic plans for junior year.
  • Get involved in professional organizations that relate to your major field or chosen occupation; most welcome student members.
  • Reflect on your current classes – noting any changes in emphasis or difficulty. Do they stimulate you or overwhelm you?
  • Start thinking about internship or practicum experiences.

Junior Year

  • Review your academic plan. It’s time to address any weaknesses and build on strengths, explore internship or practicum options, and set goals for “after Dominican” experiences.
  • Review your personal goals, further planning how you wish to develop as a total person.
  • Plan your senior-year academics carefully.
  • Consider relevant graduate/professional programs – admission requirements, application process, funding.
  • Examine your employment options following graduation – begin preparation for the application process. Do you know how to write a resume? Contact potential employers? Perform well in a job interview?
  • Consult with your mentor regularly.
  • Reflect on your current classes, once again noting any special emphases or difficulty. Do your courses stimulate you or overwhelm you?
  • Investigate opportunities to perform undergraduate research. Any projects you do over the summer or in first semester will stand out favorably to employers or graduate schools.

Senior Year

  • Review the academic, personal and professional goals you set when you arrived at Dominican – have you met them all? If not, what can you do to achieve any unmet goals?
  • Meet with the Registrar’s office to apply for graduation.
  • Plan ahead to meet all deadlines for applying to graduate or professional school. Remember to check your standardized testing dates.
  • Apply to graduate or professional school—follow all instructions and give it your all. Work on backup plans, too.
  • Plan how you want to remain involved with Dominican as an alumnus.
  • Transition to the working world or to graduate or professional school. But take time to enjoy your accomplishment, too.

(Adapted from Quinnipiac University, Oklahoma)