Things to Discuss with your Advisor
There is a wide range of issues you may discuss with your advisor. However, your advisor is not expected to provide advising on registration procedures or University policies. With that said, the exact nature of your advising sessions will be left to your discretion.
Some issues, concerns, and questions are of a general nature or applicability and might well be relevant regardless of your class standing. However, some matters are of particular concern or urgency for specific groups of students. For example, if you are a first semester freshman a very important issue is how to get involved in the social and intellectual life to the University, College, and Department as quickly as possible.
The material below is presented topically. Broad areas of concern are identified and example questions are offered for your consideration. Particularly important issues and resources are identified for each area.
General Issues and Topics to Discuss
1.) The Advising Process
- Find out what advising is and the specifics of the FPE process.
- Find out what your advisor's expectations are of you and what you can expect of them.
- Discuss what you would like to get out the advising relationship.
- How to make continuous improvements in your academic performance.
- Discuss courses relevant for the various subdisciplines within FPE.
- Explore ways to enhance your academic experience outside the class.
3.) Plan of Study
- If you have a draft of your next semester's schedule or graduation plan you may discuss this with your advisor, though the final approval for these is always done through the FPE Office.
4.) Career Goals
- Explore your career options with your advisor and what you can expect once you graduate. The further into your studies the clearer you want to be about this.
- Discuss the different types of jobs, both non-engineering and engineering, available to FPE graduates.
5.) Co-ops & Internships
- Discuss co-op and internship experiences and why these are more important than research experience for students planning on careers in industry.
6.) Student Organizations
- Discuss the value of getting involved in student organizations such as SFPE; and if invited to Salamander.
- There are many other University student organizations that provide a great support network for students. Ask your advisor which ones might provide the best fit for an FPE student.
7.) Undergraduate Research
- Discuss the general nature of research and how it difference from regular lecture classes.
- Ask your advisor about their research activities and what they find so fascinating about research.
- If you want to get involved, ask them how to go about it.
8.) Graduate School
- If you are interested in graduate school let your advisor know this as soon as possible.
- Find out from your advisor what GPA and other academic requirements graduate schools are looking for.
- Find out what type of extracurricular activities will enhance your graduate school application.
- Discuss with them the importance of research experience for a successful application.
- Strategize with your advisor on how to secure the best possible set of recommendation letters for graduate school
Student Responsibilities in the Mentoring Process
The privileges and benefits associated with the advising program are many. However, participation also entails a number of obligations. You are responsible for preparing for each advising session and providing certain information to your mentor. A number of the items listed below fall into this category. By complying with these requirements you make it possible for your advisor to better guide and facilitate your development thus allowing you to get more out of the program. Other responsibilities listed below are more procedural in nature; nevertheless, your compliance is required to ensure the program functions smoothly.
- First and foremost, you are expected to keep your faculty advisor fully informed about your academic progress and professional development.
- You are required to meet with your faculty advisor every semester PRIOR to attempting to pre-register for the next semester. Failure to do so will delay your registration.
- You should meet with them as early as possible prior to your registration appointment (not being able to meet with your advisor because you waited until a couple of days before your registration date will not be accepted as an excuse and consequently you may not be able to register on time.)
- Be prepared for each meeting with your advisor. For example, if you wish to discuss specific course content, you should first read the relevant descriptions in the “Approved Courses” [pdf] section of the Undergraduate Catalog as well as viewing the more detailed departmental approved ENFP course syllabus.
- Remember, your advisor is not a mind reader. You must express your personal needs and concerns to your advisor will be better able to advise and/or direct you to appropriate UMCP resources.
- Your advisor is there to provide guidance and structure. They will facilitate your academic growth and progress but you are responsible for making decisions about your class schedule, whether or not to pursue specific educational options, which CORE electives to take, etc.
For more information, please contact:
|Dr. Peter B. Sunderland
Associate Professor and Director, Undergraduate Studies
Department of Fire Protection Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-3031
|Dept Phone: 301-405-3992
Direct Phone: 301-405-3095