This section describes the kinds of advising an undergraduate student should know about and take advantage of. It is typical in a section like this to focus exclusively on undergraduate advising for majors in the department, but we have taken a bit more time to situate the departmental advising in the context of university advising more generally.
There are three distinct kinds of advising we recommend you take advantage of:
- University Advising
- Department Advising
- Individual faculty advising
University Advising. The professional staff in the University Office of Academic Advising provides incredibly helpful advice on working within the UO overall. These advisors can be particularly helpful in ensuring that the courses you choose help you meet general University requirements for the BA or BS degree. They can help ensure that you navigate through UO requirements in a timely fashion, keeping the total time to graduation to a minimum. They can provide concrete assistance if you find yourself in academic difficulty at some point. They are familiar with courses and faculty whose directions complement well the major you have selected. We recommend that you check in with one of the advisors in the Office of Academic Advising at least once a year, preferably in the Spring before registration for the following Fall begins.
Office of Academic Advising
364 Oregon Hall
Department Advising. The Department of Linguistics has one faculty member who serves as the primary undergraduate advisor for its majors. The advisor for 2017-18 is:
Professor Melissa Baese-Berk
The undergraduate advisor will assist you as you work to complete the major (or minor) in Linguistics. She can help you develop a concrete plan of study so that you get through the major smoothly. They can help you identify courses that complement your major and the particular focus you want to develop within the major. We recommend that you connect with the undergraduate advisor each term, preferably far enough along in the term that you know how the term is going but soon enough that you can use the advising meeting to set up your next term.
Individual Faculty Advising. While there is no requirement on individual faculty to serve as the advisor or mentor of any student, nor is there a list of individual faculty advisors, you will find that making a strong academic connection with one (or more) individual faculty member is immensely useful to you as you develop your academic program and profile at the UO. The first advantage to finding an individual faculty adviser is that you will have someone you can level with about how you’re doing academically, someone you can get concrete advice from on particular courses to take and particular faculty to take them from. The second advantage is that you will have someone who will come to bat for you with the system if you have a legitimate issue to resolve. The third advantage, the one that will get you thinking about the individual adviser, is that you will have at least one professor who will write more than a perfunctory letter when you apply for jobs, graduate school, or professional school.
How do you go about getting an individual faculty advisor, especially since no professor is obligated to take on individual advisees this way? Allow yourself to get immersed in your academic studies. Take advantage of the willingness of good faculty to work with students by going to office hours not just when youre having trouble with some material but when youre curious to learn more. All of us who are faculty enjoy and value the chance to work with committed students. Students who work seriously who always make it to class, who participate, who question and puzzle things out merit special care. So, when you’ve worked hard, beyond the ordinary, even if you’re not an ’A’ student, ask the faculty member whose class you’re in whether you could meet to discuss your academic program. When he or she agrees, you’re on the road to cultivating a real, individual faculty adviser. While this professor will not likely become a personal friend, and certainly not a counselor, he or she will take you seriously and help you realize your academic dreams and potential.