The general education curriculum at Winston-Salem State University is designed to help students develop critical skills such as thinking, writing, and speaking while offering the opportunity to explore the many fields that make up the curriculum. Students are free to choose courses in the general curriculum with no single path towards fulfilling the general education requirements. Academic advising is designed to assist students in the decision making process as a pathway is chosen.
For much of the first two years students will be in the general education curriculum and will be advised by Academic Success Counselors (ASCs). The ASCs know the general education curriculum and the pre-requisite requirements for the academic majors. Most importantly, they get to know individual students, their goals, previous experiences, and academic strengths. They also help students navigate academic and student support services and university business processes. A designated group of ASCs will work with students who are in specific programs such as Honors or Athletics or who are interested in specific disciplines such as nursing and education.
New freshmen and transfer students are assigned an ASC or academic advisor who they will meet during orientation or before the semester begins. These advisors work with students to understand the curriculum and assists students with the registration process.
Many students come to campus with pre-determined ideas about a major and maybe even a career. Advisors help students explore the whole curriculum while being mindful of pre-requisite courses and skills needed for particular majors. Students should be mindful that choices in the first set of courses do not lock them into or out of a major; that the choice of a major does not determine a career; and that there are many more choices of careers other than doctor, nurse, lawyer, teacher, business professional – many of which have yet to be created.
The links on this page direct students and advisors to information and resources to assist in the advising process and students’ pathways through the curriculum.
Winston-Salem State University knows that you have questions to ask and decisions to make about what courses to take and eventually what majors to pursue. Therefore the university provides you with a group of advisors and counselors who will assist you in making good decisions about your educational experiences.
Academic Success Counselors
Academic Success Counselors (ASCs) in the university’ Advising Services will assist you with the following:
- identifying academic and other support services
- ensuring that you are making positive academic progress
- assist you with the business processes at the university
- serve as your academic advisor
You will meet them the first day you are on campus during orientation. They know how things work on campus so go to them when you need help with a process.
The menu on the left side of the page will help you locate resources and forms to use as you plan your academic pathway towards graduation.
Advising Model for General Education
A desired outcome of the advising process at Winston-Salem State University is to contribute to the critical thinking (decision making) skills of students. To support this we have chosen to build general education advising on a model called Appreciative Advising developed by Jennifer Bloom. “Appreciative Advising is the intentional collaborative practice of asking positive, open-ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials” (Bloom, J. L., Hutson, B. L., & He, Y. (2008). The Appreciative Advising Revolution. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing). This model has six phases.
Appreciative Advising Phases
- Disarm - Recognizing the importance of first impressions, create a safe, welcoming environment for students.
- Discover - Utilize positive open-ended questions to draw out what they enjoy doing, their strengths, and their passions. Listen to each answer carefully before asking the next positive question.
- Dream - Help students formulate a vision of what they might become, and then assist them in developing their life and career goals.
- Design - Help students devise concrete, incremental, and achievable goals
- Deliver - The students follows through on their plans. The advisor is there for them when they stumble, believing in them every step of the way and helping them continue to update and refine their dreams as they go.
- Don’t Settle - The advisor challenges the student to proactively raise the student’s internal bar of self- expectations.
This page contains links to more information about the advising process and the advisor’s role as well as a toolbox that contains resources and forms for advising. Announcements related to advising updates, training, and request for new advisors will be added so please refer to this page during peak advising times.