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    Academic Advisement

The Academic Advisement Office
Spellman 106
(845-398-4087)

Andrea Kraeft, Director of Academic Advisement
Toni Horton, Office Assistant

Academic advising is important to a successful college career. Developing a meaningful relationship with the advisor will help you to better understand yourself, to access the opportunities available at the college and to maximize your academic potential.

Academic Minors

Your Academic Advisor Advisor / FacultyOffice Hours
The name of your academic advisor and his/her room number and office hours is posted outside room S 106. You are assigned a faculty academic advisor during your first semester on campus and you will remain with him/her as long as you continue with your specific major. Your advisor will have a copy of your current schedule, your previous college transcripts and your course evaluation form on file in order to best counsel you in course planning and selection. Feel free to see your advisor as often as you need but most importantly, prior to registration each semester. Your registration form must be signed by your advisor in order to register for your next semester's schedule. Registration dates and procedures will be posted outside the Records Office in Spellman Hall.

Changing Your Major
If you decide to change your major, you should first consider speaking with the Director of Career Services to better understand your career opportunities and graduate school options after graduation. Next, you should complete the Change of Major Form available in the Advisement Office. We will complete another curriculum sheet for you which will identify your requirements and we will assign you to a new advisor if the new major is unrelated to your previous one.

The Registration Process
Registration for the upcoming semester takes place in November for the Spring Semester and March for the Fall Semester.  The Registrar’s office will send a registration packet containing your personalized registration form and information.  Review the academic requirements of your major again, plan a preliminary listing of the courses you would like to take by using Banner Self Service for Students and make an appointment to see your academic advisor.  At registration time, many advisors have appointment sign up sheets on their office door but others simply want you to appear during their normal office hours.  It is best to find out in advance what your advisor has arranged.
After you receive your packet, you normally have about 2 weeks in which to see your advisor.  At that time your academic advisor will provide you with your registration pin number and sign your registration form.  In addition, you must pay your registration deposit in the Business Office (2nd floor – Marian Hall) and receive their clearance regarding the balance of your student account.  Once you have your registration pin code, and your account is clear you are ready to register using Banner Self Service for Students on your assigned registration day.

Dropping/Adding a Course
If you decide after you register that you need to drop and/or add a course, you must pick up a "Drop/Add Form" in the Records or Advisement Office. Always check with your advisor to make sure your decision is appropriate for your overall program and to confirm that you have the necessary prerequisites for your new course. The fee to drop/add any number of courses at one time is $25. Pay this in the Business Office (2nd floor-Marian Hall) and bring your receipt and your form to the Records Office. It is very important that you officially drop a course if you no longer wish to attend. Simply not attending the course without withdrawing will result in an "F" on your transcript and the grade will be included in your cumulative grade point average.

Taking a Course Off Campus
If you would like to take a course at another college and have the credit transfer to STAC, you must receive prior approval through the Advisement Office.

  1. If you began your studies at STAC and did not transfer from another college, you may take a total of 2 courses (6 credits) at another college while you are a student here. These courses may be taken during the summer or winter interim sessions.
  2. If you initially enrolled at STAC with credits from another college, no additional courses may be taken off campus. In addition, residency requirements stipulate that your last 30 credits must be taken at STAC.

Off campus course approval forms are available in the Advisement Office. Any courses to be used towards your major must have approval from the Division Chairperson and the Academic Advisement Director. Courses outside the major need approval only from the Academic Advisement Director.

Financial Aid and Academics
At the end of the fall semester, a letter to all students is sent from the Financial Aid Office reminding them that applications for federal and state aid for the fall semester should be submitted as follows:
Freshmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 15
All other returning students . . . . . . . . . . April 15
When students drop below 12 credits their financial aid eligibility may be affected as well as their academic status. The following rules apply when a student is registered for 12 credits or more but drop, to part-time status (9 credits or less) during a semester:

  1. If a student drops to part-time status during the first four classes, the tuition bill and  financial aid is adjusted downward to reflect the changes.
  2. After the fourth week of classes, tuition and financial aid stays the same but future aid may be affected by any additional change of status.

Students are strongly encouraged to visit the Financial Aid Office immediately if they are considering a change from full-time to part-time.

Midterm Grades
Midterm grades are sent directly to the student. These grades are intended as a warning that there is a problem in a particular course and are only reported if the student is receiving a grade of "D" or "F". Students are encouraged to speak with the instructor to determine what is needed to improve their grade, to use the Center for Academic Excellence and to keep in mind the last day to drop a course in that particular semester .

Courses by Appointment
A course by appointment may be arranged if it is required in the student's major field but it is not offered in the session necessary for the student to stay on track for graduation. This privilege is restricted to  juniors and seniors and may be used during the fall, spring or the span of the summer embracing all three summer sessions. Students must be in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 cumalative GPA. Courses by appointment may not be taken as repeats of courses in which a D or F was earned and are limited to two (2) during the student's academic career.
Students must observe the requirements established for the normal course in terms of readings, exams and projects. They must meet with their supervising instructor at least six (6) times or the equivalent during the semester.

Independent Study
Independent Study is a student-generated and faculty-supervised course. Students, who have topics of special interest which they would like to probe in depth, may devise their own course of study and submit a completed application form for independent study to a faculty member qualified in the area to be studied. Following agreement between the student and the faculty member on this decision, approval must be obtained from the Chairperson of the Division.
Independent study is available to all degree candidates who have completed a minimum of 33 credits at St. Thomas Aquinas College. No more than six credits in independent study may be applied toward a student's major.

College Level Examination (CLEP)
The College Level Examination Program is designed to award college credit to students who have acquired academic knowledge outside the traditional classroom situation.
Students who have been accepted for matriculation in a degree program at St. Thomas Aquinas College may be awarded:
Thirty CLEP credits towards the Bachelor's degree
All students who wish to take any CLEP exam must register through the Academic Advisement Office. Complete regulations, procedures and applications are available in our office.

Life Experience Credit
Life experience credit may be awarded to students who have achieved the objectives of specific courses outside the traditional classroom environment and who validate their competency through a portfolio consisting of the following:

  1. A detailed employment history
  2. Written reports of experiences
  3. Summary of projects
  4. Certificates of achievement
  5. Professional portfolios
  6. Employment references which validate achievements

Students may earn up to thirty (30) credits which validate achievements experience towards their Bachelor's degree. Normally, life experience credit is considered for students who are at least 25 years of age.
Process of Applying for Life Experience Credit

  1. Generally, students should apply for life experience during their first semester at the College. While prior experience is being evaluated, students should be cautioned against enrolling in courses where credit may be granted.
  2. Students should begin the process with the Director of Academic Advisement who will discuss the advisability of seeking credit. Appropriate students will then be referred to specific division chairpersons who may encourage the applicants to prepare portfolios.
  3. Prepared portfolios should be submitted to the specific division chairperson who will then identify  faculty evaluators. At the time of this review, each student will be required to pay the current life experience fee.
  4. The Division Chairperson sends the faculty recommendation to the Director of Academic Advisement who makes a final credit determination based on their recommendations. The student and the Registrar are notified of credits awarded. All material becomes part of the student's permanent file in the Records Office.


Graduation Requirements
To be eligible for a Bachelor's degree at STAC, students must:
Complete at least 120 credits
Have a 2.0 cumulative GPA
Complete at least half of the major at STAC
Complete at least 30 credits at STAC
Satisfy all major, core and free elective requirements
Students should apply for graduation in the Records Office at the end of the junior year when approximately 90 credits have been completed. You will be notified in writing early in the fall semester of your final course requirements. You should not register for your final semester at the college without having applied for graduation first!

 
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St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976
845.398.4100

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