First Year Advisor Information and Procedures

High School Advisement versus College Advisement
First time college students are generally coming from a system with Guidance Counselors, whose role is to seek students out and actively enroll students in their courses.  

In college it is the student's responsibility to set up and keep appointments with his or her Academic Advisor.  An Academic Advisor will help guide a student through the process of choosing appropriate courses, but ultimately it is the student's responsibility to know and monitor his or her graduation requirements and progress toward degree through DegreeWorks. College students are expected to seek assistance when needed.

New Student Orientation at SUNY Oswego aids incoming students and their family members in the transition to our campus.  All first-year students are required to attend a two-day orientation program where students and their families attend several informative and interactive sessions. Students and parents will meet with faculty, learn about services and organizations on campus, begin friendships with their new classmates, attend social events and much more!

The First Year Advisement Program , which is part of First Year Programs, helps bridge the gap between high school and college to give students the skills they need to monitor their own degree requirements and progress.

All first-year students are assigned one of the college's 80 First Year Advisors. This First Year Advisor will be a Faculty in their major or a closely related major or a staff member who is trained to work with Undeclared Students. First Year Advisors are specially trained to work with first-year students and have a commitment to helping guide students through their first year at college. First-year advisors are assigned approximately 25 advisees and may be working with a peer advisor who has volunteered to act as a mentor and resource person for the advisees.
First-year students are required to meet with their faculty advisors five times during their first year:

  • Meeting 1: Opening Day: To meet faculty, peer advisors and other students. Students will get an idea about what to expect over the next few weeks.
  • Meeting 2: Early semester (fall): To check in on progress, review survey results, discuss areas they may need assistance and develop intervention strategies.
  • Meeting 3: Mid-semester (fall): To prepare for class registration, review midterm grades, and receive their alternate personal identification number (PIN) for registration. View advisee checklist to prepare for third meeting.
    Incoming First Year Students Registering for Spring Classes
    First-year students are assigned a personal identification number (PIN) during their first semester and must receive this PIN from their first-year faculty advisor in order to register for their second semester.
  • Meeting 4: Early semester (spring): To review academic progress and discuss the student's major/minor and career planning.
  • Meeting 5: Mid-semester (spring): To prepare for summer and fall registration and make the transition to a new advisor (if applicable).

First-Year Residential Experience 
The First-Year Residential Experience is a structured program within Johnson Hall available only to first-year students. Living in this residence hall affords first-year students the opportunity to become part of a special community while encouraging them to succeed academically and to get involved in the life of the campus and the greater community.

Students who choose the First-Year Residential Experience agree to participate in the learning activities sponsored by the hall staff, regularly attend hall council and enroll in the freshman seminar course GST 100.

For more information about the First Year Residential Experience, contact coordinator Linda Lefevre at

Additional support in the first year
To help students get on track for success early in their academic career, all first-year students will take a specially designed survey. The information provided by this survey will help advisors target issues that might cause a student to struggle in the first year and allow them to refer the individual to appropriate services on campus. With the help of this survey, faculty advisors, peer advisors and students can work as a team to help ensure success in the first year!