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Advising

The Department of Forensic and Investigative Science is concerned about the success of its students and invests time and personnel in the advising process. Student success begins with a recognition that the needs of students change with time. The department's program is designed to respond to those changes.

Advisors

Dr. Andrea Bebell, Advising Specialist
Phone: (304) 293- 4557
Email: abebell@mail.wvu.edu

Dr. Bebell will work with all lower-level, directly admitted FIS majors, and will also serve as an instructor for the FIS-oriented sections of WVUe 191: First Year Seminar.

Ms. Lori Britton, Academic Advisor
Phone: (304) 293-2478
Email: Lori.Britton@mail.wvu.edu

Ms. Britton will work with all students once they have successfully applied to the upper-level program. She will also assist with the application and graduation  processes.

Dr. Rachel Mohr, Undergraduate Coordinator
Phone: (304)-294-8483
Email: rmmohr@mail.wvu.edu

Dr. Mohr is responsible for resolving curriculum issues and other problems. Students who wish to request course substitutions or similar exceptions should contact her.

The Advising Philosophy: The Department of Forensic and Investigative Science

The department’s student-centric advising philosophy includes supporting both our students’ immediate academic goals and long-term career aspirations. Our “intrusive” approach follows the norm that is practiced at the college level nationally; it involves attention to detail and asking the right questions to draw out student issues such as academic preparation, student misconceptions about career, college transition, etc. Our goal is to build a strong bond of support focused on student success. Our advising efforts are built upon the principle of shared responsibility--our faculty and staff will provide a firm but nurturing environment, which is directed toward helping students learn the practical skills they will need to navigate the college experience; our students will provide the commitment and willingness to meet the academic expectations and rigor of the degree program. Our faculty mentor program helps guide students toward their career objectives.

The following principles guide our objectives:

Approachable:  Forensic and Investigative Science students come from a wide array of backgrounds, with diverse needs and individual situations. They may need to consult an advisor just once a semester or they may need more intensive support. Each student will be assigned an advisor who will be available to them as needed.  Students should feel comfortable with bringing up academic and departmental issues with their advisors.

Self-Directed: West Virginia University is a large institution, with many rules, regulations, guidelines and policies that affect a student’s academic progress. As advisors, we will actively seek the current and correct answers for student problems. In turn, we expect students, as future “investigative” scientists, to attempt to seek out and find their own answers and methods to resolve problems. Our students are expected to make informed choices and take deliberate actions about their college experience, whether that is choosing a class, an area of emphasis, or simply knowing when to register for classes.

Critical Thinking:  Student success is an ongoing, active exercise. Based on a shared understanding of a student’s needs, we will seek to identify the best corrective actions for academic roadblocks to a student’s progress. These actions might include assisting our students to find tutoring or extra academic help. We also endeavor to help our students critically evaluate their own progress and goals and to decide where they want to go in life.

Organized: Our goal as professionals is to insure that no issue and no student “slips through the cracks.” Such advising is based on the principles of building a relationship with each student, coming prepared for the student’s advising session, asking meaningful questions, and maintaining regular contact. We will document and address student issues efficiently and commit to being transparent about how and why decisions are made. We expect that our students will also be prepared for interactions with their advisors, by completely reading communications from their advisors, keeping track of paperwork, and heeding deadlines and due dates.

Academic Advising

All students will meet with their academic advisor at least once each fall and spring semester. Small group advising sessions will be held, generally in October and in March, a few weeks before registration opens.  Students should expect an email announcing the dates and times of the small advising sessions. Students should check DegreeWorks before their planned advising sessions for any problems, and bring their advising folder to the session.

With small group advising, a department advisor can efficiently answer common questions. If their questions can’t be answered at the group session, each student can meet individually with the advisor to address any specific curricular issues that they are having. Students who do not attend the advertised group advising sessions will not have their registration hold lifted until after all other students have been allowed to register.

After advising, please allow 24 hours for your registration hold to be lifted, or for you to be given permission to register for any particular courses.

Graduating Seniors

Once you have accrued 90 credit hours, the department will be notified to review your progress and determine if you are likely to be ready to graduate in the next year. Your academic advisor will discuss the results of this review, usually in the fall of your senior year.

Seniors should fill out the Eberly College Application Review well in advance of their anticipated graduation. If you are planning for to graduate in May, the review should be completed by mid-January. If you are planning for August, you should complete the review in May. December graduates should submit by mid-September. You should not apply for review before you have registered for your final semester of classes, though.  

After you complete the College Application Review, you should formally apply for graduation, using either the STAR program or DegreeWorks, following the instruction and dates from the Office of the Registrar.

Finally, register to attend commencement. For May commencement, register through Eberly College’s commencement page. All others should register through graduation.wvu.edu.