Tennessee Promise

Academic Advising

The success of all students depends upon their involvement in the learning and academic process. Academic advising is a vital part of this process and is thus mandatory for all students.

Academic Advising

Question: What is the difference between a professional (academic) advisor and faculty advisor?

Answer: Advisors in the Advising and Counseling Department advise new and undeclared students. After one semester at Southwest, the student is assigned a faculty advisor from the academic department affiliated with the student's declared major: e.g., a student who decides to major in history will be assigned an advisor who is a history professor. Ideally, the student and his assigned faculty advisor will establish a relationship that continues throughout the student's time at Southwest, until he or she graduates.


Here are some tips so you can gain the most from your academic advising session:

  • Plan your personal progress
    • Keep scheduled appointments. If it is necessary for you to reschedule your appointment, please call/email the advisor or the departmental secretary before the appointment.
    • Bring the degree plan with you to the advising session. You can access your degree plan from the Academic Catalog by visiting the Directory of Programs page.
    • Give your advisor accurate information about your study habits, strengths and weaknesses, academic progress and goals.
    • Ask specific questions regarding general education requirements, academic policies, resource referrals (tutoring, note taking, career exploration, personal counseling).
  • Students who are new or undecided are assigned to the Advising and Counseling Department. New students will be asked to take the Kuder® Career Planning System assessments during the first semester, declare a major, and report to that academic department.
  • Students who have selected a specific academic program are asked to contact the faculty advisor listed on the Dashboard tab in the My.SouthwestCollege Portal (opens new window). Faculty members are the core providers of advising for students who have declared a major.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to meet with his/her advisor prior to each registration. This ensures the course selection fits your career path for the next semester. Students who take advantage of an early advising session also have the opportunity to select the most ideal course schedule.
  • During early registration, advising at the Macon Cove and Union Avenue Campuses is handled by appointment. Students are advised that there could be a wait. We encourage you to bring something to read (i.e. textbook, class notes, etc.). Prospective students are advised to bring copies of all transcripts with them.