Introduction to Academic Advising at Carleton

Advising relationships play a crucial role in a Carleton education, empowering you to take ownership of your education.  Beginning with your arrival this fall and continuing through your first two years at Carleton, you will be assigned a "liberal arts adviser" who will help orient you to the educational opportunities at Carleton and facilitate your active and thoughtful planning process.  When you declare a major, you will develop an advising relationship with a professor in your chosen area of study, your "major adviser," and often with other mentors as well, through coursework, research, and engaged learning opportunities on and off campus.

At Carleton, liberal education is not only about fulfilling requirements (though there are a few), but about charting a rich and meaningful educational trajectory through the liberal arts.  A “liberal arts” education is meant to facilitate human growth and freedom (that’s what “liberal” means in this context) through broad and deep inquiry.  Your liberal arts adviser will work with you to design a program of study that develops strong intellectual and practical skills, the capacity to engage with complex and diverse communities, breadth of knowledge, and an interdisciplinary flexibility of mind—and, above all, the ability to put these skills and perspectives into practice in a variety of different circumstances.

Advising Objectives

You and your liberal arts adviser should work together individually to ensure that, by the end of your second year, you have:

  • articulated your projected program of study and your reasons for choosing it;
  • planned and applied for at least one experience or program beyond the traditional classroom that is exciting to you and makes sense in the context of your academic plan--whether through off-campus study, community and/or civic engagement, internship or research options; and
  • declared your major(s) (and possibly concentration), and established a mentoring relationship with a professor in your chosen area(s) of study.

You should also be able to:

  • reflect on your experiences so as to identify your own interests, strengths, and challenges;
  • articulate your educational goals and strategies for achieving them.