Undergraduate Academic Advising

Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising

Trakenya Dobbins, Interim Director Student Services Center, Suite 320 | (501) 569-3386 | Website

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising is available year-round to assist students’ successful transition to UALR.  We provide an intentional and personalized approach to guide students in the exploration of majors.  We advise exploratory students (those who are exploring major degree options) and new and current undergraduate students with up to 45-credit hours.  Declared students (those who are no longer exploring but have decided upon their major/degree of study) are advised by their major department.

Advising services include consideration of standardized test scores and transfer work for course placement, review of General Education UALR Core course requirements, and discussion of federal, state, and UALR policies that affect students.  We believe advising is a shared responsibility between advisor and student, and therefore we assist students through planning class schedules, connect students with beneficial programs and support services, and map students’ academic progress towards graduation.  To ensure services are properly delivered to UALR’s diverse student population, we provide advising services via numerous means and require each student to be advised each semester prior to class registration for the upcoming semester. In addition to Academic Advising, this department coordinates the First Year Colloquium course and offers the Associate of Arts in General Studies degree.

Undergraduate Academic Advising (Originally named University College) was created in 1987 as a part of a university and nationwide movement to address the needs of incoming and undeclared students.  While students with an intended track and/or declared major often had access to advising within their respective departments, the growth of the University system and the degree options that came with it led to an ever-increasing number of students that were “exploratory.”  From this need, UALR Faculty Members, namely through the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures, created what is today known as Undergraduate Academic Advising.

First-Year Colloquium (First-Year Experience)

The First Year Experience (FYE) course was designed to provide a strong foundation for successful transition to UALR.  As of Fall 2011, the FYE course is a graduation requirement for all entering, first-time, full-time freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 12 hours of credit.  All FYE courses carry full academic credit, are small in size, and have similar goals (see course description, PEAW 1300 The First Year Experience).

Some specialized FYEs are aimed at students intending to major in particular subject areas. The following table indicates the appropriate course for such students. Students intending to major in a subject area that is not listed in the table may register for PEAW 1300: First Year Experience. All students should consult with their academic advisor before registering for a FYE. A few FYEs are limited to students in special programs and those receiving particular scholarships. Such students will be contacted through those programs and scholarships as to the appropriate FYE for which they should register.

Intended for Declared Major Course Number Title
All majors (Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising) PEAW 1300 The First Year Experience
Business (Economics, marketing, finance, or management) BSAD 1100 Discovering Business
Chancellor’s Leadership Corps PEAW 1124 Practicum: Leadership Training
Computer Science CPSC 1105 First Year Experience for CPSC Majors
Construction Management and Construction Engineering CNMG 1101 First Year Colloquium in Construction Mgmt. & Eng.
Mechanical Engineering Technology ETME 1110 FYE: Mechanical Engineering Technology
Donaghey Scholars SCHL 1101 Scholars Colloquium
Education (Teacher ed-elementary & middle childhood and secondary ed) TCED 1100 Intro Teaching/Learning
Engineering Technology/Computer ECET 1302 Freshman Year Experience Tech/ Computer
History HIST 1314 First-Year Experience
Mass Communications MCOM 1300 Careers in Mass Media FYC
Information Science IFSC 1105 First Year Experience for IFSC Majors
Math and Science (UTeach) IGSC 1101 or SCED 1101 Step 1: Inquiry Teaching FYC
Systems Engineering SYEN 1210 Intro to Systems Engineering
Theatre and Dance THEA 1201 Theater/Dance: A First Experience
University Science Scholars BIOL/CHEM/ERSC 1305 University Science Scholars
Visual Arts ARST 1201 First Year Experience: Visual Arts

Courses in Personal Awareness (PEAW)

The Division Chief of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising oversees courses in Personal Awareness. The PEAW 1300 course described below can be taken to meet the First-Year Colloquium requirement.

PEAW 1300 First Year Experience
Helps students reach their educational objectives. Interactive instructional methods promote the development of critical thinking skills and positive educational values. Students 1) complete a personal assessment to enhance their understanding of communication and learning styles, lifestyle risks, and loci of control; 2) learn to identify and use appropriate resources both on campus and within the community; 3) acquire skills needed to promote study, personal wellness, goal setting and achievement; 4) develop strategies to manage money, time and stress wisely; and 5) participate in a service learning experience outside the classroom in a setting designed to foster community service. Final course grades are A, B, C, and no credit (NC). Three credit hours.

PEAW 1190 Career Planning and Life Options
A systematic approach to developing decision-making skills and an orientation to the world of work. The focal point of the course is the student and his or her goals. Emphasis is on clarifying and formulating realistic career goals and an appropriate career plan and strategy to achieve these goals. Final course grade is credit (CR)/no-credit (NC). One credit hour.

PEAW 1310 Library Research and Resources
Basic techniques for using the library effectively. Use of information resources, including on-line catalog, computerized databases, bibliographies, and indexes. Attention to students’ individual subject needs. Three credit hours.

PEAW 1124, 2124, 3124, 4124 Practicum: Leadership Training
Designed to recognize and enhance the development of student leaders through an orientation to campus and community resources and through participation in service projects and social activities. Enrollment is restricted to students participating in official university leadership groups. Final course grade is credit (CR)/no-credit. One credit hour (NC).

Associate of Arts in General Studies

The Associate of Arts in General Studies (AAGS) is a 60-hour degree designed with the idea that all students have unique goals and interests.  Students’ responses gathered during foundational research of the AAGS confirm this notion. Some students wish to obtain the degree for professional advancement within their workplace, while others may want to use it as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. Regardless, the common thread is that the AAGS degree reinforces achievement for those who attain it.

General Information

The mission of UALR is to “develop the intellect of students” and to “instill in students a lifelong desire to learn.” The Associate of Arts in General Studies supports this mission by providing students with these competencies, through the core curriculum, while preparing students to progress toward completing a bachelor’s degree. This mission is accomplished through the following goals and objectives:

Learning Objectives

The purpose of the core curriculum is to establish a foundation for the undergraduate academic experience and to ensure that students develop fundamental skills and a lifelong commitment and ability to learn.

  • To provide completion of the General Education UALR Core curriculum and progress towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • To provide students with a means of professional advancement within their workplace.
  • To signify students’ personal and collegiate accomplishment upon receipt of the AAGS degree.

Associate of Arts in General Studies

General: 60 minimum total hours, includes 35 hours of General Education UALR Core; 15 hours of program electives; 10 hours of free electives. A grade point average of 2.00 and completion of 15 hours at UALR are required.

Core (35 hours)
Refer to General Education Requirements, UALR Core Curriculum. It is recommended that students select their core courses based on their intended baccalaureate degree requirements.

Program Electives (Complete 15 hours)
Program electives can be any 1000-level or 2000-level course selected from any General Education UALR Core curriculum category.

Free Electives (Complete 10 hours)
Any course at the 1000-level or above. It is recommended students select electives based upon their intended baccalaureate degree. First Year Experience course can be included.