It is understandable that the last thing a student wants to think about during their spring break is what classes they will be taking next semester. But Advising Center Director Gretchen Potter wishes this was not the case.

“People tend to be a lot more flustered,” said Potter of the students that visit the advising center during April. According to Potter, many students have not had the sufficient time to prepare for their advising appointments, let alone consider what requirements they should be focusing on next.

Potter sees this flustered state most commonly in the junior class, who are soon-to-be seniors. When they arrive at their advising appointments in April, juniors are no longer just planning out the next semester but their entire senior year to ensure that they will be on-track to graduate. This includes making sure they will have fulfilled their upper-division credit requirements.

“Even if they’re not worried about it, they should keep an eye on it,” warned Potter.

She also explained that upper-division credits are one of the “big three” areas of concern that she emphasizes with all students, especially juniors that come into her office.

One of the other three areas to watch is a student’s number of credits completed within their major. This is often referred to as the “52-hour rule,” because students can use a maximum of 52 credits from their department to go towards their degree.

This leads to the third component of “the big three,” which is the 72 credits that students must complete outside their major. According to Potter, this could potentially be a greater struggle for students because in certain, smaller departments, a lot of the required classes do not branch out into other disciplines; whereas a major like biology is more easily applicable with the outside department of chemistry.

Potter said these very important requirements, which together make a total of 124 credits, often lie in the back of a student’s mind because “it’s not the most understandable in the program evaluation. It can catch people off guard.”

To compensate for this, Potter suggested that students come to their appointments prepared, having looked at their program evaluation, which can be seen on their BoxerOnline account, and found several options for their two required focal studies if they have not yet completed them.

To receive guidance from Potter on upcoming advising, email gpotter@pacificu.edu or the advising center directly at advisingcenter@pacificu.edu to set up an appointment.

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