Academic Advising

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Our Vision and Mission

Cal Poly strives to provide effective academic advising in an encouraging and welcoming atmosphere to support students as they navigate their undergraduate academic experience and learn to value their education, in order to foster individual academic success.

Academic Advising at Cal Poly is an on-going, intentional, educational partnership dedicated to student success. Cal Poly is committed to building collaborative relationships and a structure that guides students to discover and pursue life goals, support diverse and equitable educational experiences, advance students' intellectual and cultural development, and teach students to become engaged, self-directed learners and competent decision makers.

Which Academic Advisor You Should See

Faculty Advisor

  • Advising for major and support courses
  • Concentration and elective selection
  • Interpretation of courses
  • Senior project
  • Mentorship
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Career/graduate school selection

Mustang Success Center Advisor

  • Academic advising for first time, first year students
  • Change of major information
  • Understanding online advising/registration tools/block scheduling
  • Selecting General Education (GE) courses
  • Transfer credit including AP/IB and courses taken at other colleges
  • Connecting with appropriate campus resources

College Primary Role Advisor

  • Academic advising for transfer students and continuing students
  • Overall degree requirements/creating a degree plan
  • Students on academic probation and other specific student populations with specific needs
  • Referral to appropriate support services

How to Maximize Your Advising Experience

  • Think through what questions you have and contact the appropriate advisor.
  • Take the initiative to meet with your academic advisor regularly and follow through with recommendations.
  • When you email faculty or staff members, use your Cal Poly email account ( and be sure to sign your name. Be professional. Be sure to clearly explain questions or requests.
  • Check your Cal Poly email daily, and reply in a timely manner to all correspondence methods (both email and phone calls).
  • Silence your cell phone prior to advising appointments.

What We Expect of You, the Student

Students share responsibility for a successful university experience and are expected to contribute to effective advising experiences by doing the following:

  • Be an active learner by fully engaging in the advising process.
  • Attend and be on time to advising appointments and programs, and cancel or  reschedule if necessary.
  • Be prepared to discuss your goals and educational plans during meetings with advisors.
  • Be open and willing to consider advice from advisors, faculty, and other mentors.
  • Inform an advisor of any concerns, special needs, or barriers that might affect academic success.
  • Know that you are responsible for fulfilling all the requirements of the curriculum which you are enrolled.
  • Keep and organize personal copies of all important documents relevant to your academic career and progress to degree.
  • Become knowledgeable of the university catalog, campus-/college-/ major-specific academic policies and procedures, academic calendar deadlines and degree or program requirements.
  • Review your Degree Progress Report (DPR) each quarter and seek assistance to resolve any errors or questions in a timely manner.
  • Accept responsibility for your decisions and your actions (or inactions) that affect your educational progress and goals.

What You Can Expect of Your Advisors

Advisors share responsibility for a successful university experience and are expected to contribute to effective advising experiences by doing the following:

  • Provide a respectful and confidential environment where you can comfortably discuss academic, career, and personal goals and freely express your concerns.
  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, degree/college requirements, graduation requirements, and university policies and procedures.
  • Assist you in defining your academic, career, and personal goals, and empower you to create an educational plan that is consistent with those goals.
  • Actively listen to your concerns, respect your individual values and choices, and empower you to make informed decisions.
  • Serve as an advocate and mentor to promote your success.
  • Encourage and support you as you gain the skills and knowledge necessary for success.
  • Respond to your questions through meetings, phone calls, or email in a timely manner during regular business hours.
  • Collaborate with and refer you to campus resources to enhance your success.
  • Maintain confidentiality of your student records and interactions.
  • Keep regular office hours and be available to meet with you.
  • Participate in evaluating and assessing advising programs and services to better serve you.

Contact Information for College Advising Centers

Contact Phone #
Mustang Success Center 805.756.6211
College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences 805.756.7574
College of Architecture & Environmental Design 805.756.1325
Orfalea College of Business 805.756.2601
College of Engineering 805.756.1461
College of Liberal Arts 805.756.6200
College of Science & Mathematics 805.756.2615

Other Academic Advising Services

Contact Phone #
Academic Skills Center 805.756.1256
Athletics Advising 805.756.7041 or 805.756.7043 or 805.756.6495
Disability Resource Center 805.756.1395
Educational Opportunity Program 805.756.2301
Mathematics Placement Exam (MAPE) 805.756.2206
Graduate Education 805.756.2328
Health Professionals Advising 805.756.2615
Student Academic Services 805.756.2301
TRIO Achievers 805.756.1395
Writing and Learning Center (EPT, Early Start English, GWR, tutoring) 805.756.6032

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