Frequently Asked Questions

How and Why is the NMSU advising model changing?

As the land-grant university for the state of New Mexico, it is our mission to serve the educational needs of New Mexico’s diverse population. Academic advising plays a key role in helping students plan a successful degree path from Aggie Welcome and Orientation all the way to Graduation.

Currently, different models of advising delivery are used across the six academic colleges.  In one college, only professional advisors are used.  In another college, only faculty advisors are used.  Several colleges have a mix of professional and faculty advisors and have both a central office for advising as well as departmental advising. Having such a wide mix of advising models has created confusion among many students and we feel a more consistent model will better serve our students.

One of our goals with the new Center is to provide a consistent, integrated, and appreciative advising experience for all students in a location that is easy to find.  Advisors will be assigned in a way that will allow many students to keep the same advisor even if they change majors.  Because many enrollment decisions have financial implications, Financial Aid Advisors will have rotating office hours within the new Center.

What is the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support (CAASS)?
CAASS is the central hub for academic advising on campus. All undergraduate students will be able to go to Garcia Annex and find their academic advisor. Academic advisors assist students as they become self-directed learners by teaching them to develop educational plans directed toward their academic, career, and personal aspirations. CAASS provides a central location on campus where undergraduate students, no matter your major, can partner with an academic advisor.
Will I still be able to find an academic advisor in my college?
All professional academic advisors have moved to Garcia Annex to be part of the CAASS team.
Will I have a new academic advisor and when will I find out who they are?
Each academic advisor is assigned a specific group of students. Depending on the previous advising model of your academic college, you might still be working with the same advisor or you might have a new academic advisor. If you haven’t met with your CAASS advisor already you can use our Find Your Advisor tool to see who your CAASS advisor will be.
Will I still be able to work with my faculty advisor?
Of course. With the new model, current students who already have an established relationship with their faculty advisor can continue to work with that person in partnership with your CAASS advisor. We understand how important your faculty mentors are and want you to continue to partner with them. In addition to working with your faculty mentor, you will still receive proactive outreach and support from your academic advisor in the new Center. However, only a CAASS advisor can lift a CAASS advising hold.
When I come in for an advising appointment what should I expect?
Each advising appointment is different depending on the needs of the student. However, here are a few items you can always expect from CAASS.

From your Advisor

  • An academic advisor who wants to work with you to develop an intentional and well thought out plan for being a successful student.
  • An academic advisor who is trained in content directly related to your major. All advisors may now be in one location, but they are not generalists. Advisors are trained in very specific content areas (majors) and are prepared to go over details related to your degree.
  • An advisor who is well versed in NMSU policies, procedures, and deadlines.
  • An amazing resource to get connected to the rest of campus. Academic advisors are here to do more than help you select classes and answer questions about your degree. Being a student is complicated and sometimes confusing. NMSU has wonderful resources that are here to help, and an academic advisor is an excellent way to get connected to them.

For you as the Student

  • Academic advising is built on a partnership between an advisor and a student. Academic advisors are here to provide you with information and guidance, but the ultimate responsibility for planning and completing an academic program rests with the student.
  • Never be afraid to come to the Center to ask questions! However, we do expect students to have at least attempted to understand their degree requirements and come to advising appointments with at least a partially developed plan in place.
  • For example: Don’t know which courses to take next semester? No problem, advisors at CAASS can help! However, before you come, you should have reviewed your STAR degree audit and any departmental advising materials and come prepared with questions for your advisor.
Who is required to meet with an advisor?
We encourage all students to meet with an academic advisor at least once a semester to stay on track toward completely their academic, career, and personal goals for attending NMSU. All freshmen and new transfer students are required to meet with an academic advisor. In addition, all exploratory/undecided students will be required to meet with an academic advisor. All other students will only be required to meet with advisors at key times during their college career.  For example if you are within two semesters of graduating, you should come in to go over your degree requirements and make sure you are on track to graduate on time.  Or if you are off track on completing key degree requirements such as Basic Skills or prereqs for your major, you will be required to come in to see an advisor. CAASS advisors should be part of any major decision you make in your academic career. We encourage you not to think about advising as a task specifically tied to a “requirement or hold” but to think about going to see your advisor anytime you need information or support in making academic decisions. As part of a proactive advising approach, the Center will be contacting you throughout the semester to provide support, guidance, and some well-deserved congratulations.
What is a Faculty Liaison?
The Center for Academic Advising and Student Support wants to make sure that students are staying connected to their academic departments and faculty. Also, we want to ensure that academic advisors in the Center are trained and kept up to date with all curriculum and degree changes. That is where each faculty liaison comes in! The faculty liaison is a key faculty member in each department that will aid in supporting the Center as well as students.