College of Liberal Arts Faculty Advisor FAQs

CLA Faculty Advisor Manual (PDF File)

General Advisement

  1. How do I use Pipeline for Advisement?
  2. How am I assigned advisees?
  3. What needs to be done for a student to graduate?
  4. A parent has called me asking about their child's progress, what can I tell them?
  5. My advisee wants career information, what resources are available?
  6. My advisee has a hold, how can I remove it?

New Students

  1. How do freshmen register for the first time?
  2. What's the deal with prescribed courses?
  3. What is UNIV 1010 and why should students take it?

Transfer Students

  1. How do transfer students register for the first time?
  2. My advisee previously went to a TBR institution. How do their classes transfer to MTSU?
  3. My advisee previously went to a non-TBR institution. How do their classes transfer?
  4. How do I complete a course substitution form?

General Advisement

  1.  How do I use Pipeline for Advisement? 

    Please review this Pipeline tutorial.

  2.  How am I assigned advisees? 

    The department secretary assigns advisees to faculty advisors based on your department's policy. Please review your department policy with the chair of your department. 

  3.  What needs to be done for a student to graduate? 

    Please review the Graduation link. If you have further questions please contact Kathy Jones (the Graduation Analyst for the College of Liberal Arts). 

  4.  A parent has called to ask about their child's progress. What can I tell them? 

    Students records are private and you are not allowed to release confidential information to anyone but the student. Please review the FERPA tutorial to find which information is considered confidential. If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Records Office at 615-898-2600 or

    You can inform parents of general academic policy or procedures but you cannot give them any specific information about their child's academic progress. In fact, you can't even confirm that their child is attending MTSU. Please encourage the parents to have their child call you and obtain any needed information. 

  5.  My advisee wants career information. What resources are available to them? 

    The Career Development Center assists students and alumni of the University with their career planning and job search from resume and cover letter preparation, interviewing, and networking skills to reviewing and negotiating the job offer. Please contact the Career Development Center for more information. 

  6.  My advisee has a hold, how can we remove it? 

    Log into Pipeline, click on RaiderNet, click on Faculty Services, then click on Advisor Menu. If you need to see if a student has any Holds, you can view these by selecting the "HOLDS"; link. Beneath the hold information will be contact information which will tell you and the student where the department is located that is responsible for the Hold. Whoever put the hold on the student's account is the one that should lift it. 

New Students


  1.  How do freshmen register for the first time? 

    All freshmen must attend a CUSTOMS orientation day before registering. At CUSTOMS they will receive campus tours, meet with an advisor, and register for classes. Please visit the CUSTOMS website for a list of dates. If a student is unable to attend CUSTOMS they need to wait until closer to when the current semester starts before they can register for classes (contact the College Advisor for a list of current dates for freshmen registration). They will still need to meet with an advisor before registering. If they have declared a major they should meet with the College Academic Advisor or their faculty advisor. If they are undeclared they can meet with the University College Advising Center

  2.  What's the deal with prescribed courses? 

    MTSU has implemented a new program for ACT/SAT or COMPASS prescribed courses, formerly designated as Developmental Studies, effective Fall 2006. Students who are admitted to the University may be required to enroll in these new courses based on ACT/SAT or COMPASS sub-scores. Remedial courses (DSPR0700, DSPW0700, and DSPM0700) will no longer be taught. 

    The new courses are: ENGL 1009K, ENGL 1010K, READ 1000K, UNIV 1010K, MATH 1000K, MATH 1010K,MATH 1530K, and MATH 1710K. The K indicates these are prescribed courses with the "K"; denoted in the section number. The ENGL 1010K, MATH 1010K, MATH 1530K, and MATH 1710K will fulfill General Education requirements. The other "K" courses will apply toward elective credit. 

    The ACT/SAT or COMPASS prescribed courses are designed to serve students whose test sub scores indicate they need additional preparation prior to enrolling in higher-level courses that require specific prerequisites. Their purpose is to help students achieve a level of academic competence that will enable them to work successfully in subsequent courses. Student in prescribed courses enjoy the advantages of classes with smaller enrollments and frequent interaction between instructors and students. Students in these courses also receive regular progress reports. 

    If there are questions regarding the prescribed courses, please contact the University College Academic Enrichment Program at Ext. 2568. 

  3.  What is UNIV 1010 and why should students take it? 

    University is a "freshman seminar"; designed to help first semester students adjust to college life generally and to MTSU specifically. Topics covered include university resources, academic skills, and personal development. Class size is usually kept small (approximately 20-25) to foster the growth of friendships among the students and to allow professors to get to know each student. The course is a three-hour elective and does count toward the 120 hours needed for graduation. For more information please visit this site

    TIP : This course should especially be recommended to freshmen who are uncertain about their choice of major or who do not have strong academic preparation for college. UNIV 1010K is required for students who must take two or more prescribed classes. 

Transfer Students


  1.  How do transfer students register for the first time? 

    The first step for newly admitted students is to complete the online Transfer Student Orientation. In the process of completing this online orientation they will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment to meet with a college advisor. At the appointment the college advisor will review their transcripts and show them what courses will fulfill MTSU's graduation requirements. After meeting with an advisor they will be able to register for the upcoming semester. Please remember that all holds must be removed before registration. 

    If a student meets with a faculty advisor instead of the college advisor please contact the college advisors so they can clear the student to register. 

  2.  My advisee previously went to a TBR institution. How do these courses transfer to MTSU? 

    If the course fulfilled a General Education requirement at the TBR institution it will also work here at MTSU in the same category. 
    For example: 
    SOCI 2010-Marriage and Family , at Motlow Community College is one of the courses that will fulfill the Social & Behavioral Sciences category. Even though MTSU does not have an equivalent to that course in our Social & Behavioral Sciences program we will still use it in that category if a student transfers in with credit for that course from Motlow. 

    American History: Many community colleges will allow their students to take American History, Western Civilization or World Civilization to fulfill their General Education History requirements. We will take any of those courses from a transfer student to fulfill their History requirements here. 

    There is now a new "Transfer Pathways" program that the community colleges use to prepare their students to transfer to a 4 year state institution. MTSU will accept the courses they have taken under the pathway program towards their degree requirements here. This program is designed to guarantee that students have 60 hours left at the university. For more information on this program please go to:

  3.  My advisee previously went to a non-TBR institution. How do these courses transfer to MTSU? 

    Course Equivalents - Admissions staff evaluate the records of students transferring to MTSU and produce an initial transfer credit evaluation for each student. These equivalencies will be listed on the students' MTSU transcript. If the Admissions staff identifies no equivalent MTSU course, the course transfers in as elective credit. However, the initial transfer credit evaluation is not the final word on what will be the appropriate equivalent course at MTSU. Sometimes courses are transferred in as electives when they might be considered equivalent to MTSU courses. This is especially true for courses taken at non-Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Faculty advisors should use their own judgment in working with the transfer evaluation form. Sometimes they may need to ask the student to bring in a catalog description or syllabus for a course in question. College Catalogs can be found through College Source. The advisor, chair, and the dean - not the Admissions Office - have the ultimate authority to decide course equivalencies. 

    Transfer Hour Equivalents - MTSU operates on a semester hour basis; therefore, the credits of students transferring in with quarter hours are converted to semester hours. 

    *The formula is as follows: 
    Each quarter hour = 2/3 of a semester hour 

    Ex. 3 quarter hours = 2 semester hours 
    4 quarter hours = 2.67 semester hours 

    Students do not lose credit when they transfer to MTSU. Transfer hours that do not apply to general studies, majors, or minors can be counted as elective hours toward the 120 hours needed to graduate. A few departments do restrict the number of transfer and /or elective hours that can be applied toward their degrees. Advisors should refer to the catalog for any such restrictions. 

  4.  How do I complete a course substitution form? 

    In many cases a class will transfer into MTSU as an elective. For example a student takes College Algebra (Math 105) at ABC University. When their transcript is evaluated at MTSU the evaluators identify no equivalent MTSU course so the student is given credit for MATH ELLD. Since this is a general education course you, as the student's advisor, have the power to review the course description for MATH 105 at ABC University and determine if it is a match to our MATH 1710. If you determine that it is a match you need to fill out a course substitution form (available from your department secretary or email Judy Albakry). The chair of the student's major will need to sign the form and then it is also signed by the Dean's office of the student's major. The Dean will then forward the form to our graduation analyst who will update the student's information. This process usually takes 1-2 weeks. You do not need to contact anyone in the department in which the course is offered (in this case the Math department). If you need to substitute a course that fulfills the major or minor requirements please contact the chair of that department to determine if the class meets the department's requirements. You can find most course descriptions for any college at Just type in the name of the institution, select the correct catalog year, and search for the course description in the school catalog. 

    *If a student transfers in a course that required a substitution, please be aware that the computer system does not automatically recognize substitutions for registration purposes. If they desire to enroll in a course that requires a prerequisite and they have been granted a substitution for this prerequisite, they will need to contact a College Advisor or department secretary. They must provide the CRN of the course they would like to enroll in to gain an authorization before the computer system will allow them to register for this course. 

    **If a student changes majors to a different college all course substitutions are voided and will have to be approved by the advisor, chair, and Dean of their new major. A new course substitution form will need to be created.