First Year Advising

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Academic Advising is an important part of life as a college student.  Am I in the right major?  How can I discover what major is right for me? What are the requirements for my degree and major?  Am I on track?  What will I do with my major once I graduate?  How can I get the most out of my experience at Burlington College?  Or just, “I need help!”

First Year Advising at Burlington College is a resource available to students to aid in the transition from high school to that of an independent, self-reflective and successful college student.  Burlington College is a small institution with close connections between students, faculty and staff which creates a very supportive environment.  At the same time students at BC must also have a great deal of independence both in and out of the classroom.  The First Year Advisor is an important resource for students during their first year at the college.  The small size of Burlington College allows advising to be highly individualized and can be an important resource as you learn to navigate your college career.  

The first year at Burlington College is a time of discovery, validation and exploration.  Students will begin with General Education (Liberal Arts) coursework which as important tool because it ensures that all students take at least one class in a full spectrum of academic areas.  Students who have selected a major will also begin taking introductory major courses and those that are still undecided will use the first year to enroll in a variety of courses to help in the decision making process.  

Students can meet with their advisor as little or as much as they want but it is encouraged that you meet at least twice a semester to check-in.  Here are some of the ways that the First Year Advisor is an important resource for you:

  • Helps students validate or discover their academic and career goals
  • Works with students on course selection and registration for the first three semesters.
  • Helps students understand degree requirements and with their degree planning
  • Collaborates with faculty and other staff to support your success
  • Aids in the navigation of college policies and procedures (and paperwork!)
  • Facilitates the connection of students with appropriate campus and off-campus resources
  • Works with students to develop student success skills such as time management, organization, study skills, etc.
  • Assists with orientation, student services, and academic events on campus.
  • Helps identify community events, activities and groups that offer extracurricular benefit
  • Acts as a resource for 2nd year housing transition

After your first year, you will move to the second year advisor or a faculty advisor in your major area of study.  Your faculty advisor is an expert in your major area and can guide you as you begin to focus more intently on major coursework, completing your degree requirements and identifying internship opportunities.  There is a great deal of flexibility with major course requirements, so your faculty advisor can also help you decide which courses match with your interests and long term goals.

Questions?  Concerns? Ideas?  Contact the First Year Advisor:


Burlington College
Bryan Shealer
First Year Advisor
Burlington, Vermont 05401
Phone: 800-862-9616
E-mail: bshealeratburlington [dot] edu