Deciding on which option is better for you depends on how you plan to "spend" the 54 units of academic credit you are limited to in the first-term of your first year (e.g. 4 full, 12-unit subjects and an additional 6 units that you may or may not choose to use).
Advising with a credit component is most typically handled through participation in either:
- An advising seminar (either one in a general area or department of interest).
- Participation in a Learning Community. The Terrascope Learning Community involves taking the special 9-unit subject 12.000 – Solving Complex Problems. Both the Concourse and MAS learning communities have specific seminars for their participants. In Concourse, participation in the Concourse seminar is required. In MAS, participation in one of the MAS seminars is recommended, but not required. Participants in the ESG community have the option to choose to advising via FAS (for-credit) or traditional (non-credit) advising.
Benefits of the for-credit advising option include:
- It's a special academic class that combines advising and learning. Your seminar leader not only teaches the 6-unit seminar but also serves as your advisor for your entire first year. This unique combination of teaching/advising enables you to really get to know your advisor and advising group during regular two hour weekly meeting during the Fall semester.
- Seminar size, style of learning, and pace are all diametrically different from your other classes: no lectures, quizzes, or p-sets. Seminars meet for 2 hours weekly during the Fall term. Homework generally takes 2-4 hours/week.
- Your advising group will include an upper-level student Associate Advisor, who brings the experienced student's perspective. As an advising group, you will have the opportunity to participate in at least a couple of social events a year.
- NOTE: You are expected to remain committed and enrolled/participating in the seminar/community for the entire fall semester. These groups are "teams" just like a varsity team, so dropping out affects the quality of the experience for your fellow advisees and advisor just as it would teammates or a coach.
Advising with no credit component is through participation in either:
- Traditional Advising, which awards no academic credit, but provides the same level of advising as those enrolled in a seminar.
- Participation in some Learning Communities. Since Terrascope students are also automatically registered for the class 12.000 – Solving Complex Problems, they are traditionally advised. Participants in the MAS & ESG learning communities have the option to be advised by a traditional advisor, if non-credit advising is preferred. While MAS does offer and recommend on of their advising seminars for participants, participation in the MAS seminar is not required. If you are interested in MAS or ESG and you prefer non-credit advising, simply select interest in MAS or ESG on your advising application.
Some benefits of the non-credit advising option include:
- Generally takes up less time than an FAS, giving you the opportunity to get involved in other for-credit activities.
- You will meet with your traditional advisor 2-3 times in both semesters.
- You and the other first-years matched with your advisor will form an advising group that includes an upper-level student Associate Advisor, who brings the experienced student's perspective. As an advising group, you will have the opportunity to participate in at least a couple of social events a year.