Academic Advising and Support

Academic Advising

The mission of academic advising at Rhodes is to promote student learning. Each entering student is assigned an academic adviser, who will function in that capacity until the student formally declares a major. This must be done prior to the registration period of the spring semester of the sophomore year. At that point, a faculty adviser from the major department is assigned to or selected by the student.

Assisted by the academic adviser, the student learns:

  • To understand the nature of a liberal arts education;
  • To assess his or her strengths and weaknesses;
  • To formulate educational and career goals;
  • To plan a course of action to achieve those goals.

Career Advising

Rhodes graduates have prominence in their chosen professional fields. The top occupational classifications for graduates are Business, Education (on all levels), Law, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Public Relations and Writing.

In addition to the programs and services offered by Career Services, students can seek pre-professional advisement from designated faculty advisers.

The academic program at Rhodes offers a variety of courses that may be used as preparation for graduate study or as preparation for particular professional careers. The prerequisites for professional courses of study vary greatly, not only among the various professions but also among individual institutions preparing students for the professions. Therefore, the faculty adviser should be consulted as soon as a student has decided upon aims for the future, in order that the best course of study may be planned according to individual purposes and needs.

In some cases very specific recommendations for pre-professional courses have been developed: Medicine and the Health Sciences, Business, and Law. The advisers named below have this information and should be consulted early in one’s undergraduate work.

Pre-Professional Advisers

  • Accounting: Professor Pam Church
  • Architecture: Professor Ryan Rasmussen
  • Business:
    • Accounting: Professor Pam Church
    • Finance: Professors Pam Church and Jade Planchon
    • Management: Professor Dee Birnbaum
    • Marketing: Professor Sujan Dan
  • Education: Professors Natalie Person and Zachary Casey
  • Engineering: Professor Elizabeth Young
  • Foreign Service: Professor Stephen Ceccoli
  • Health Care Management: Professor Dee Birnbaum
  • Health Professions: Professors Alan Jaslow and Charles Snyder
  • Law: Professor Anna Smith (assisted by Professors Marcus Pohlmann and Tim Huebner)
  • Ministry and Church-Related Professions: Professor Stephen Haynes and Chaplain Lucy Webb
  • Museum Careers: Professors Victor Coonin and David McCarthy
  • Music: Professor Courtenay Harter
  • Public History: Professor Jeffrey Jackson
  • Psychological Services: Professor Rylan Testa
  • Social Services: Professor Thomas McGowan
  • Theatre: Professor Joy Brooke Fairfield
  • Veterinary Medicine: Professor Alan Jaslow

Preparation for Graduate Study

A student who plans to do graduate work leading to one of the advanced academic degrees should confer with the faculty adviser during the student’s first year if possible, and certainly before entering the junior year. The student’s undergraduate program should be planned in such a way as to include a maximum of study in the chosen major field and in related fields without lessening general knowledge of other fields. Since most graduate schools require a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language for all advanced degrees, the faculty adviser of the prospective graduate student should be consulted regarding the most appropriate foreign language(s) as early as possible in the college career.

The prospective graduate student should consider applying for the Honors Program. The Honors Program provides an opportunity to do more independent, intensive, and individual work than can be done in the regular degree programs. The honors work offers an excellent introduction to graduate study as it employs the full resources of library and laboratory, and encourages independent research and study. The Honors Program is more fully described in the section on Opportunities for Individualized Study.

Academic Support

Academic support services are available to all students through the academic advising system, the Counseling Center, individual meetings with faculty members, workshops, and peer tutoring programs. Many of these services are provided or coordinated by the Office of Student Academic Support. Students who find themselves in academic difficulty may receive assistance from a wide variety of programs in such areas as study skills and time management as well as personal academic counseling and assistance to achieve greater academic success.


PLEASE NOTE: This document reflects information as it was published in the 2015-16 Rhodes Catalogue. You may find more current information elsewhere on