The Undergraduate Office serves the SPIA community by acting as liaison with other appropriate UGA entities and by participating in campus-wide committees related to undergraduate issues. Office staff also provides information on academic programs in SPIA to potential students, their parents and other non-UGA offices.
The mission of the undergraduate office in the School of Public and International Affairs is:
- to provide high quality academic advising and graduation certification to undergraduates;
- to assist the school, departments, and students with undergraduate issues;
- and to encourage student-faculty interactions as an important part of the curriculum.
The undergraduate office staff works towards this mission in several different ways. We provide required academic advising for all SPIA undergraduates in individual and group settings conducted by conscientious and well trained advising professionals. We assist students with meeting their educational and career goals through academic planning and refer them to other campus resources when appropriate. We manage course enrollments to maintain fair access for students and increased efficiency for the departments. We certify the completion of requirements and graduation of all SPIA undergraduates to the registrar. Office staff cooperates with the faculty in the areas of academic appeals and curricular matters. The office staff also enhances the undergraduate experience in SPIA through facilitation of extra-curricular events and activities which promote student involvement in SPIA and in public and international affairs.
The Undergraduate Office has three “core advising values”:
While the value systems of advisors are not limited to these three ideals, we do believe they are core values from which other important characteristics emanate. We understand these values to be “shared” in the relationship between advisors and students, but also recognize that student perceptions of advising values are important. Holistic advising values should also consider relationships among peers and with administrators.
Advisors are responsible persons. They are relied upon by students to be knowledgeable and accurate about institutional requirements, rules and regulations. They are also commissioned to promote and enhance student learning on campus: directly with students through programming or example and indirectly through supporting faculty and other staff initiatives.
Advisors should be skilled at listening and explaining. They are often the first person students approach with a problem (academic or otherwise). They are committed to helping students gain clear understandings of advising topics through timely written or oral explanations. They must be physically available and mentally open to students as much as possible. This includes the skilled use of technologies to enhance advising.
Advisors in the School of Public and International Affairs have a duty to students and the School to be fair and honest. They must consider what is right for the whole student body when assisting individual students. They must also recognize individual exceptions in light of social and institutional goals.