Advising at KCAD

At KCAD, advising means supporting students at every step of their education, from the moment they decide to apply to the day they earn their degree. 

As their journey unfolds, students will be empowered to take ownership of their experience by collaborating with Admissions Counselors, the college’s Coordinator of Academic Advising, and their assigned Program Advisor to co-design an academic path that will position them to reach their creative and career goals.

Have Questions?

Current Students Looking for Advising Assistance:
Connect with KCAD's Coordinator of Academic Advising

Prospective Students Looking to Learn More About Coming to KCAD:
Connect with the Admissions Team


Meet Your Advisors

Admissions Counselors are students’ first support system at KCAD. In fact, many students may have even applied because of them. Potential students meet one-on-one with an Admissions Counselor who will guide them through each stage of the application process. An Admissions Counselor will also go through a student’s portfolio of creative work with them to learn more about where their strengths and interests lie and help connect them to the program of study that fits them best.

The Coordinator of Academic Advising is a professional academic advisor who advises all KCAD undergraduate majors. Regardless of what program of study a student enters, the Coordinator of Academic Advising will help them translate their interests, abilities, and goals into an academic plan that works for them and their future. That means personalized guidance in choosing which courses to take and when to take them; building a convenient class schedule; taking advantage of internships, study away experiences, and other opportunities; seeking additional help from other support systems at KCAD and in the community at-large (where appropriate); and making sense of how KCAD’s institutional policies and requirements affect students’ options.

A student’s Program Advisor is a KCAD faculty member from their program who acts as a steward of their future, helping them shape a path through the program that takes them from where they are to where they want to go. That means personalized career advice and guidance in choosing electives, internships, and other experiences that meet students’ unique creative and career goals as well as program-specific requirements. And when obstacles to success pop up, their Program Advisor will be there to help students find solutions that make sense for their situation.


Advising Learning Outcomes

Just as all KCAD courses have learning outcomes, so does academic advising. Through working with their advisors, students will:

  • Understand the curricular requirements, academic standards, and key academic milestones of their chosen program of study
  • Understand KCAD’s academic policies and procedures
  • Be made aware of campus resources, programs, and support systems that will help them succeed
  • Take responsibility for making decisions that impact their academic success
  • Develop an educational plan and regularly assess their progress toward completing their degree


Making the Most of Advising

Students should think of advising as a team effort between them and their advisors. Like any group project, students will have individual responsibilities they need to live up to if they want their team to succeed:

  • Always be mindful of academic and career goals
  • Regularly schedule (and follow through with) advising appointments
  • Arrive to advising sessions prepared and ready to actively participate
  • Ask questions when further understanding is desired
  • Keep the KCAD Academic Calendar handy to stay on top of college-wide advising days (hosted each semester), registration dates, and other key deadlines
  • Understand the academic policies in the Ferris State University College Catalog
  • Stay on top of emails sent to student email account


Advising for Newly-Accepted Students

Once a student has been accepted to KCAD and has chosen a program of study, an Admissions Counselor will work with them to set their schedule for their first semester and get them registered for classes. After a student has been enrolled and arrives on campus, they’ll be connected to the Coordinator of Academic Advising and their Program Advisor for future advising needs.


First-Year Advising

Students are encouraged to meet with the Coordinator of Academic Advising and their Program Advisor at any time during their first year at KCAD. Seeking advising support and guidance early (and often!) is a great way for students to stay engaged, be prepared, and make the most of their education. 

Advising Appointments: Drop-In vs Scheduled

Drop-in advising sessions with the Coordinator of Academic Advising are available at any time, but making an appointment is always encouraged*. Drop-in advising sessions are handled on a first-come, first-served basis. These 15-minute sessions are intended to address a specific question.

*The Coordinator of Academic Advising will prioritize drop-in appointments during key times of each semester.

Scheduled advising appointments require students to schedule them in advance. These sessions can be held Monday through Friday, and are typically 30 minutes long.


Advising Appointment Etiquette

If a student needs to cancel a scheduled advising appointment, they are expected to notify their advisor as soon as possible so that the scheduled time slot can be made available to another student. Students are expected to arrive on time for their scheduled advising appointments. In turn, students can trust that their advisors will show them the same courtesy and respect.


Preparing for an Advising Appointment

Before any scheduled or drop-in advising appointment, students should do the following to make sure they get the most out of the experience:

  • Review their Program Plan (see a sample Program Plan)
  • Prepare a list of questions to guide the conversation
  • Review the requirements of their major and KCAD’s General Education requirements
  • Ask a faculty or staff member for assistance if they’re having trouble with any of the above steps


Tracking Time to Graduation

Students can monitor their Program Plan progress at any time using MyDegree, the university's online degree audit system. Students can clearly view and understand their program's graduation requirements and their progress toward them in one easily accessible place. 


Early Alert Outreach

KCAD believes that consistent early warning from faculty is the best way to keep our students on track to succeed. If by the third week of a semester a student is noticeably absent from class, or falling behind in other ways, the Coordinator of Academic Advising and the student’s Program Advisor will work with them to understand their issues and connect them to the help and support they need.