The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Advising Resources

Listed below are recommendations for faculty advisors of English majors. 

Conact your advisees

Please contact your advisees via email before pre-registration begins to encourage them to meet with you for pre-reg counseling. It would also be helpful if you reminded them to search their Spire account for any pre-reg holds that may have been placed. There could be a variety of reasons why a student has a hold on their account: an immunization hold, an overdue library or parking fee, a bursar bill, an academic hold. This alerts them to look for and clear any pre-reg holds placed on their account before their pre-registration enrollment appointment becomes active.

Run each advisee's ARR

Your advisees need to know where they stand not only in the English major but in their overall degree progress. They meet you to ensure they are doing what they need to do to graduate on time. Therefore, it is important to run a student’s Academic Requirements Report (ARR) and review it together, as this report lists all their degree requirements as covered in greater detail below. You are likely to be the only person who takes a holistic look at the student's record, so doing what you can to help them stay on track is essential.

It would also be helpful to the student if you flowed out their progress in the major on the major's checklist. You might be surprised by how many students hold on to that sheet and refer it to it going forward. It’s a one-sheet resource to them on their overall progress.

Also, please review the entire coursework, located at the end of the ARR to look for English courses that may have been overlooked on the major’s requirement section of the report. Sadly, it is not uncommon for even a pre-approved English course to not be accurately reflected on the ARR, as most of our courses can count toward more than one requirement and Spire often allocates those courses incorrectly. We can correct these mistakes at the English undergraduate office.

Leave notes in Spire

Use Spire notes to document important discussions with your advisee, like their interest in a letter of specialization, a career path, studying abroad, an approved substitution toward a major requirement, etc. Also, check Spire notes for additional information provided by the English undergraduate office. We use Spire notes when a student declares the major and expresses interest in a letter or a career path, etc. Spire notes are meant to help us communicate with each other and remember what we discussed the last time we met with an advisee, to both save time and stay on track. See Celeste at the English undergraduate office if you need help finding Spire notes.

Release advising holds

Please be aware that effective spring 2018, we are requiring all majors enrolled in English 200 to meet with their Advisor for pre-registration counseling, and we need you to email Celeste at ( when you have met with these students so that she can release the pre-registration hold she has placed on their account.