Advising Your Education Student

One of the worst-kept secrets at Gettysburg College is that any student wishing to pursue teacher certification must begin the process of establishing a program and meeting with an advisor immediately in order to ensure that all requirements are met. But this is a half truth: while it is important to plan a program of study that leads to certification deliberately and carefully, doing so is no more taxing or onerous than planning most majors. All it takes is understanding of the requirements and a little bit of good old fashioned elbow grease.

I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it"
—Harry S. Truman

Supporting this process for every student who seeks certification are two equally important people playing crucial roles: the student's education advisor (a full-time member of the Education Department faculty) and the student's major advisor, usually the person assigned as the student's primary academic advisor. The road to certification is less likely to be in need of repair when these three individuals--the education advisor, the major advisor, and the student--work together to ensure successful program completion. While it is ultimately the responsibility of the individual student to ensure that his or her goals are met, advisors play a critical role in explaining how academic requirements correlate, where they diverge, and how best to design a plan for completing them. 

This area of our website was designed with academic advisors in mind: we know how difficult it can be to understand the requirements for certification, especially since they have been as likely to change as not in recent years. But the Education Department wants to make a promise to you: we won't approve any changes to our program requirements without describing them here and keeping our students and our colleagues all over campus abreast of how and why these changes were made. If questions ever arise while using this website or attempting to advise students, do not hesitate to contact any member of the Education Department faculty to discuss your concerns. Your students are our students; we look forward to hearing form you.

You can also download a copy of the Guidelines for First-Year Students and Advisors if you would like to keep a paper version of these guidelines handy. If you would prefer that we print a hard copy for you please contact Abby Sines, our office administrator.