CSI Advising Center


Frequently Asked Questions

We realize you may have a lot of questions and concerns as you navigate through CSI. With you in mind, our office has compiled frequently asked questions that you as a student may encounter. Remember that sound advice also comes from campus personnel so don't be afraid to ask. Our friendly staff will point you in the right direction.

Meeting With Your Advisor(s)

Declaring a Major

Placement Testing

Planning Your Schedule

Registering for Classes

Transferring Your Credits

Why is advising important? What is continuous advising?

Advising services are an essential part of student success. Through advising students are able to better prepare for each semester and make educated decisions towards their program course selections.  Meeting with an advisor allows students to stay on track towards graduation, plan for transfer and help identify opportunities to enter the workforce.

Continuous advising is the requirement for students to meet with either their focused area or major advisor to discuss courses before they are able to register for classes.  This falls under the idea that students who receive advising are more successful in completing their degree and doing so in a logical and timely order that removes certain barriers that students might face through self-advising.  Continuous advising helps eliminate mistakenly taking the wrong courses or extra classes that are not necessary.  Making sure that students can sign up for a certain class within a specific term and managing a students schedule to best fit their needs. 

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What are the responsibilities of students and advisors?

Student Responsibilities include:

  • Learn about CSI program degree requirements, catalog, regulations, and instructional calendar information.
  • Schedule regular advising sessions with major advisor for appropriate course selection guidance, create a graduation plan, and receive up-to-date campus resources and support.
  • Make informed, timely decisions based on information contained in the CSI catalog and provided by your major advisor.
  • Log-in and access CSI Student Webmail, NetPartner, BankMobile, MyCSI, and Canvas accounts.
  • Visit the CSI website for current events and updates.
  • Abide by all College policies, including the CSI Student Code of Conduct.

Advisor Responsibilities:

  • Develop knowledge about admissions, course and program placement, and developmental advising philosophy.
  • Understand and explain relationships between degree requirements, CSI catalog regulations, and instructional calendar information.
  • Assist students with relevant career and workforce advice, proper course sequence selection, and articulation program agreements.
  • Maintain working knowledge relating to CSI Student Webmail, NetPartner, BankMobile, MyCSI, and Canvas.
  • Act as a referral resource to advisees to other CSI departments or community agencies as appropriate and necessary.
  • Assist students in selecting courses that reflect individual interests and are required or count toward degree/certificate completion.
  • Protect the privacy of students' educational records by adhering to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.

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Who are my focused area advisor and major advisor? What is the difference?

Focused Area Advisor's are assigned to students based on their degree/program selection.  Students meet with their Focused Area Advisor when first enrolling or transferring to CSI.  The Focused Area Advisor will help in the pre-registration of courses for the first term, SOAR, and the transition information to move forward with continuous advising through the major advisor.  Students may contact the Advising Center at advising@csi.edu or by phone at 208.732.6250 to learn who their Focused Area Advisor is and to setup an appointment to meet with them.

Major advisors are faculty members under a students selected degree/program of interest.  Students begin to meet with their major advisor typically in the second semester of enrollment when they go to setup classes during continuous advising.  Major advisors are their to assist students in selecting courses that best fit the students schedule and keeps them on track to graduate. Students are informed of who their major advisor is when first meeting with their Focused Area Advisor. Students may also contact the Advising Center or look to the program websites page to learn who their major advisor is and how to contact them.

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When should I meet with my advisor?

New students should meet with their Focused Area Advisor as soon as they have been officially admitted and submitted all official Admissions documentation, including high school transcripts and placement information.  Current students should meet with their major advisor at least two weeks before the start of the registration period each semester. It is also encouraged for students to meet with their advisor periodically throughout the semester if any questions or concerns arise.

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How do I contact my advisor?

New students, undeclared, Liberal Arts majors, and non-degree seeking students should contact the Advising Center and schedule an appointment to meet with their Focused Area Advisor. Current students will be directed to contact their major advisor for continuous advising. To set-up an appointment with your major advisor visit the directory page for office hours and location.

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What materials should I bring to my advising session?

Being prepared for your advising meeting will make best use of your time and be informative as possible. We suggest you bring the following materials to each session:

  • List of questions and concerns regarding your declared major
  • Placement test scores (if applicable)
  • List of course interests
  • Transfer questions and employment workforce opportunities

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Do I need to declare a major before I start college?

It is helpful to declare a major before the start of the academic year as part of the catalog matriculation process. However, it is not required to select a major before attending classes, unless you plan on receiving Financial Aid. Contact the Advising Center or the program listing to research your degree options.

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How do I receive help on declaring a major?

If you are uncertain about what program to study or have a few career ideas but don't know where to start, the Career and Counseling Services is here to help. Career and Counseling Services offers a wealth of information on hundreds of careers to help you research career options and educational goals. Weekly workshops are available in Career Exploration, Successful Job Seeking, and Test Anxiety at no cost.

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Can I change my declared major?

It is not uncommon for students to change their major while attending CSI. These changes happen as a result of a shift in lifestyle and interests, career path exploration, or workforce needs. Before you declare a new major, we highly suggest setting up a meeting with your current and potential major advisor to discuss the pros and cons in each area of study. If you decide to change your major, submit the request online through MyCSI.

Please note: Students receiving financial aid and scholarships should consult with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss conditions relating to a change in major.

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Do I have to take the ALEKS and/or WriteClass if I have other placement?

Students may be exempt from one or both placements (ALEKS/WriteClass), if they submit an acceptable alternative. The Advising Center or your major advisor will help determine if you meet placement by other means such as transfer credit and/or other placement tests like (ACT/ SAT).

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Can I retake the ALEKS and/or WriteClass?

Students wishing to improve their placement scores may repeat the ALEKS a total of four times after the initial test (a total of 5 attempts is available). 

The WriteClass survey is only available to complete one time.  If a student is unsatisfied with where they are placed they may speak with the English department for further evaluation.

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How long are my placement scores valid?

Placement scores will be considered valid if they have been taken within three years from the date of original testing.

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How should I balance college and other outside obligations?

Because every student has different life obligations such as work, family, travel, and course delivery preferences, flexibility is key. The chart below is a guideline to keep in mind when planning your schedule.

Outside Time Obligation: 40 hours/week 30 hours/week 20 hours/week 5-15 hours/week
Suggested Credit Load: 6 credits 9 credits 12 credits 14-16 credits


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How much time commitment is needed for each credit?

A credit hour is defined as the number of hours of class time per week. For example, a three credit class will meet three hours per week for the duration of a full semester. You will also need to schedule time outside of class for homework and studying. Remember the 2:1 Rule, for every class hour plan on at least two hours of outside class time.

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When should I register for classes?

New students are encouraged to supply all admissions documentation as soon as possible and setup their advising appointment with the Advising Center immediately upon confirmation that all documentation has been received by CSI.  New students will follow the process of pre-registration and will need to complete SOAR to secure the pre-registered courses as registered.  Getting started earlier in the process allows for more availability in SOAR dates and flexibility in creating a desired course schedule.

Current students are strongly encouraged to schedule a time to meet with their major advisor two weeks before registration opens. Getting continuous advising done earlier allows students to register the first day upon open registration. Registering early for classes will provide many course section options, so don't wait until the last minute. The Academic Calendar indicates the open registration dates for each term.

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How do I register for classes?

New students will pre-register for classes using the pre-registration form provided by their focused area advisor. 

Current students are expected to register online using MyCSI after first completing continuous advising with their focused area or major advisor.

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Where can I find my class schedule after I register?

You can view and print your class schedule on MyCSI. The course schedule contains the course title, credit amount, instructor, class meeting time, and class location. If you don't know your textbook and class material requirements, bring your schedule to the Bookstore and the staff will help you gather purchases.

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Will all completed credits transfer to the 4-year school that
I am planning to attend?

CSI is an accredited institution, therefore all completed credits will transfer. While all the credits will transfer, each school will determine transfer equivalency for the intended program. We suggest you contact a transfer representative to determine course selection at CSI. The following transfer guides are provided by regional institutions and may be useful as you plan to transfer.


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