Advising Philosophy

At CCAS, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive community. We respect, value, and celebrate the diversity of all UW–Madison students.

By committing ourselves to supporting and advocating for students of all identities, we hope to help foster a healthy campus environment where students can explore academic interests, make decisions about majors and careers, and reach their full potential.

We are here to listen, get to know YOU and your story, AND help you create a plan for making academic and career decisions.

Advising with CCAS

CCAS is designed to help undergraduate students explore the many academic opportunities at UW-Madison. Our advisors are knowledgeable about every major and certificate at UW-Madison.

With this knowledge, we are available to all undergraduate students regardless of major.

Our goal is to discover and learn about:

  • which courses and activities interest you
  • what you are naturally curious about
  • the ideas you have about majors and careers

We can talk about:

  • degree requirements, courses, majors, and certificate programs
  • campus involvement, study abroad, and research opportunities
  • the connection between majors and careers
  • academic and student support resources
  • other questions and concerns during your first year and beyond
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We provide tools to help you make decisions about your major and career goals:

  • One-on-one appointments with experienced academic and career advisors
  • A central office in Ingraham Hall and advising offices in five residence halls
  • Major and career drop-in events offered each semester in partnership with the Career Exploration Center (CEC)
  • Highly trained peer advisors, who are current UW-Madison students able to answer advising and student life questions
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CCAS Students

A CCAS student is ANY undergraduate student who is exploring their academic options! We support many students at different points in their academic journey, and everywhere in between:

Completely undecided and are feeling unsure and maybe overwhelmed about where to start.

Love many subjects and do not know how to pick one major, certificate, or a combination.

Have never had the chance to pick classes they like and need some guidance about what is possible.

Know you want to apply to a limited enrollment program and need course planning guidance while other options.

Have a general sense of what you like, but don’t know, or want to explore, which programs can match those interests.

Know what you DO NOT like, but need guidance trying out new experiences to see what you DO like.

We also recognize that sometimes students come to UW-Madison with a plan or major in mind and for a variety of reasons that plan does not happen.

We are here to help those students too!

Student & Advisor Collaboration

Although students are ultimately responsible for their educational experiences, we believe academic advising is a collaborative process. We do all we can to help students identify and achieve their individual academic and career goals.

Both you and your advisor will bring different things to this collaborative partnership:

What Students Bring:

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Questions, thoughts, and ideas

Your questions, thoughts, and concerns is an active part of advising. These are fundamental to creating meaningful discussions and informed decision-making. Your advisor will also ask questions to help you reflect on your experiences and goals. Being curious and open-minded creates many possibilities along your academic journey.

Your full self

A key part of the advising partnership is understanding you as a whole person. This includes your strengths, interests, motivations, and concerns. Having honest communication helps your advisor understand your needs and provide individual support.

Ownership of your education

As a student, you are responsible for your own education. This involves active learning, seeking help when needed, and being accountable. Advocating for your needs is also a key part of navigating your academic journey. Advisors help empower you to make informed choices, achieve success, and handle challenges.

What CCAS Advisors Bring:

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Help to make informed decisions

Advisors provide expert guidance and knowledge to navigate complex academic choices. We are here to help guide your decision-making towards your personal success. CCAS advisors will not “prescribe” answers or programs to students. We will discuss important information and potential outcomes relevant to you. Our conversations empower you to make informed decisions that align with your goals.

A safe, non-judgmental space

Trust and empathy are the foundation of our advising. Our advisors create an environment where students feel comfortable and safe. We actively listen without judgment and offer support regardless of the situation. We want to hear what is important to you and what you need to help you openly explore. We will keep your information confidential (unless there are special circumstances).

Resources and connections

Using campus resources is crucial to enhancing your academic experience. Advisors help connect you with a wealth of resources. This includes learning support, research, career services, basic needs, and campus involvement. Our advisors will stay informed on academic information and any changes impacting students. Advisors will consult with professionals across campus to provide accurate information.

If you do not know where to go for something, your advisor can help you figure it out! We have networks across campus to find what you need. We are here to be your starting point and refer you to other campus offices when needed.