The Role of the Academic Advisor & Department Chair

The role of the Academic Advisor

As an academic advisor, you can encourage students to think about an international experience in the larger context of their academic program at Stonehill College. As part of Stonehill's Office of International Programs application process, all students are encouraged to meet with their Academic Advisor early in their academic career to develop a 4-year plan that includes studying or interning abroad. Students and their advisor should discuss how being abroad for one or two semesters will fit into their academic plan, as well as how taking courses abroad will enhance their academic experience. While mapping out a 4-year plan with students, other things to consider might include:

  • Confirm the student is able to complete all academic requirements on schedule.
  • Inform the student that typically no more than two courses for their major and one course for their minor can be taken abroad. This is a general guideline and will vary from department to department. If you are unsure of your particular department's policy, contact your department chair. Courses outside of a student's major and/or minor are generally considered as elective credit.
  • Advise the student that General Education requirements can be taken abroad but will require an additional level of approved. These courses are approved first by the department under which they live and second by the Dean of General Education. 
  • Discuss with your advisee the type of course(s) within the major and/or minor that would be best taken abroad.
  • Determine if certain major and/or minor course requirements are only offered during a specific semester at Stonehill (i.e. fall or spring only courses) and discuss how this might dictate which semester would best suit the student to be abroad.
  • Assess the student's level of foreign language proficiency if the abroad program is located in a non-English speaking country.

The role of the Department Chair

In order to receive transfer credit for courses successfully completed within a student's major and/or minor, the student must have those courses pre-approved by their respective Department Chair. The Office of International Programs has developed a Course Approval Form and Process. The approval form must be signed by the Department Chair and returned to the student at the end of the semester prior to their departure, typically late April for fall programs and late November for spring programs.

When meeting with their Department Chair, students should bring descriptions of the course(s) that they are interested in taking while abroad. While there does not need to be an equivalent course offered at Stonehill, the courses should fit into the framework of the major or minor and compliment courses that are offered at Stonehill. In addition to taking up to two courses for their major and one for their minor, students should also choose alternate courses in the event that course offering happen to change after their arrival.

The student and the Department Chair will review the course descriptions and discuss how these courses fit into the overall academic plan of the student. In order to transfer the course back to Stonehill for academic credit, the student must earn a U.S. equivalent grade of "C" or better. Should a student earn a "C-" or below, credit will not be awarded. Students with less than a "C" should contact Academic Services to discuss their options.

We encourage students to take a variety of courses that will provide an opportunity to learn about the culture, history, language of their new host country. Many of these courses may not full major or minor courses, but may fulfill an elective at Stonehill College. Students should bring course descriptions and the Course Approval Form when they meet with their Department Chair.