Advising Handbook

Academic Advising Standards and Guidelines (PDF)

Academic Appeals - topics covered include:

Academic Distinction

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic load

Academic Standing

The Registrar's Office classifies students in one of the following academic states based on the cumulative and semester grade point average (GPA): good standing, academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension, academic dismissal. Students who have received two suspensions for poor scholarship are not eligible to return to WIU except during the summer sessions. If they are able to bring their cumulative GPA to a 2.0 in the summer term, they may apply to CAGAS for reinstatement.

Academic Status

  • Freshmen: Fewer than 30 hours
  • Sophomore: 30-59 hours
  • Junior: 60-89 hours
  • Senior: 90 hours to completion of degree requirements

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Adding/Dropping classes - calendar available on MVS (ACAL). Students can access calendar using STARS.

Administrative Policies and Procedures


Advanced Placement (AP) credit 

  • To take the CEEB Advanced Placement Exam, a student must have taken an AP class in high school from a certified teacher.
  • Completion of a high school AP class without the needed exam score will not result in any college credit.

Advisor Syllabus (PDF)

Advisor training

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Resource Center

Alcohol-Wise Course


Bachelor of Arts in General Studies

Beu Health Center

Billing and Receivables


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CAGAS (Council on Admission, Graduation and Academic Standards)

CAGAS is responsible for recommending and evaluating policies concerning admission, retention, graduation, and academic standards and for establishing some of the procedures to carry out such policies. It also serves as an appellate body regarding such policies and procedures. Appeals for exceptions to policies, for example, adding a class after the deadline, must be handled through CAGAS. Several forms are available on the homepage

Career Services


Centennial Honors College

Center for International Studies

CLEP credit (PDF)

  • CLEP has both subject and general exams. The general exams must be taken prior to starting classes at WIU. Subject exams can be taken after matriculation. To receive credit student must score at least at the 50th percentile.
  • Foreign Language placement recommendations - One year of college study is equivalent to two years of high school study. Placement exams can be scheduled by contacting the Department of Foreign Languages.

Closed class permission - (NOTE: During second week of classes, permission of department chair may be needed, as well)

COAA - Council of Academic Advisors meets biweekly to discuss issues in the advising community.

Communication - accelerated section of 241

Community College Commitment (CCC)

Students entering the university after receiving an A.A. or A.S. (not an A.A.S.) degree receive the Community College Commitment. No matter what classes they actually took for their degree, they are considered to have completed the WIU General Education requirements (11 sh each for NSM, SS and HUM). However, a specific college may impose additional or course-specific General Education requirements.

Computer Labs - campus locations

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Constitution Exam (SB 195 requirement)

  • Students who graduated from an Illinois high school have met this requirement. They must have a copy of an accredited Illinois high school transcript on file in the Registrar's Office. GED from IL will also meet the requirement.
  • U.S. and Illinois Constitution Exams: Students who have not taken an American Government class at a university outside of Illinois must pass exams on the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois as required by state law. This requirement may be met by successfully completing Political Science 122, or passing an examination administered by the Department of Political Science (298-1055). Illinois Constitution Exam: Students who have taken an American Government class at a
  • university outside of Illinois just need to take one exam. Contact the Political Science Department (MH 422) to get a take home exam.
  • Both tests are also given @ Regional Office of Education (130 S. Lafayette St. 837-4821). Study guide is available for $2. The 60 multiple choice question test is given M-F, 8-3. Must get 30 questions correct to pass. Test may be retaken unlimited times-just not on the same day. A letter, FAX (309 837 2887, att'n Carol Walker) or e-mail ( from advisor is required. Correspondence should include: student's name, ID and their need to take the test.

Course Articulations

Course credit - topics include:

  • Numbering of courses
  • Prerequisites/Corequisites
  • Repeatable Courses

Course offerings

Crisis intervention

Dealing with difficult and/or dangerous students

Directories (student, faculty, staff, departments)

  • Academic departments (chair, campus address, campus phone, web address)
  • Advisor listing (name, campus address, phone number)
  • Lost and found offices (contact one or more of the following)
    • Office of Public Safety - 298-1949
    • Registrar - 298-1891
    • Student Assistance and Parent Service Center - 298-2092
    • Union Service Center - 298-1941
    • Validine (IDs) - 298-3329)

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Discover Western - information, upcoming programs, online registration

Double major

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Early warning notices - mid-term grades of D/F

  • Use GRDS screen on MVS to check early warning grades at mid semester

ECOM / Guava - Electronic Communications. WIU gives students an electronic account that includes e-mail, web storage space, and access to the WIU modem dial-up pool. Students should check their ECOM accounts frequently as important information from the Offices of Financial Aid, Billing and Receivables, and the Registrar are sent via e-mail to these accounts.

Elective - An elective is any course not required for your major, minor, or the General Education Requirement. Many, but not all, majors have room for students to take elective courses to complete their degree requirements.

  • General elective courses count toward graduation but not in general education major or minor requirements.

Encumbrance - hold that prevents registration for the next semester

  • Common ones include: Admissions, Advisor, Athletics, Billing, Campus Recreation, Immunization, and University Housing and Dining.
  • Listed on STARS and also on the ADEN and REGN MVS screens

Enrollment options - audit, pass/fail, repeat, retake

Exit interviews

  • Students withdrawing from the University should contact the Registrar's Office (110 Sherman Hall, 298-1891) and Student Development Office (301 Seal Hall, 298-1884).

FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

  • The new Student Information Release Authorization form must be completed and signed before a notary before it can be returned to the Registrar's Office. Parents may not sign the form for their son/daughter. This form can be completed and notarized by any notary and then mailed to the Registrar's Office.

First Year Experience

  • Freshmen must take two FYE courses, one each semester of their first year at WIU
  • The suffix "Y" indicates an FYE class
  • Use "course search" (STARS on the web, Quick Look option) for list of current FYE classes

Forced Enrollment

  • A forced class must be the first class that a student enrolls in. NOTE: The ENG 100 force takes precedence over FYE force.
  • English - If a student has not completed the required ENG 180 and/or 280 course(s) within a specified time limit, the English department may "force" the student to register for the class by requiring that it be the first class the student enrolls in. Once the student has enrolled, the course cannot be dropped. Contact the Director of Writing at (309) 298-2136 for more information.
  • FYE (see First Year Experience above)

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General Education

  • Guidelines
    • Students may not use any one course to satisfy two General Education distribution requirements.
    • Students may not count more than two courses from the discipline in which they major toward satisfaction of the General Education requirements
    • No courses under the Pass/Fail option may apply to the General Education requirements.
  • Agreements
    • Students entering the university after receiving an A.A. or A.S. (not an A.A.S.) degree receive the Community College Commitment. No matter what classes they actually took for their degree, they are considered to have completed the WIU General Education requirements (11 sh each for NSM, SS and HUM). However, a specific college may impose additional or course-specific General Education requirements.
    • Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) - Students with the IAI have completed the University General Education requirements (10 sh NSM, 9 sh SS, 9 sh HUM)

Good student discount

  • enrollment and grade point average verifications provided by Registrar's Office (110 Sherman hall, 298-1891)

GoWest Transit

Grading policies

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - The average of a student's honor points divided by hours attempted. It is calculated at the end of each semester, as well as overall.
  • Hours Attempted - Number of semester hours a student is enrolled in each semester.

GradTrac - Western Illinois University guarantees new freshmen that if they meet GradTrac requirements they will graduate in four years or their remaining tuition will be free.

Graduation requirements

Greek leadership course - RPTA 490

Military Service Policy

  • Students called to military active duty should contact the Registrar's Office (298-1891).
  • In an emergency, the parents or commanding officer can make this contact.
  • The three options available to students are:
    • withdraw from all classes
    • receive incompletes for all classes
    • receive the grade earned in each class before orders were received

Model Degree Plans


  • English: students who place into English 100 must register for that class first.
  • Math:
    • Initial placement for students who graduated from high school within the last calendar year is based on Math ACT score and high school transcript. Students who have been out of high school for more than a year need to take the COMPASS test, or can be automatically placed into Math 099.
    • Taking COMPASS, the computerized Math placement test, can only improve placement. COMPASS Test is available on campus at University and Academic Support Center. Call (309)298-1846 to schedule an appointment. Raw scores must be submitted to the WIU Math Coordinator for evaluation and placement.


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RA classes

  • CSP 450 in Fall
  • CSP 445 in Spring or Fall

Registrar's Office


Scholarship Office

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach


Student Policies

Student Activities

Student Assistance & Parent Service Center

Student Development Office (SDO)


Tuition and Fees

Tutoring & Learning Resources

University Advising

  • Program for students entering the University who have not declared a major. Students may remain in the University Advising program until they have completed 45 semester hours. The University Advising and Academic Services Center is responsible for advising these students.

University Counseling Center

University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS)

University Policy Manual

University Technology

Veteran's Affairs

  • Veterans may be eligible for up to 8 semester hours for military service (2 sh KIN, 2 sh HE elective, 4 sh MS elective)
    • Contact Veteran's Certification (Sherman Hall 103, 298-3147) with any questions.
  • The Student Assistance and Parent Service Center has been designed as the veterans resource area (University Union, 298-2092)

Visiting Student

  • Admissions requires that first time visiting students submit an application, pay the fee, and provide documentation of good standing at previous school
  • May enroll in no more than 18 semester hours
  • Is not eligible for financial aid
  • May attend for 1 semester
  • Need special permission from the Registrar's Office to attend WIU for a second semester

Writing Center