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Frequently asked Questions

Academic Advising and Enrollment

  • Who is my Advisor?
    You are assigned an academic advisor by the University when you enroll. You can find your advisor's name on STARS or contact the CPEP Center for assistance
  • When do I need to see my Advisor:
    You must see your advisor before you will be allowed to register for the next semester. Your advisor is also a good person to turn to whenever you have a question about academics or campus resources and services.
  • How can I get in to see my Advisor, they are always busy?
    If it is an emergency, or you need an immediate answer, be sure to tell the secretary. The Advisors will work students in between appointments to answer quick questions or handle emergency situations. It is not unusual to have to make appointments a week or two in advance. They will not work out academic plans for the next semester on a walk-in time--you must make appointments to plan your schedule. Appointments may be made with the secretary in the Advising Center, Horrabin Hall 91 or by calling 309 298-1438.

    E-mail is another easy way to contact them for general questions:
  • What is the procedure for registering?
    All students must meet with their advisors prior to registering. Current students follow this basic procedure:
    • Schedule an appointment with your advisor prior to your registration date (Check on STARS to find your scheduled date and time)
    • Before your appointment, determine what classes you need to fulfill your basic degree requirements (WARD report or Student Degree Plan from STARS) and study the course offerings on STARS to determine which classes are being offered to meet your educational and scheduling needs.
    • Begin filling out a trial class schedule and take it to your advising appointment.
    • Be on time for your appointment. Be sure to call if you will not be able to keep the appointment.
    • During your appointment, you will be able to discuss choices and get advice regarding which courses will best met your academic and personal needs.
      • Be sure to check the detail view for specific courses. Some courses are restricted to certain majors or require special permission to enroll,etc.
    • Following the advising meeting, on the assigned day and time the student may register for classes through STARS Online, Tele-STARS, or STARS on the WEB. Student must have all registration encumbrances cleared before being allowed to register.
  • How do I get special permission to enroll in a class?
    Courses requiring special permission will be footnoted in the class schedule book or noted as such on the Open Course Status screen on the computer. Special Permission forms are available in the CPEP Center for C& I, SPED, IDT and EIS classes.
  • When can I begin enrolling for classes?
    Current students are scheduled to enroll according to number of credit hours completed. A specific day and time is scheduled accordingly. A student may register anytime after the scheduled time, but not before.
  • I've received special permission for my classes. Am I enrolled?
    No, receiving special permission only removes the block for you to enroll. You must enter the five-digit STAR number on the registration screen to complete the enrollment. Receiving special permission guarantees a seat for you in that course. Student encumbrances do not have to be cleared in order to receive special permission.
  • How many hours do I need to take?
    Full time students enroll in 12-18 hours each semester (15-16 is considered a normal load). The number of hours you take will depend on: how quickly you want to finish your degree, the types of classes you are planning to take, if you are working or have additional responsibilities beyond course work, if you need to be enrolled full-time to meet financial aid, and scholarship or insurance requirements. Your advisor can help you determine how many hours are appropriate for your situation.

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  • How do I transfer my credit from another institution?
    Contact the transcript office from the institution you attended and request your transcripts be sent to the Registrar's Office, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455.
  • I am planning to transfer to WIU. How can I be sure that the classes in which I am currently enrolled will transfer for credit and apply to my degree?
    If you are attending an Illinois Community College, you may check the following website to see how your courses will transfer to WIU: Transferology.   If you are attending a non-Illinois 2-year or any 4-year school which information is not available you may contact the Transfer Admissions Office at Western Illinois University (309) 298-3110.
  • I did not do well in my first college classes. Do I have to tell WIU that I have taken college level course work at another school?
    Yes. You will sign a form when you apply that states you have provided all information regarding previous enrollments.
  • I have an Associates Degree. Will I be required to take any lower division course work at WIU?
    This will depend on the major you select to pursue at WIU. Some majors require very specific general education requirements; especially Elementary and Early Childhood Education. You will need to work with the advisor in your major to determine if additional courses will be required.
  • How can I find out if my grades from another school have been transferred to WIU?
    If you are enrolled at WIU, you may sign on STARS and check the transcript screen to see if the credit is there. If not, call the Admissions Office to verify that your paperwork has been received.
  • Who can help me if I have questions about my course evaluation? Questions regarding the way transfer courses are evaluated should be addressed to the Transfer Credit Evaluation Office in the University Admissions.

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  • When can I apply for the Teacher Education Program (TEP)?
    Students apply for TEP during the first or second semester of their sophomore year. At this point a student has accumulated 30-45 semester hours of course work and should have completed English 180 and 280, Communication 241, and the appropriate Math course. Refer to the Teacher Education Program General Handbook for specific requirements.
  • What is the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (400); Subject Matter; APT and Language Proficiency tests?
    In 1985 the Illinois legislature enacted Section 21-1a of the School Code, which established a testing program as part of the state's teacher certification requirements. The Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) consists of a Test of Academic Proficiency (400), subject-matter knowledge tests, and language proficiency test. The Test of Academic Proficiency (400) is a separate test that measures basic skills in reading comprehension, language arts (grammar and writing), and mathematics. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure that each certificated staff member has the necessary content knowledge and basic skills to serve in Illinois schools. For more specific information check the ICTS website. All education majors must successfully pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (400) prior to acceptance to the Teacher Education Program. The content test(s) must be successfully completed the semester prior to student teaching. Clearance to student teach will not be given to any student until they have provided verification that they have passed the subject matter test.

    Any individual seeking certification will be required to pass the APT (Assessment of Professional Teaching) exam. The exam covers the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the Core Language Arts Standards for All teachers, the Computer Technology Standards, and the new Special Education Standards for the regular classroom teacher. There will be different exams for the different certificates. In other words, there will be an exam for the K-12 level, secondary level, and elementary level and early childhood level. Students will be required to take and pass this test to pass student teaching.

    Visit the following web sites for additional information concerning certification tests: and
  • What is the Selection, Retention and Appeals Committee?
    This committee (under the direction of the University Teacher Education Committee) considers various appeals and requests for students enrolled in the TEP. Contact your Academic Advisor to initiate the appeal. Teacher education faculty may also refer students to this committee if they identify deficiencies due to academic performance and/or professional skills or attitude.

    Each individual department also has a Selection and Retention Committee that deals with appeals for students within the major. This committee deals with grade appeals, appeals for students with low G.P.A. and other concerns regarding a student's continuation in the major.
  • Where can I find information about Student Teaching and Certification?
    Refer to the Teacher Certification section of the Undergraduate Catalog or the Teacher Education Program General Handbook. For additional information concerning Student Teaching, call (309) 298-1158. For additional information concerning certification call (309) 298-1434.

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HOW CAN I . . .?

  • Change my school or home address?
    You may sign on STARS, go to the comment screen, and type in your new address. Be sure to indicate whether this new address is for school or home and include your phone number. You may also complete the Change of Address form in the Registrar's Office (Sherman 110) or the Student Assistance Center in the University Union.
  • Change my major?
    Make an appointment to see the academic advisor in the major in which you plan to pursue. They will assist in you completing the required change of major form. A list of academic advisors is printed in the back of each semester's class schedule book.
  • Activate my ECOM account (WIU e-mail system)
    Go to Stipes Hall room 126 and tell assistant you need to activate your ECOM account; present student identification card; be ready with a password . It is very important for ALL WIU students to be sure they have an active ECOM account. Most professors and campus offices will use this email address to communicate with you.

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WHERE CAN I . . .?

  • get an official transcript?
    The Registrar's Office, Sherman Hall 110
  • get my PIN reset, activate my ECOM account?
    Academic Computing Center, Stipes 126 with valid ID.
  • find out about campus jobs?
    Office of Financial Aid, Sherman Hall 127 or on the WIU website
  • get a copy of my WARD report?
    on STARS or from your academic advisor
  • find out about what jobs I can get with my major, file my credentials or get help preparing resume?
    Career Services Office, Memorial Hall 125 or satellite office located in Horrabin Hall 91E
  • apply for financial aid?
    Office of Financial Aid, Sherman Hall 127
  • apply for scholarships?
    University Scholarship Office, Sherman Hall 308, Financial Aid Office, Sherman 127, COEHS Dean's Office, Horrabin Hall 76, your major department office or academic advisor.
  • get help with academics?
    Your class instructors can assist with subject materials, test preparation, and tutors who can help you with individual classes. All you have to do is ask! Visit your instructors during their posted office hours. Many academic departments have tutorial centers, achievement centers, or skill/performance laboratories staffed to assist you in addition to the times your instructors are available in their offices. You will need to contact individual departments for specific location and times. Tutorial service is also offered through UAASC Academic Services Program in Memorial Hall 100.
  • Get help with study habits, personal problems, etc.?
    The University Counseling Center, Memorial Hall, lower level, offers services for students who are faced with personal, academic, or career decision-making concerns. Throughout the year, counselors offer a wide array of educational life enhancement programs on subjects such as time management, self-esteem, sexual assault prevention, etc.
  • get help with my writing skills?
    The Writing Center, Simpkins Hall 341, 298-2815
  • find services for students with disabilities?
    The Disability Resource Center (DRC) office is located in Memorial Hall, room 143 298-2512. DRC provides reasonable accommodations when needed to make programs and activities accessible for WIU students with disabilities (i.e., physical, visual, hearing, learning, chronic health). Any person desiring accommodations in the area of academics, housing, auxiliary aids, or University-sponsored activities or events should contact DRC well in advance of intended enrollment. WIU publications will be made available in alternative format upon request.
  • find services/assistance for nontraditional students?
    OASIS (Organization of Adult Students for Interaction and Support) and the Student Parent Association (SPA) are two organizations established specifically for nontraditional students. Contact 298-3284 for additional information.

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What do I do if . . .?

  • I need to withdraw from the University?
    A student may withdraw from the University and receive a W for each course in which he/she is doing passing work at the time of the withdrawal. A failing grade will be recorded for any course the student is not passing if the University withdrawal is made after the first nine weeks of the term. Students who are withdrawing from the University should first consult with the Office of Student Development and Orientation, Seal Hall 301. A student who wishes to withdraw from all courses must do so officially before the beginning of final examinations. The last day for total University withdrawals for the summer terms shall be the day before the last day of class in each session.
  • I need to withdraw from a course?
    A student may withdraw from a course during the first ten weeks of a semester. After the first ten weeks, individual courses may not be dropped. For academic courses of an irregular length, the withdrawal date shall be 0.5 of the length of the course. If the student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty and the penalty of F (Fail) is assessed, a W cannot be granted.
  • I have credit for courses taken at another higher education institution?
    Contact the institution and request for an official copy of your transcript to be sent to the WIU Registrar's Office  .
  • I get a grade I don't think I deserve?
    Go talk to your instructor! If you are unable to remedy the situation, set up an appointment with the instructor's department chair to file a grade appeal within the first three weeks of the semester following the term in which the student received the grade in question.
  • my advisor isn't available?
    If you need immediate attention, another advisor may be able to assist you. The Director of the COEHS Advising may also be able to assist if the issue involves a deadline.
  • I've been sick for a week and haven't been to class?
    As soon as you can, contact all of your instructors either in person, on the phone, or e-mail. The most important thing is to keep everyone informed so that you can keep up and your instructors will be aware of your situation.
  • I've had a death in the family or other emergency and need to leave campus?
    As soon as possible contact all of your instructors in person, on the phone or email. If time does not permit making contact with these individuals you may call the Student Development and Orientation Office or your academic advisor for their assistance. It is your responsibility to make contact with the instructors as time permits.

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WHAT IS . . .?

  • CAGAS?
    CAGAS is the acronym for Council on Admissions, Graduation, and Academic Standards. It is responsible for reviewing, recommending and evaluation policies in those areas. CAGAS is composed of ten faculty and two student members. It meets weekly during the Fall and Spring semesters and several times during the summer. Questions involving CAGAS should be directed to the Registrar's Office, Sherman Hall 110, 298-1208.
  • a WARD report?
    WARD is the acronym for Western's Audit of Requirements for Degrees. This is an automated record reflecting a student's academic progress toward degree completion in his/her declared major. By considering work completed at Western, transfer courses, and courses in progress, this analysis provides timely information on a student's progress toward meeting degree requirements.

    As described in the Undergraduate Catalog, a degree is awarded by satisfactorily completing the individual components in the areas of general education, major, and minors. The WARD report details this overall degree criteria by itemizing the individual components. The required areas--general education, major and minors--are further broken down into specific pieces referred to as subgroups or sub requirements. Each subgroup is independent and must be satisfactorily completed. The overall fulfillment of the requirement is dependent upon the total completion of all subgroups therein contained. Conversely, the requirement will not be satisfied if any individual subgroup is deficient. Additional criteria may or may not be required at each level (i.e., total hours, G.P.A., etc.)

    Students may print a copy of their WARD report at any time through the STARS system.
  • an Incomplete?
    A temporary symbol of I (Incomplete) for a course may be given only when a student, due to circumstances beyond his/her control, has been unable to complete the course requirements within the official limits of the term. The circumstances must be documented to the instructor's satisfaction, and the student should make arrangements with the instructor to complete the requirements of the course before the end of the ninth week of the next semester in which the student is enrolled. If the I is not removed by that time, it will automatically become an F.

    The permanent grade which replaces the I will be used to calculate honor points and determine the student's academic standing and progress toward the degree. Any changes in the student's status resulting from the assignment of the permanent grade become effective at the time of the change from I to the permanent grade.

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