About CNSM Advising

Meet the Pre-Major Advisors

Shannon Durbin
Coordinator of Advising

Tanya Piloyan
Outreach Coordinator, and Senior Academic Advisor

Sonia Santos
Senior Academic Advisor

Cesar Cervantes
Academic Advisor

Dennis Garcia
Program Coordinator for Learning Communities, and Academic Advisor

Dahlia Valle
Academic Advisor

Support Staff

Lane Olsen-Cooper
(not pictured)
Administrative Support Coordinator


The goal of the CNSM Academic Advising Center is to facilitate intellectual and personal development, enhance academic performance, and ensure progress toward graduation by helping students to:

  • choose, clarify, plan, and achieve educational and career goals
  • select courses to integrate educational and personal goals
  • develop a strategy to monitor progress and development
  • identify academic and personal skills that need to be acquired or enhanced to achieve educational goals
  • increase awareness of the full range of campus programs and services
  • explore academic options to make meaningful short and long-term decisions
  • understand the relationship between academic experience and career opportunities and objectives
  • access and assess information and obtain guidance for post-baccalaureate studies
  • understand and follow the university's policies and procedures leading to graduation
  • complete and submit appropriate forms and petitions necessary for academic progress.

Each student in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics has an assigned academic advisor. CNSM Pre-majors are advised by professional staff advisors in the Academic Advising Center. CNSM majors are advised by faculty academic advisors in the academic departments.

Advising Expectations

Academic Advising is a shared responsibility. However, ultimately you are in-charge of your academic choices and future planning. Advisors will partner with you to make the best decisions possible. We recommend visiting an advisor at least once a semester. Schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to:

  • Come prepared to your advising session (be on-time, have questions ready, and if applicable bring documents/forms or resources that you may have questions about).
  • Make an appointment with an advisor in a timely manner when in need of assistance. Call prior to your appointment (24 hours or more if possible) to let us know if you need to reschedule.
  • Familiarize yourself with the general education and major specific requirements for your degree and schedule courses each semester in accordance with those requirements. We highly recommended utilizing the catalog.
  • Be aware of the prerequisites for each course that you include in your semester schedule and to discuss with your advisor how prerequisites will affect the sequencing of your courses.
  • If you have any changes in your course selection, academic progress or academic goals, please notify your advisor as soon as possible.
  • Be an active participant in your educational development by utilizing college resources: tutoring, time management and study skills workshops, and understanding your learning style.
  • Keep an advising folder.
  • Seek and gather sources of information which will assist you in making academic/career decisions, including internships, research opportunities, and professional organizations.
  • Ask questions! If you don't understand a policy or a procedure, ask questions until you do understand. Be knowledgeable about policies, procedures and requirements.
  • Understand that advisors are available to provide information and make recommendations. However, you are responsible for choosing the best option given your unique situation, responsibilities, and abilities.

Advisor Responsibilities

The CNSM Academic Advisors are committed to providing excellent academic advising and support services and to partner with you to accomplish your educational and career goals. Academic Advising is a shared responsibility and we will work together in order for you to make the best decisions to achieve your goals.

Advisors are here to:

  • Offer advice on course selection and to assist you in developing an academic plan that satisfies degree requirements.
  • Clearly communicate the CNSM major requirements (including, but not limited to prerequisites, curriculum, flow charts, and graduation requirements).
  • Evaluate and discuss your academic performance and the implications of your performance as it relates to degree progress and university requirements.
  • Clarify university policies, regulations, programs, and procedures about which you may have questions.
  • Be supportive and respectful listeners, and refer you to appropriate support services within the university in response to your individual needs.

Student Learning Outcomes

The expected student learning outcomes from academic advising are as follows:

  1. Students will be able to identify their specific academic program and graduation requirements.
    • Know the general education requirements (foundations, capstones).
    • Understand the degree requirements for their major.
    • Understand course sequencing for timely progress toward graduation.
    • Utilize their Academic Requirements Report (ARR) in their educational planning.
    • Cite the required classes and GPA needed to transition from pre-major to major.
  2. Students will be able to understand the wide range of resources available to them through the college and university.
    • Know the academic support programs available to them.
    • Understand when and how to use the resources.
    • Take initiative and responsibility to pursue applicable resources when needed.
    • Recognizing when they need help and talking with the Advisor regarding what resources are available or best suited for their needs.
    • Learn how to identify, access, and utilize additional support additional support services to accommodate individual needs.
  3. Students will be able to recognize their personal responsibility in meeting their academic program requirements and adhering to the university's policies and procedures.
    • Teaching students their role in achieving their educational goals. Student will learn to be an active participant in their education.
    • Clearing communicating and "advertising" the universities important policies and procedures so that students understand what is required and where to go for help.
    • Reflective conversations and activities to ensure personal ownership and understanding.
    • Recognize their own individual personal, academic, and career goals, and take responsibility for actions and decision that affect their individual academic progress.
  4. Students will be able to take steps to increase their academic success through the use of learning and study strategies.
    • Students will be aware of the different note taking strategies and discover the one(s) which works best for them.
    • Students are aware of the advantages of using a semester, weekly, and daily calendar to organize their time.
    • Students will be able to identify their learning style.

Contact CNSM Advising

Please include your student ID number in all email correspondence.

Drop-In Hours

Drop-in hours have concluded for Spring 2024. Advisors are still available via scheduled appointments.


Academic Advisors appointments (30 minutes sessions) are prioritized for continuing students. Please see our Appointment Guide regarding on-campus advising appointments.

Appointment via SSO
Beach Connect