Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion

Towson University is committed to providing comprehensive advising designed to enrich and enhance the educational experience of every student. Office of Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion (AARC), an integral part of the teaching and learning experience at TU, is an ongoing process that supports students in their exploration and clarification of academic and career goals, as well as the creation and completion of their individual degree plan. All students are encouraged to seek advising at any time. Towson University addresses the particular academic needs and educational goals of students at all levels of their undergraduate education.

Freshman students participate in the required First Year Experience (FYE) Advising Program. Sophomores who have chosen a major and all juniors and seniors are assigned by their academic department to a faculty adviser in the student’s area of interest. Sophomore students who have not selected or declared a major are assigned to the Office of Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion and work with a professional adviser. Students are required to meet with their faculty or professional adviser or a designated department representative prior to registering for the subsequent term. Students are expected to complete and file a plan for completing their chosen degree program by the time they have completed 45 units or within their first term of enrollment at TU if they are entering or re-entering the university with more than 45 units. 

Office of Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion

Academic Commons
Cook Library Suite 343

Director: Ashley Fullwood
​Phone: 410-704-5051

The Office of Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion (AARC) coordinates several programs including the First-Year Experience Advising Program, New Student Registration for Freshmen, the Transfer Student Advising Program, Advising for Open/Deciding Majors, the Academic Intervention Program for students on academic warning and the Academic Renewal Program for students on academic probation. The AARC also supports faculty advisers who work with students across the university in their respective academic departments. The AARC serves as a clearinghouse for information about the university’s policies, procedures and requirements.

Professional staff within the Office assist freshmen, new transfer students, students without a declared major and students in the process of changing majors. Advisers review students' progress toward the fulfillment of degree requirements and advise these students on developing academic goals, planning programs, selecting courses, investigating majors and minors, clarifying catalog year choices and meeting standards. In addition, the Office’s staff members conduct specific programs for students who have received academic warnings or who are on academic probation to assist these students in regaining good academic standing.

The Office’s Student Academic Advisers (SAA) are specially selected, trained and supervised peer advisers who assist students with questions about their degree progress and academic requirements on a walk-in basis. The SAA staff also does outreach programs with student groups and organizations.

First-Year Experience (FYE) Advising Program

Office of Academic Advising, Retention, and Completion (AARC) 
Academic Commons Suite 343
Phone: 410-704-2472
Coordinator: Dr. Emily Halligan

The First-Year Experience is an advising program specifically for freshmen, pairing each incoming student with a faculty member or professional staff member who has been selected and prepared to work with new students. Advisers and students work together throughout the first year to orient the student to the university and to identify and use resources that will enhance the student’s educational experience and transition to the university. The relationship between the FYE adviser and the student helps develop active members of the university community who are able to make effective decisions about their academic progress and success. Following the FYE year, students who have chosen a major are assigned to a faculty adviser in their chosen department.