Have Questions about Advising?

Click on each question to find out a bit more about NVC's Advising Services. 

What is Academic Advising?

The Academic Advising office at Northwest Vista College is committed to providing quality academic advising services and information about available resources to support students in achieving their desired goal. We will guide students towards completion of a certificate and/or Associate degree and support their transition to a four year institution or the workforce. 

Advising is a relationship where the student and the advisor work together to discuss goals, plan and strategize to meet those goals, and ensure you have the support you need throughout your time at NVC. 

What is not considered Academic Advising?
  • Advisors do not provide mental health counseling, but will make referrals, when necessary.
  • Advisors will not register you for your classes, but will guide you in which classes to enroll in and what combinations of classes work best for you.
  • Advisors will not choose your career for you, but will help you assess which career choice is best for you based on skills, interests, values, etc.
How am I assigned an Advisor?

An advisor will be assigned to once you have enrolled for classes for the semester. Advisors are assigned to students based on Institute, so which advisor is assigned to you is dependent on your degree plan or program of study. If a student changes their major once assigned, they will be re-assigned to a new advisor at the end of that semester, but your current advisor will assist you through the transition process. 

To view your assigned certified advisor information, log into your ACEs account and select the "My Page" option. Scroll down the page to the bottom, and you will see your advisor name and email information. 

How do I schedule an appointment to meet with my advisor?

All currently enrolled students are able to schedule an appointment with their assigned advisor through Navigate in ACES. Appointment availability is updated regularly, so if you do not see any open spots, keep checking back. If you need assistance creating an appointment contact your advisor through email. Appointment times fill quickly so be sure to schedule your appointment right away.

Appointments are scheduled for 30-45 minute periods and must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. Same day appointments are not available. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please contact your advisor via phone or email to reschedule as soon as possible. As a precaution, make sure you have tried out the zoom software ahead of time, so that you can log into your session on time. If you are 5 minutes or later for an appointment, you will be asked to reschedule. Make sure you have a valid photo ID that you can show to the advisor at the start of the session for privacy purposes. Send any necessary documents (i.e. your Progress Report) to your advisor via email at least 24 hours prior to the interview so that they may have access to them during your appointment. 

How often should I meet with my advisor?

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor at least once per semester preferably prior to the start of registration.

It is imperative you visit with an advisor at any point you are experiencing the following:

  • Your cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below a 2.0.
  • You are thinking about changing your career and educational goals.
  • You are having trouble in any of your courses.
  • You are thinking about dropping out of college.

In order to receive your registration PIN, you must connect with your assigned advisor. A PIN will not be provided to you until you have spoken with your advisor and have ensured that you are still on track to complete your educational and career goals.

In Preparation of a Virtual Advising Session

Virtual advising sessions are now available. It offers the convenience of conducting an advising session without coming to the advising office while still getting the same quality advising service. In order to have a virtual advising session, you will still schedule an advising appointment through Navigate, and your advisor will send you a message with a link to log into your appointment through Zoom. You are not required to create a Zoom account, nor are you required to download the Zoom app to your personal device (phone, tablet, or computer) in order to use the link.

If you would prefer not to use the video option, you will use the phone number provided in the message to call into the advising session.

More information is available online at http://alamocolleges.screenstepslive.com/s/19065/m/73845/c/286523

Can an Advisor assist me by email?

Your assigned academic advisor is available to answer questions that are submitted from your ACES student email. Your e-mails to advisors should always be professional communications, so please include: First name, last name, and student Banner ID number, as well as a detailed description of what you are needing. Advisor will return your message as soon as possible on a first-come, first-served basis. Please keep in mind that your advisor make take up to 48 business hours to respond, so please be patient. If a question is very important and requires an immediate response, you may contact the Advising Services office via chat. Some questions may not be able to be answered through chat, and will require you to schedule an advising appointment. 

Advice from your Advisors:

Great tips to follow before an advising appointment to ensure you have a productive meeting with your advisor:

  • Create a reminder on your phone or in your planner regarding your appointment date and time.
  • Come prepared to talk about: classes to take, transfer planning, graduation planning, goal setting, and any additional concerns you might have regarding your educational and career goals.
  • Meet with your assigned academic advisor every semester to ensure you are staying on track- meet with them early to avoid any issues with being able to register for future classes once registration begins. An advising touchpoint means you are required to meet with your advisor at certain points of your degree pathway in order to register for the next semester. This is mandatory to ensure you are staying on track to complete your goals. Getting your touchpoint early means that you will have access to the Registration PIN prior to the start of registration for the next semester, and will avoid any delays in getting the best classes to fit your schedule. 
  • Create your own advising folder to keep you organized with advising-related materials [Example: degree plan, schedule plans, notes from advising meetings] and keep it updated.
  • Read your ACES student email regularly; this is how your assigned academic advisor will communicate with you. Keep in mind that any emails sent from your personal email may get caught in our SPAM folder and we will be unable to see them. 
  • Personal accountability- it is important that you review your grades and GPS degree plan in ACES at the end of each term.  Grades can impact you in a variety of ways, not just while enrolled at Northwest Vista College, so if you are concerned, please address this with your assigned advisor.
What can I expect from my advisor?
  • Assist you with course selection based on educational and career goals.
  • Encourage and guide you to define clear and realistic educational plans using your Alamo GPS.
  • Ensure that you are part of the decision-making process, provide and understand your next steps.
  • Provide you with referrals when necessary.
  • Listen carefully to your questions and concerns.
  • Monitor and accurately document your academic progress.
  • Maintain confidentiality following NVC and Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA)  regulations.
  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, degree/school requirements, graduation requirements, and college policies and procedures.
  • Provide a safe, respectful, and confidential space for you to ask questions, discuss your interests, and express your concerns.
What will my advisor expect from me?
  • Bring your advising folder with all necessary materials and paperwork for the session.
  • That you will research programs, career options, transfer universities in advance and be ready to review.
  • Be prepared to discuss goals and educational plans during your advising session.
  • Read all of your email in ACES. This is the official communication method from the Alamo Colleges District for students.
  • Be aware of deadlines regarding registration, financial aid and tuition, adding or dropping classes, and application for graduation or petitions for Academic Dismissal.
  • Ask questions if something is not clear or you have a concern during the advising session.
  • Be open and willing to consider all options and recommendations given during session.
  • Be an engaged and active learner in your educational journey.
  • Inform your Certified Academic Advisor of important changes that directly affect your academic performance and educational goals.
  • Schedule your advising appointment early in the semester. 
  • Be courteous and respectful at all times.
  • Take primary responsibility for making your own decisions.
  • Commit to an academic plan that supports certificate and/or degree completion and/or successful transfer. Commit to Completion.
  • Be familiar with and abide by the Alamo Colleges District Student Code of Conduct.
We ask that you:
  • Be courteous and plan ahead (schedule appointments early and cancel or reschedule as necessary).
  • Remove distractions that may interfere with your advising session ahead of time.
  • Take notes during advising meetings and keep written records of your advising sessions.
What services are considered Quick Advising sessions?

If you have a quick question you may utilize the chat option for a short 15 minutes or less session. If your questions require more time than this, please make an appointment instead. Advisors chat with students on a first-come, first-served basis. During high peak times (the first week of the semester, registration periods, and deadlines periods) wait times can be considerable.

Drop-In Quick Services include:

  • Student Holds
  • Pre-requisite overrides
  • General Questions

 You may speak with someone online by clicking on the “Chat with Us” link to the right of this page.   

The Advising Communications Center is available by phone to answer general advising questions and provide guidance regarding advising holds. The Advising Communications Center can be reached at 210-486-4100. Advising appointments cannot be scheduled through the Advising Communications Center.

What services require an appointment?
  • Academic Dismissal Petitions
  • Alternate ID (Registration PIN)
  • Assistance with Holds
  •  Career Exploration
  • Change of Major
  • Course Overload Petitions
  •  Degree Planning
  • Financial Aid Appeal
  • Graduation Application
  • Individual Success Plan (GPS Planner)
  • Prerequisite Overrides
  • Transfer Planning
How Do I know what classes to take?

Great question! As NVC students, you have access to tools such as your AlamoGPS, and Transfer Advising guides that will help you and your advisor create a plan that will ensure you are taking classes that transfer and apply to your degree. 

Alamo GPS is like a compass- directing you on how to stay on track towards your educational goals by outlining the best course combinations to take in order to balance your course load and your everyday activities. When working with your advisor you will create semester course schedules that determine which classes should be taken and in what order to help you build the foundational skills you need to be successful in each class. AlamoGPS is located within your ACEs student portal. 

Transfer Advising Guides are tools to help you make choices when you have options to pick classes for specific areas of your degree plan to ensure that all the courses you take with the Alamo Colleges will be applied to your transfer institution. This saves you time and money on your educational journey. 

What is an alternate PIN and why do I need it?

Please understand that your advisor will not make decisions for you during your advising sessions, however your advisor will provide you with the most accurate information available and will work with you to create a realistic plan that will aid you in accomplishing your educational and career goals. The education choices you make are yours and the responsibility for knowing and fulfilling degree requirements rest with you.