Cornell students and faculty have a long tradition of working closely together both in and out of the classroom, and this friendly and mutually beneficial association continues to be a vital part of a Cornell education. When possible, entering students are assigned an academic advisor on the basis of the interests indicated in the admissions application, but Cornell advisors are qualified, whatever their teaching disciplines, to assist new students in preparing for any of the degree programs and majors in the College. Advisors are useful sources of information about many things, including College regulations and programs, career planning, and adjusting to Cornell. Students should always feel free to discuss their thoughts and concerns with their advisors and are expected to inform their advisors as soon as they encounter a problem. Advisors are able to refer students to administrators or faculty who can provide good advice and effective assistance, especially when given sufficient time.
Students who wish to change advisors may do so at any time by conferring with the Coordinator of Academic Support and Advising. Normally students remain with their first advisor until they declare their degree program and major(s) in their sophomore year. At this time they either select an advisor in each of their major departments or are assigned major advisors by the department chairs. If a student has more than one advisor, the student must indicate to the Registrar which of them is to be her or his principal advisor. The principal advisor is the person who will register the student, receive all academic information about the student, and endorse any petitions the student may file.
If for any reason a faculty or staff member ceases to be a student's advisor, the student, in order to remain enrolled and to receive credit for any work in progress, must secure another advisor and record the change in the Registrar's Office. Students may not register or change their registrations without the approval (signature) of their academic advisor. The Academic Standing Committee will not consider a petition unless it is endorsed by the student's academic advisor.
Much of a student's business with the College is conducted in writing by means of forms or petitions requiring the signatures of faculty and staff members. Any form or petition that is submitted without the appropriate signatures or that contains a signature that is not genuine will be deemed invalid and the benefit for which it was proffered will be denied or rescinded. In this event a student may be asked to leave the College.