The HUB FAQs and Forms

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions of SoE Hub Advisors. Is your question missing? Reach your to your Hub Advisor!

To find forms and additional information about registering for courses, please visit: The Office of Registrar, Registration

The following FAQ is to guide students in their first 3-semesters at Rensselaer. Upperclassman are not recommended to utilize this advice, it may be inaccurate to your needs and may cause problems for your degree completion. Upperclassman should refer to their faculty advisor for all academic, scheduling and registration questions or concerns. They will post their office hours on their office doors.


What does the SoE Hub do?

The Hub advises Engineering students during their first 3-semesters at Rensselaer.

We will guide you through registration, help you understand requirements for degree completion, and discuss adding or changing majors and/or minors. Each student is assigned to a Hub Advisor based on their major, and is able to utilize their advisor for support through appointments and walk-ins, or through phone and emails. During walk-ins, you can see an available advisor!

  • Online Advising Modules: learn more about The Hub, academics and registration, while building your Rensselaer tool kit!

Your Hub Advisor will prepare to you 'graduate' to your faculty advisor after your 3rd semester at Rensselaer. We will ensure you are comfortable with the tools you'll need for course planning, and work with you to develop a 4-Year Plan.

Your faculty advisor will support you with focusing on your specific academic interest/concentration, and is more suitable to advise you on career and graduate school goals.


When is the SoE Hub open? And where is it?

Hours: Weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
Appointments: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Walk-Ins: Walk-In Wednesdays

Location: 3rd floor of the Jonnson Engineering Center (JEC) within the Ansell Lounge. You'll see our logo on the window! Enter through the right-hand door and you'll find your advisor inside.


How do I find out who my Hub Advisor is?

Your Hub Advisor has been assigned to you based on your major. Find your advisor below!

Be sure to look for your class year and major, as advisors will change based on your cohort.

Marie Dieffenbach | (518) 276-2255 | dieffm@rpi.edu
2021: MECH, NUCL
2022: AERO, NUCL

Karen Lewis | (518) 276-6995 | phelak@rpi.edu
2021: AERO, CIVL, CSYS, ELEC, ENVE
2022: CIVL, ENVE

Valerie Swenson | (518) 276-2683
2021: BMED, CHEG, ISYE, MATL, ENGR (Undeclared)
2022: BMED, ISYE

Kristin Bergene | (518) 276-8137 | bergek@rpi.edu
2022: ENGR (Undeclared)

Cara Natale | (518) 276-6669 | natalc2@rpi.edu
2022: CHEG, CSYS, ELEC, MATL


Where do I find Registrar Forms? How do I fill them out? How do I get my Advisor's signature?

You can always find the most updated Registrar forms, right off their website
(< scroll to the bottom of the link). We also keep a supply of forms in The Hub's Form Station, right outside our main entrance.

On the Form Station, you will also find a guide to properly filling out each form based on your objective.

Once you correctly fill out the form, and collect appropriate signatures, bring your paperwork to The Hub. At The Hub's Form Station, slip your form into the top shelf, labeled 'Forms to be Signed.' We will take it from there, and reach out if we have any questions!

There are only a few forms that required your Advisor's signature.

They are:

  • Authorization Form: if you are looking to 'Credit Overload' only
  • Minor Approval Form
  • Pass/No Credit Request Form
  • Transfer Credit Approval Form

Am I required to meet with my advisor to register for courses? And, when should I do this?

Yes! Once each year, during the spring semester, you are required to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course planning.

This is called the Student-Advisor Meeting (SAM). Until you meet with your advisor, you will have a SAM Hold on your account. This hold will prevent you from registering for courses. To remove your SAM Hold, your advisor must sign off on the courses you are planning on taking next semester, or your 4-Year Plan. Remember, the SAM Hold will occur in the spring semester.

As a first year student, and during first semester of your sophomore year, you will meet with your advisor in the SoE Hub. After that, you will meet with your faculty advisor.

Pro-Tip: Remember, each advisor has hundreds of advisees! Around registration, consultation week included, it will be harder to make an appointment. Make your SAM appointment early, even in the weeks before consultation, or email your advisor your course planning. Do not wait until the last minute to reach out, as it's likely that you will not find a free appointment time. Even during Walk-In Wednesdays, there can be a substantial wait during registration.


It's registration time, I haven't met with my Advisor, I have a SAM Hold, and can't make an appointment. What do I do?

Registration time is notoriously busy. It's always best to make appointments in advance.

What's a SAM Hold? Once per year, you have a mandatory meeting with your advisor, called a Student-Advisor Meeting. This will be in the spring semester. Until you schedule and attend this appointment with your advisor, you will have a hold and be unable to register for courses.

What can you do right now?

  1. Email your course planning to your advisor. They can review and provide feedback digitally. During registration, allow your advisor at least 2-3 days to respond, as it will be hard for them to check their email during normal work hours.

    OR
     
  2. Come to Walk-In Wednesdays. Keep in mind, they will also be busy during registration, so there may be a significant wait. However, if you have questions or concerns, you may want to have that in-person conversation.

Need a form signed? At The Hub's Form Station, slip your form into the top shelf, labeled 'Forms to be Signed.' We will take it from there, and reach out if we have any questions!


What is the best way to make an appointment with my advisor? And how do I prepare for an appointment?

To make an appointment, visit our appointment portal. Select your Hub Advisor, and pay close attention to the date and time you have made your appointment.

How can you prepare? Ask yourself, why are you making an appointment?

  • Select courses you are planning to take next semester.
  • Develop your 4-Year Plan.
  • Use the transfer course guide on SIS to find summer courses.

When you get to The Hub for your appointment, tap your I.D. and check-in with a Work-Study student. They will let your advisor know you've arrived. Never interrupt another appointment! Your advisor will grab you when they've finished up.


Can I just stop by to see my advisor?

If you're looking to just drop-in, come to Walk-In Wednesdays (9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m.). Wednesday is a great day for quick 5 to 10 minute questions, such as supporting you with a Registrar form.

This Walk-In time on Wednesday has been reserved to support you with quick questions (or you're just looking to say 'hi' and grab a piece of candy!). On Wednesdays, there are no appointments, which means it much more likely that your advisor will be available. During the rest of the week, your advisor may be busy with appointments or other obligations. It is best to
make an appointment on days other than Wednesday.


How can I track my degree progress?

DegreeWorks will easily allow you to track your degree progress.

If you're still learning to use DegreeWorks, check out:


How do I change my major or add/declare a minor/dual?

To make any changes, you should first use the 'What-If' function in DegreeWorks to see how your degree progress will be impacted. You may find that you will need to stay for an additional semester(s), or even find that you would now be ahead of schedule. Bring any questions or concerns to your advisor!

Next, you'll need to fill out the Registrar's 'Change of Major' form. Bring the completed forms to The Hub and at The Hub's Form Station, slip your form into the top shelf, labeled 'Forms to be Signed.' We will take it from there, and reach out if we have any questions!


I want to transfer credits from another college. What is the process for this? Is it different for summer courses?

Good news! The process for transferring credit to Rensselaer is the same, regardless of term-time or summer.

How does it work?

Step 1) Check the transfer course guide on SIS to see what other colleges and courses have already been approved to transfer into Rensselaer.

If you find a course and/or university that is pre-approved and you are interested in then...

  • Step 2) Register for that course through their university as a non-matriculated student.
  • Step 3) Fill out a 'Transfer Approval Form' and at The Hub's Form Station, slip your form into the top shelf, labeled 'Forms to be Signed.' We will take it from there, and reach out if we have any questions!

If you do not find the course and/or university that you are interested in then...

  • Step 2) Approach the university that has the course you are interested in and request a syllabus for that course. You may have to reach out to their faculty, Registrar, or Department Chair for the syllabus.
  • Step 3) Bring the syllabus to the Transfer Credit Evalutor here at Rensselaer of the department where you want the credit to come in, (i.e., The School of Science for Physics). They will review the syllabus to see if that course can be transferred. There is more information here: https://info.rpi.edu/registrar/academic-planning/#TransferCreditCurrentlyEnrolledStudents
  • Step 4) If they accept the course, you will fill out a 'Transfer Approval Form' and get the Rensselaer Transfer Credit Evaluator to sign the form.
  • Step 5) You will then bring the 'Transfer Approval Form' to the Hub's Form Station, slip your form into the top shelf, labeled 'Forms to be Signed.' We will take it from there, and reach out if we have any questions!

For more information visit: The Office of the Registrar, Registration


I'm a parent and would like to know about my child's grades, class attendance, or another issue. Will an advisor talk with me?

By law, college professionals are restricted on what they can communicate to parents without the consent of their student.

You may find more information here:

However, you are always welcome to reach out to your student's advisor and we will support you to the best of our ability.