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Student Success Center

Student Advisement FAQs

Can I change my advisor?

Students wanting to request a change of advisor should fill out a Change of Advisor form in Student Success Center (D-102). All changes are kept confidential, but you may be asked to explain why you are requesting a change.

Can my parents (or anyone else) contact the College and get information about me or my grades?

Information cannot be released to anyone but the student unless the student has authorized the release through the Registration & Records office. All requests should be made through the Registration & Records Office (A-105). In accordance with the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA), certain directory information may be released without the student’s permission. SUNY Niagara has defined directory information to include: the student’s name, address (including email), telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, photograph, weight, and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. All requests must be made to the Registration & Records Office, even requests for directory information. It is important to note that a student may block the release of directory information by submitting appropriate paperwork to Registration & Records. Information such as grades, GPA, or a class schedule can not be released without the written permission of the student and can only be released by the Registration & Records Office.

Can students repeat a course?

The repeat course policy listed in the catalog should be shared with students when they are considering repeating a course. As stated in the catalog:

“Students may repeat a course in an attempt to improve their grade. All grades will appear on the transcript.

The most recent grade recorded will be the official grade earned, whether it is higher or lower than the original grade, and will be the grade used to compute the degree and cumulative grade-point average. NOTE: A U grade may not replace an F grade.

However, if a student earns a failing grade (F or U grade) in the repeated attempt, the student may petition the Vice President of Academic Affairs for approval to restore an original performance grade. This action must be initiated by the student in a letter of request prior to the end of the subsequent semester. If the most recent grade is a nonprogress grade (I, J, X, or W grade), the original grade will be used in grade point calculations. All original grades will remain on the transcript even if the student withdraws or fails to complete the repeated course (I, X, or W grade).

Students who elect to transfer should be aware that the transfer institution may not accept the repeated grade.

While a student may repeat a course at another college, only a course taken at SUNY Niagara will be used to compute the SUNY Niagara grade-point average (GPA). Courses repeated after graduation will not change the degree GPA achieved at graduation.

Students who elect to repeat a course for which credit has already been earned should be aware of the financial aid implications. Students should discuss their situation with the Financial Aid Office regarding the consequences as they pertain to the financial aid rules currently in effect.

Students in the practical nursing, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology and surgical technology programs may be required to repeat a biology and/or major core courses(s) in which they earned an A through C grade more than five years before enrolling in a subsequent course. See the appropriate curriculum page in this catalog for the Five-Year Course Policy for nursing, physical therapist assistant, practical nursing, radiologic technology or surgical technology.”

NOTE: REPEATING CLASSES MAY IMPACT FINANCIAL AID. Students should check with the Financial Aid office before making schedule changes if they are not sure how it will impact their financial aid eligibility.

Does SUNY Niagara offer CLEP tests?

SUNY Niagara administers CLEP tests at the Testing Center located on the Sanborn campus. Please click on this link for more information as to when the CLEP exams are being offered, how to schedule a CLEP exam, and how to designate where the exam results should be sent:

Or, if you would like more information on CLEP at SUNY Niagara, please email or call the CLEP info line at 716-614-6863.

How can I calculate my grade point average (GPA)?

There is an online GPA calculator on the SUNY Niagara website: 1. Go to the College homepage ( 2. Select “Academics” 3. Select “Calculate Your GPA” (found under ‘Resources’)

How can my Advisor help me to plan my course of study?

The SUNY Niagara catalog lists course requirements for all programs. This is used as a guide when helping students decide on courses to select for a given semester. Degree Works is an evaluation system which can help advisors track students’ degree progress and plan the rest of their college career in a more accessible, convenient, and organized way. Advisors will also discuss overall educational and career goals to insure that their advisee is in the appropriate major.

How do I change my major?

Matriculated students who need assistance choosing a major should meet with a Student Success Center counselor (D-102) to discuss options. If a student has already conferred with his/her advisor and has chosen a new major, a major change application can be accessed and completed through Banner Web: 1. Go to the College homepage ( 2. Select Banner Web 3. Enter Secure Area 4. Login using User ID and PIN 5. Select “Student and Financial Aid” 6. Select “Student Records” 7. Select “Major Change Application”

How do I know if credits from another institution have transferred to SUNY Niagara? What is the process to transfer college coursework?

A maximum of 50 percent of the credits for a certificate or degree program bearing a grade of C or better can be transferred from an accredited college or university to SUNY Niagara. Students must authorize their previous institution to forward an official college transcript to the SUNY Niagara Admissions Office. The transcript evaluator in Registration & Records will evaluate the transcript specifically for the program into which the student has matriculated. Accepted transfer course work is entered into the College’s student information system (Banner). The student will receive notification that contains the SUNY Niagara Equivalent Course Information and the credit hour evaluation. All transfer credit will appear on the student’s transcript on Banner Web and Degree Works. Any questions regarding course work transferred to SUNY Niagara should be directed to the Registration and Records Office.

How do I find my advisor's office?

Advisors’ offices are located in their curricula area; i.e. a Radiologic Technology advisor would be located in the Science and Technology Division area. You can check with the Division Office regarding advisor locations. You will also receive notification about two weeks before the start of Advance Registration (selecting classes for the next semester) that contains your advisor’s name and his or her office location.

How do I request an Incomplete grade?

A student who requests an Incomplete “I” grade is required to arrange for completion of course work with his/her instructor. The maximum time for the change of an “I” grade to a performance grade is determined by the instructor, but shall not exceed one academic year. The Registration & Records Office will inform the instructor and student of the approach of the one year deadline. If no change of grade is made by the instructor prior to the deadline, the “I” grade will automatically be converted to an F grade.

How long are placement test scores valid?

Test scores are valid for three years, so if a student tested once in 2005 and then reapplied in 2008 to the College, they would be allowed two testing opportunities again.

I don't remember who my advisor is, how can I find out?

Students may look up their advisor by:

  1. Select Banner Web from the Quick Links menu at the bottom of the SUNY Niagara home page (
  2. Click on “Enter Secure Area.” Enter User I.D. # and PIN #.or Twolves login
  3. Click on “Student & Financial Aid.
  4. Click on “View Academic Advisor Information.
  5. Your advisor’s name and contact information will be listed.

If I need to stop attending college, how would I withdraw from SUNY Niagara?

Students who are considering withdrawing from SUNY Niagara are encouraged to speak with a counselor in Student Success Center (D-102) to discuss alternatives to withdrawing and to learn about the financial and academic consequences of dropping all classes. Students may withdraw from all classes by filling out and turning in a form to the Registration and Record’s Office (A-105). The form is also available on the Registration and Records website: 1. Go to the College homepage ( 2. Select “Academics” 3. Select “Registration & Records” 4. Select “Forms” 5. Select “Withdrawals from the College”

Is it possible for me to get into a closed class?

If a student is interested in getting a seat in a closed class, they would have to contact the Division Chair for the course. It is also recommended that the student keep checking Banner Web to see if a seat has become available. The student may also want to select an alternate class because getting into a closed class is not always an option.

What are Academic Standards?

SUNY Niagara’s academic standards are designed to assist students in achieving their educational goals. The system provides periodic and helpful intervention for students working toward the completion of a college degree or certificate. The College supports a three-part intervention system: Academic Warning, Probation, and Dismissal. The College catalog outlines academic policies and requirements for maintaining Good Academic Standing. A student may meet with his or her academic advisor or make an appointment with a counselor in Student Success Center (D-102) to review the requirements for staying matriculated at SUNY Niagara.

What are modular classes?

Modular classes, sometimes called “Mods” are courses in sequence (usually three in total) indicated as the course section numbers starting with 1, 2, or 3. They are offered in many different program areas. The modules only meet during a portion of the semester and are offered in a sequence so a student can take many different modules during the semester.

What if I am a non-matriculated student?

You do not have an assigned advisor, but if you need assistance, you can call (716-614-2539) or e-mail ( to make an appointment to meet with Sabrina Faso.

What if my advisor's available hours are different from mine?

If your availability is different from your advisor, send them an email or leave a voicemail message.  Directory information is available on the SUNY Niagara website under resources at the bottom of the home page. If they do not get back with you check with the Division Office for your major to make sure they are not out ill or had an emergency.

What is a degree evaluation? How do you run it and how is it used?

Degree evaluation is a program evaluation process offered in Degree Works. It is an essential tool for academic advisement. Degree evaluation allows advisors and students to see how completed and currently registered credits apply to a specific program and view what courses are still needed to complete the program.

The Registration and Records office bases graduation eligibility on a satisfying degree evaluation. If a student files for graduation and all requirements are not fulfilled (based on the degree evaluation) the student’s advisor will be contacted by the Registrar.

Students are encouraged to run a degree evaluation after registration each semester to verify that selected courses are appropriate choices toward their program completion. Students can contact Registration and Records (A-105) or Student Success Center (D-102) for assistance on running a degree evaluation. To access Degree Works::

  1. Go to
  2. At the bottom of the SUNY Niagara homepage, under Students, choose Degree Evaluation
  3. Login with your TWolves/Brightspace username and password

Students who are considering a change in major can run a “What If” analysis for any program that SUNY Niagara offers by selecting the specific program from a drop-down menu in degree Evaluation.

  1. Login to Degree Works with your TWolves/Brightspace username and password
  2. Select “What If” on the left side of screen
  3. Choose a Major from the drop-down menu
  4. If choosing a program that requires a concentration, i.e. “Individual Studies,” select a concentration below
  5. Click on “Process What If” at the top of the screen

What is the policy for receiving college credit for Advanced Placement work done in high school?

SUNY Niagara accepts credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses when a student scores a three or higher on the AP examination. The evaluation of AP examination results is made by the transcript evaluator in the Registration and Records Office. Courses taken that apply to the program into which a student has matriculated are accepted. Similar to SAT scores, official copies of AP scores need to be forwarded directly from College Board to the Admissions Office.

What should I do if I am unable to attend class due to an emergency or illness?

Students who miss any classes should speak with the instructor and make up missed assignments. If a student will be out for an extended period due to extenuating circumstances, he or she should contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Services (A-161) to have a notice sent to all instructors. Students are encouraged to speak with a counselor in the Student Success Center Office (D-102) to discuss strategies for success in light of the absences.

What should I do if I am unhappy with my test scores?

If a student does not receive a satisfactory score on a placement assessment, he/she can make one more attempt. Read, Write and Math remediation/ Pre-Collegiate Prep is available at the Trott Center in Niagara Falls, 1001 11th Street, Room D-1002, Niagara Falls, NY 14301, 716-278-8151. They are there Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00am-3:00pm.  At the Sanborn Campus, contact Brian Webb, Room E203, 9:00am-12:00pm, 716-614-6235.  Additional questions should be directed to the Testing Center (A-167).

When can a student return to school if s/he has been dismissed for academic reasons?

All returning students will be asked to file an appeal with the Academic Affairs Office as part of their readmission application. The student will be asked to indicate the reasons for unsatisfactory achievement and plans for improvement. Each appeal is considered individually.

When do I get an assigned advisor?

New students are assigned an advisor during the first few weeks of school. An advisor assignment notification is sent to all students. Continuing students generally have the same advisor each semester. Students who are approved for a major change will be assigned a new advisor in their new program and will be notified through their TWolves account.

Where can students get academic support?

The Academic Center for Excellence in D-200 offers tutoring services, the Reading Lab, the Writing Lab, the Accounting Lab, the Science Lab and the Math Lab to all students. Other resources include Student Success Center for academic and vocational counseling; the Wellness Center for personal counseling, and the student’s academic advisor. Credit courses (GES) for student success as well as non-credit workshops are also available.

Who can take honor classes?

Students interested in honors coursework must have a have a competitive score on their SAT/ACT and submit letters of reference. Students can contact the honors program coordinator, Pamela Lange at 716-614-6877 regarding the selection process.

Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory grades...what are they?

S/U grades indicate if a student has successfully completed the course (S grade) or has not successfully completed the course (U grade). Credit is also given, upon successful completion, in the form of a letter grade. * There are some restrictions on the amount of credits you can take as an S/U grade and some courses only use the S/U system. The deadline to apply for an S/U grade changes each semester. Check the Registration & Records Office Web page for deadlines.


Phone: 716-614-6290
Fax: 716-614-6814
Location: D-102