Georgia Perimeter College

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Advising

What is a cohort?

A cohort is all first-time fulltime freshmen (with no transfer credits) who begin their studies at GPC in either the Summer or the Fall term of a given year.

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How are advisees assigned?

Campus deans assign the cohort members on their campus to faculty.  They make an effort to assign equal numbers of advisees to each faculty member, and they try to assign each advisee to a current teacher; however, this is not always possible. Advisees are assigned to faculty when they have earned 24 college credits.

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Why do I have so many advisees?   

First, check to make sure you’re looking at the list of your advisees in eSAMS; if you’re in SIS and you see a long list of cohort students (this would be around midterm), this is simply the list of cohort members who are currently enrolled in your classes and for whom you must enter alerts if necessary.

Second, each cohort’s group of advisees will remain with you for three years.  Every year, you will be assigned a new group of advisees from the incoming cohort; advisees from a cohort will disappear from your lists after 3 years.

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Are advisees assigned to part-time faculty?

No; currently, advisees are only assigned to full-time faculty.  If a student is inadvertently assigned to a part-time instructor, the chair should contact the Director of Faculty Advising for reassignment.

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Why aren’t my advisees all in my discipline?

In order to achieve equity in the number of advisees assigned to each faculty member, it is often impossible to match things up this way. 

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How can an advisee be reassigned to another advisor? 

This should only be done for a good reason (e.g., the student attends all classes at Clarkston but has been assigned an advisor at Dunwoody).  The request should be made to the Director of Faculty Advising, who will assess the necessity for the change.

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How do I get an eSAMS ID?

Go to On that page, you will see “Request eSAMS Account.”  Click on that and follow the directions.

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How do I deal with alerts?

The names of your advisees who have alerts will appear in red on the main page of eSAMS.  To remove the alert, do the following:

- Go to the student’s main page.

- View alerts

- Bring up the remediation screen.  (Above each alert on the right side there's a

button marked 'remediation'; click this)

- In the gray box, enter what you've done to address the alert (be

sure to note any attempts to contact the student, whether

successful or not)

- Above the gray box, there are two buttons; hit 'yes' to indicate

you've discussed this alert/remediation with the student;

otherwise, leave it 'no'.

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What is a TAG?

The Transfer Admission Guarantee or (TAG) is an agreement between Georgia Perimeter College and four-year institutions that allows a GPC student who meets certain criteria to be guaranteed acceptance as a transfer student at a particular four-year institution.

To find out more about TAGs, go to  The Advising, Counseling, and Retention Services  (ACRS) counselors can help students with the details of this; each TAG has its own requirements and not all majors/programs may be participants at a given university.

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How do I contact my advisees?

First, look at the student’s contact information on eSAMS.  It will list their phone number(s) and e-mail address (if any).   You can also look at their current registration to see whose classes they’re in.  You can send them an e-mail, send a letter to them via a current instructor, or call them.  If they still don’t respond and if you feel comfortable doing this, you may also go to one of their current classes and try to contact them directly.  Whichever method(s) you use, be sure to go to eSAMS and document each attempt to contact an advisee, whether successful or not.

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How often should I meet with my advisees?

You may wish to meet with them at the beginning of each semester and then again before registration.  However, remember that while the initial meeting with an advisee should be face-to-face, subsequent “meetings” can be via e-mail, phone, or other communication medium.  You should meet with each advisee at least once each semester.

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How do I find a Program of Study (POS)?

On the GPC home page, click on “Academics” (on the yellow bar near the top of the page).  On the pull-down menu, click on “Programs.”  When that page comes up, on the side menu select “Program Advisement Forms.”  Choose the required program/major.    You can this form use during the advisement session (giving it to the student when you’ve finished).

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What do I do if the student has a personal problem?

The Advising and Counseling Services office on each campus has specially trained and certified counselors.  Depending upon your assessment of the severity of the problem, you may wish to suggest the student go there, call ACS and make an appointment while the student is in your office, or physically escort the student to ACS and alert them to the need for immediate help.  Do not feel that, as the student’s advisor, you are responsible for dealing with ALL their problems in life. 

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What do I do if the student asks a question I can’t answer?

You have many resources available.  Contact a Master Advisor.  If they don’t know the answer, they should be able to refer you to the right place to get an answer.   If it’s a question about financial aid (including HOPE scholarships), send the student to the Financial Aid Office.  If an international student has a question about visa status, send him/her to the International Student Advisor.  If it’s a question about a specific discipline’s requirements, you can either call someone in that department or send the student there.  In any case, it’s probably a good idea to have the student seek out the answer and report back to you to help develop independence.

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How do I deal with holds?

Cohort Advisement Holds

Cohort students WILL have advisement holds at 18 and 36 hours .  Only remove this hold AFTER you've met with the student.  If they haven't already responded to your attempts to contact them, finding they can't register without your consent will be a major incentive.  In order to remove the hold, you have to get into SIS (Faculty Services-->Student Records-->View Holds).  You will need either the student's full name or his/her student ID.  (Even if you go to SIS from the eSAMS page for a particular student, there is no "memory" of the student's info; you HAVE to type it in yourself, so jot it down or print that page from eSAMS.  Be careful if you use the student's name; sometimes we have several students with the same name.  It's better to use the ID.)  This will bring up the holds page.  At the bottom, you will see a button that says "Remove Advisement Hold-Cohort."  Hit this button and the registration hold will be removed.  Note that this has been greatly improved since last year; we no longer have any confusion about which holds to remove.

After you've removed the hold, the student can register on-line as usual. 

Other Holds

If there are other holds (and there may be), you can ask your Master Advisor what they mean, so you can send the student to the correct place to get the hold removed.  The other option is to send the student to the Registrar.  Again, remember not to remove these holds!

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What kind of information can I include in e-mails and phone messages to students?

Because of FERPA regulations (privacy rules), don’t say anything much more than, “This is Professor x from GPC.  Please have (student) contact me at (e-mail address) and/or (office phone #) as soon as possible.”

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Is there a professional association that promotes research and professional development for effective advising?

The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students. NACADA provides a forum for discussion, debate, and the exchange of ideas pertaining to academic advising through numerous activities and publications. NACADA also serves as an advocate for effective academic advising by providing a Consultants Bureau, an Awards Program, and funding for research related to academic advising.  You can visit their website at:

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Is there a list of useful GPC websites?

You might find the following websites useful:

Programs of Study
eSAMS login
SIS login
Schedule of Classes
Academic calendar
Advising and Counseling

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