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 Northwest Vista College Library
1st Floor, Redbud Learning Center (RLC)
3535 N. Ellison Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78251
(210) 486-4513
Mon - Thu: 7:30am - 8:30pm
Fri: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Sat: 8:30am - 2:30pm

Academic Advising FAQs

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.

How am I assigned an Advisor?

Students are assigned an academic advisor upon matriculation by major. If a student changes their major once assigned, they will be re-assigned to a new advisor at the end of that semester.

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 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 Student Code of Conduct.

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

All currently assigned students have been sent a link to schedule an appointment with their academic advisor through their ACES email account. Please check your ACES email for your appointment link. If you do not see your link in ACES, please visit the Advising Services office for more information on who your assigned advisor is and how to contact them for an appointment. 

Starting the spring 2016 semester, your appointment link will show you your advisor's appointment availability on a month-to-month basis. For example, for the spring the link will only show you February's appointment options until closer to March. At that time, your advisor will update their appointment times to reflect March openings. The link is good the entire semester until you schedule an appointment. Once an appointment is scheduled, the link becomes invalid. 

Appointments are scheduled for 45 minute intervals 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. Arrive on time and check in at the Advising Services Window located on the first floor of the Cypress Campus Center directly past Student Financial Services. If you arrive 15 minutes or more late for an appointment, you will be asked to reschedule the appointment. Bring all necessary documents (i.e. your GPS degree plan) to your appointment. Failure to bring necessary documents will require you to reschedule 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.

What services require an appointment?

Services requiring you to schedule an appointment in advance with your advisor include:

  • Academic Dismissal Petition
  • Career Exploration
  • Change of Major
  • Degree Planning
  • Financial Aid Appeal
  • Graduation Advising and Application
  • Individual Success Plan (GPS Planner)
  • Transfer Planning
  • Submission of Overload Petition Forms

What services are considered Walk-in Quick Advising sessions?

If you have a quick question you may drop by the Advising Services counter for a short 20 minutes or less advising session. If your questions require more time than this, please make an appointment instead. Advisors see walk-in 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.

Walk-In Quick Advising Services include:

  • Quick Questions
  • Student Holds
  • Pre-requisite overrides
  • Overview of Degree Plan

You also have the option of utilizing our Chat service for quick questions. You may speak with someone online by clicking on the “Chat with Us” link to the right of this page. Outside of normal business hours, you may email us at  

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.

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.
  • Advisors will not choose your career or your classes for you.

Can an Advisor assist me by email?

Advisors are available to answer questions that are submitted through your ACES Email. Your e-mails to advisors are professional communications, so please include: First name, last name, and student Banner ID number. Advisor will return your message as soon as possible on a first-come, first-served basis. If a question is very important and requires an immediate response, it is recommended you visit with an advisor in person. Some questions may prompt your advisor to contact you to schedule an appointment.

Advice from your Advisors:

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

  • Note your appointment date.
  • Come prepared with knowledge of classes to take, questions to ask, and topics to discuss.
  • Meet with an academic advisor each semester to ensure you are staying on track.
  • 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 email regularly; this is how the Alamo Colleges will communicate with you.
  • Review your grades and degree plan in ACES at the end of each term.


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.


The Academic Advising Services are located in  Cypress Campus Center (CCC) first floor hallway, directly past Student Financial Services.  Please visit the Advising Services Check In Window for assistance.

Advising Hours

NVC Student Success 

Hours of Operation

Fall 2016

Walk-In Advising is available: 

Mondays 8am-12pm

Thursdays 1:00pm - 6:00pm


General Hours of Operation 

Monday - Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday: 8:00am - 7:00pm

Friday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

First Saturday of the Month 9:00am - 1:00pm

Walk-in Advising sign-in opens at 8:00am on Mondays and 1:00pm on Thursdays. The Sign-in line will close when the Advising Services have met the maximum capacity to serve for the day.  Walk-in advising is available for limited services (pre-requisite overrides, quick questions, student holds and an overview of your degree plan) and are limited to 20 minutes. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to speak with your assigned advisor during a walk-in session due to availability.   

Currently enrolled students should schedule an advising appointment with their assigned advisor for assistance.  To meet with your assigned advisor, please schedule an appointment by utilizing the link sent to you by your advisor via your ACES email. 

Appointments are not available the same day, they must be scheduled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Appointments are available Monday - Thursday when scheduled in advance with your assigned advisor.

The Advising Services office may be reached by phone at (210) 486-4100. Please be able to provide your full name, and banner ID when requesting specific information. There may be longer waiting times during peak times such as registration.   

Our online advisor is also available for quick advising support at a distance during the hours of operation. 


Important Academic Advising Dates for Summer and Fall 2016:

First Time In College Students: 
Summer New Student Orientation and Transfer Student Orientation sessions will be held April 4th to June 29th  
Fall New Student Orientation and Transfer Student Orientation sessions will be held May 2nd to August 13th   

International Students: 

Deadline for Fall 2016 New International Students applying for an F-1 Visa is May 15th, 2016 

Deadline for Fall 2016 F1 Transfer students is July 1st, 2016 

Degree Completion:
Deadline to apply for Summer 2016 graduation is Thursday, June 30th
Deadline to apply for Fall 2016 graduation is Monday, October 31st  

Career & Transfer Services:


Academic Dismissal Petitions:

Appointments to submit an Academic Dismissal petition for the Fall 2016 semester began April 18 th until August 1 st .   3 rd Academic Dismissal petitions were due by July 25 th . At this time we are no longer accepting petitions for the Fall 2016 term. Please check the Academic Standards page for more information.    

Northwest Vista College and all offices including Advising Services will be closed on the following days:

All Fridays and Saturdays beginning May 30th until July 31st

Monday, July 4th