Academic Planning Center

Assisting students as they choose a major, plan their coursework, and set educational and career goals while offering guidance and support to help them take advantage of all that SUNY Old Westbury has to offer. 

What to do - year-by-year

First-Year Students

Welcome Class 2027!

All incoming first-year students are assigned and advisor from the First-Year Experience Program (FYE).

First-Year Goals

  • Familiarize yourself with Liberal Education requirements, College and Math and Writing proficiency requirements
  • Learn how to create a schedule and register for courses
  • Access and review the degree planning tool: Degree Works


Your second year (or third semester) you are assigned an advisor from the Academic Planning Center.  Once you have declared a major you will be assigned a faculty advisor from that department for your 3rd and 4th years.

Sophomore Year Goals:

  • Choose and declare a major
  • Create a degree plan with an advisor for that major
  • Review Degree Works and outstanding requirements
  • Master how to create a schedule and register for courses independently 
  • Explore Sophomore Jump

Juniors and Seniors

In your 3rd and 4th years, you should be consulting with a faculty advisor in your department. 

Junior and Senior Year Goals:

  • Review Degree Works and outstanding requirements
  • Visit Career Planning and Development
  • Explore internships and research opportunities
  • Reach out to faculty for mentorship 
Student responsibilities

Students are responsible for planning their education.  Advisors assist students, provide information, and recommend steps towards completing a degree. Advisors make sure students have a thorough understanding of the majors and coursework available to them, and Degree Planning workshops give students a chance to work on a long-range plan for their coursework.

Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to use these resources to make decisions and set educational goals.

Here are goals and responsibilities for students at different stages of their college career:

First-Year Students

In their first year, students should become familiar with Old Westbury’s Liberal Education requirements and requirements for proficiency in Math and Writing.  While students do not need to choose a major in the first year, they should be aware of the majors offered by Old Westbury and give some thought to which one they may pursue. In addition to individual sessions with academic advisors, first-year students will attend a Degree Planning Workshop that will help them develop an understanding of the coursework required to complete a degree.


Students are responsible for choosing and declaring a major during their second year. If a student has not declared a major after completing 42 credits, a declaration of major hold will prevent them from registering for classes.  Majors ordinarily have introductory courses that need to be completed before moving on to upper division courses.  In some majors, there are courses which must be taken in sequence. Sophomore students need to become familiar with their major’s requirements- the Academic Planning Center is available to provide information and answer questions.

Upper Division Students

Once students have begun their junior year, they need to begin working a faculty advisor in their major department.  Many faculty advisors expect students to come to advising sessions with a printed Degree Audit report, so it is important for students to know how to perform an online degree audit at this stage. The Planning Center is available to answer questions and provide assistance for upper division students, but at this stage their major department should be their primary source of advising.

Transfer Students

Prior to starting at Old Westbury, New Transfer students will meet with an academic advisor or faculty advisor during the orientation process.  Coursework from other institutions is evaluated by the Transfer Services office.  Once accepted to attend Old Westbury, new transfer students are required to register for an orientation session to be able to schedule an advising appointment.  An Academic Advisor or faculty member from the student’s major department (depending on class standing) will explain how the coursework was evaluated.  After being advised, transfer students should understand which Liberal Education requirements and major requirements have been met by previous coursework. The Academic Planning Center is available to help transfer students who have questions that were not addressed by their faculty advisors in the majors.

Academic Planning Involves Collaboration!

At all stages of a student’s college career, academic planning/advising is a process of collaboration between student and advisor. Students who prepare for advising sessions by reviewing their degree requirements and checking to see what courses are available tend to gain more from the experience than those who expect to be “given” classes. The more students actively participate in the academic planning/advising process, the more satisfied they will be with their education.

Student resources

Here is a collection of resources to assist and empower you on your college journey.  Please consult with your advisor if you have any questions.

Resources to Understand New Class Schedule

For the Fall 2023 SUNY Old Westbury will offer the classes via the following instructional methods:

  1. ON-CAMPUS (face-to-face)

  2. REMOTE (synchronous via internet)

  3. ONLINE (asynchronous via internet)

  4. FLEX courses (attend on-campus or remotely)

Resources to Select Courses and Track Degree Progress:

Resources to Choose a Major

Online Writing Placement Exam

Arranging the Exam

The Online Writing Placement Exam is by appointment only. To make an appointment to take the Online Writing Exam, please contact Professor Elizabeth Schmermund at and list your availability to take the exam. Please also note if you have any accommodations for extra time. Appointments must be made at least 48 hours before the exam.

Accessing the Brightspace Writing Proficiency Exam Page

When your exam is scheduled, you will receive notification that you’ve been added to the Brightspace Writing Proficiency Exam page. To access the page, you need to log on to Old Westbury Connect and then click on the Brightspace icon. Once in the Brightspace Writing Proficiency Exam page, you can click on “Placement Exam” in the left-hand menu of the page to take your exam.

Please make sure that you have at least one hour to complete your exam before beginning it. Once you start the exam, you must complete it. You will be asked to fill out information about you (including your student identification number, name, phone number, email address) prior to beginning the essay.

Communication of Results

Results of the exam will be available approximately two days after the exam is taken. You can contact Professor Schmermund with any questions.