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Explore Health and Human Development


The College of Health and Human Development (CHHD) acknowledges the valuable role academic advising plays in the retention of undergraduate students and views advising as an important aspect of the professional responsibilities of faculty and staff. The college also recognizes that many students entering the university are uncertain of career goals and the alternative avenues available to achieve those goals. The college advising system is designed to help students identify and achieve their academic goals, promote intellectual discovery, become self-directed learners and decision-makers, and encourage both in- and out-of-class educational experiences. The College of Health and Human Development provides academic advising for students enrolled in the college, as well as for undecided, exploratory, and prospective students.

In general, first-year students are admitted to the college rather than a major. The exception is Professional Golf Management, which is a first-year admission program. Students in general college status retain this designation until the entrance requirements for the intended major are met. At University Park, premajor students with academic goals are advised in the departments or school. Exploratory and undecided students are advised through the Student Services Center. Prior to attaining fifth-semester classification, students enrolled in the college must gain entrance to a major in order to continue registration as degree candidates or be disenrolled (Senate Policy 54-56).

Advanced-standing transfer students may be admitted directly to a major (if entrance requirements have been met), or admitted to the college in premajor status (if transferring with less than 59.1 credits and can meet the entrance to major requirements prior to fifth-semester classification). Transfer students in pre-major status at University Park are advised in the departments or school until they are eligible to enroll in a major.

Responsibilities of Advisers and Advisees (Senate Policy 32-30)

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in and out-of-class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, meet their educational goals, and develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources. The college or department also will monitor the progress of its advisees toward satisfactory completion of all graduation requirements and inform students of their status each semester. Advisees, in turn, will routinely contact their advisers each semester and will assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of graduation requirements.

A. Responsibilities of Advisers

The Adviser’s Role is to:

  1. Help the advisee to understand the nature of the University's academic programs and to understand the expected standards of achievement and likelihood of success in certain areas of study. The adviser also seeks to understand each advisee's particular concerns affecting academic progress.
  2. The adviser helps the advisee to follow appropriate University procedures and to understand their purposes. The adviser neither grants nor denies administrative approval for the advisee's particular academic actions.
  3. Discuss the educational and career objectives suited to the advisee’s demonstrated abilities and expressed interests. The adviser helps the advisee to understand the relationships among the courses, General Education, University requirements, programs, undergraduate research opportunities, internships, study abroad programs, and other academic experiences provided by the University.
  4. Help the advisee to plan a course of study and give advice about courses and the adjustment of course loads. The adviser will inform the advisee about the prerequisites for subsequent courses in the advisee’s program
  5. Refer advisees to other resources when appropriate.
  6. Participate in the professional development provided by each college or department to keep informed and current.

B. Responsibilities of Advisees

The Advisee’s Role is to:

  1. Acquire the information needed to assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of all graduation requirements.
  2. Seek the academic and career information needed to meet educational goals.
  3. Become knowledgeable about the relevant policies, procedures, and rules of the University, college and academic program.
  4. Be prepared with accurate information and relevant materials when contacting the adviser.
  5. Consult with the adviser at least once a semester to decide on courses, review the accuracy of the degree audit, check progress toward graduation, and discuss the suitability of other educational opportunities provided by the University.

Assignment of Adviser (Senate Policy 32-40)

Senate Policy 32-40 specifies responsibilities for the Assignment of Advisers for various categories of students, including degree candidates, provisional students, and nondegree regular and conditional students.

  1. Degree Candidates – Advising responsibility for every student with degree status rests with the college in which the student is enrolled or with the Division of Undergraduate Studies.
  2. Degree-Seeking Provisional Students – Advising responsibility for every student with provisional status rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies in consultation with the respective college to which the student seeks admission.
  3. Nondegree Students who have never been in degree status at Penn State rests with the respective colleges to which the students seek admission or with the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the students are undecided or exploring curricular options.

College, Campus, and Administrative Advising Information and Communications (Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures,

The patterns of academic advising information and administrative support services provided to students are to be consistent across campuses and among colleges and be clearly visible to and easily accessible for both students and advisers (see Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures under D which contains rules on Entrance to College and Lower Division Location, Entrance to Major and Upper Division, and Change of Major). Regardless of campus, colleges are responsible for providing advising information and assessing the effectiveness of advising services provided to students enrolled in both the college pre-major designation and specific majors. Similarly, regardless of college or major, campuses are responsible for providing advising information and assessing effectiveness of advising services provided to students enrolled at their location. All student actions regarding college of admission, college pre-major designation, campus of enrollment, preferred major designation, course registrations, and actual major are recorded in the Integrated Student Information System (ISIS).

Access to advising information may be provided to students and advisers by campuses and colleges via advising centers and advising web pages. College, campus, and university-wide administrative offices are responsible for identifying the persons whom students and advisers should contact if they wish to ask specific questions or if they want to implement academic actions regarding choice of major, course registrations, or change of campus.


The following procedures will guide the assignment of responsibilities among colleges, campuses, and administrative units for advising information and communications regarding admission to college and lower division campus, entrance to major and upper division, and change of major.

  1. All colleges are to appoint a College Contact Person (CCP) and to develop and disseminate advising information related to its majors and any requirements related to entering or changing majors or changing campus. This information must be made available via the Web; the web site must identify an office in the college that individual students or advisers at other campuses may contact directly for clarifying information. The CCP is to maintain a working relationship with the network of persons designated at campuses as the College Contact and Referral Representatives (CCRR) (see #2 below). The University Park colleges should conduct at least one meeting per year for their CCRRs, with expenses shared by the college and campuses. The other colleges should collaborate in arranging at least one annual meeting.
  2. Each campus is to identify a CCRR for each University Park-based college (/studentservices/handbook/directory#CCRR) and one CCRR to represent all other colleges. Among other responsibilities, the CCRR at the campus is to: a) maintain contact with the CCP; b) keep abreast of college advising information; c) monitor the campus advising web site to assure the college’s advising information is available to local students; and d) be responsive to queries from local students about requirements for college majors and change of campus.
  3. Advising web sites should be developed in accordance with guidelines established by the University Advising Council (
  4. Annually, each college and each campus is to assess the effectiveness of its advising information network across and among locations of the University and incorporate improvement steps in its advising plans.
  5. All CCRRs and CCPs must have ready access to the Internet.
  6. Academic administrative support offices, including Undergraduate Admissions and the University Registrar, are to maintain web-based systems to inform and guide students as they take academic actions relating to admission to their college and campus, registration for courses, monitoring academic progress, and petitioning for entrance to a major or a change in campus. All academic administrative support offices and colleges maintaining web-based information systems should provide a link to eLion to take advantage of centrally supported advising information resources and procedures.

A listing of the names, telephone numbers and electronic mail addresses for all college representatives is provided in the handbook directory. The CCP for the College of Health and Human Development is Margaret Sebastianelli, Director, Student Services, 5 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802, 814-865-2156,

Functions of the Student Services Center


The center provides academic advising for exploratory students enrolled at University Park who are considering majors in health and human development and prospective students who are not yet enrolled at Penn State. On behalf of the dean’s office, the center provides consultation and dean’s review for University Faculty Senate policy exceptions for all exploratory health and human development students. Currently enrolled students wishing to apply to one of the nine undergraduate majors or eleven minors may be referred to the center to confirm their academic interest, schedule an appointment with the appropriate department/school adviser, and receive relevant information. Additionally, the center's first-year honors adviser works in support of department/school honors advising. The center provides academic advising support to faculty, staff, families, and the university’s constituents system wide.

The center is responsible for coordinating the annual university/college sponsored recruitment and retention programs including (but not limited to) the following: New Student Orientation Program (NSO), Spend A Summer Day, Scholars Day, Arrival Week Orientation, Fall Career Days at the Bryce Jordan Center, and campus Major Events and LinkUP. The annual Undergraduate Adviser and Student Handbook for Baccalaureate Degree Programs and Associate Degree and Undergraduate Credit Certificate Programs is coordinated through the center. College representation as the College Contact Person (CCP) for the College Contact and Referral Representative (CCRR) network is provided through the center. In addition, the center coordinates as all changes of campus, changes of major that require college review, leaves of absence, and re-enrollments and reinstatements.

Academic Classification of Students by Semester (Senate Policy 37-70)

A degree candidate's semester classification is based upon the following table of total credits earned:

Total Credits Earned* Semester Classification
14 or fewer 1
14.1 to 29 2
29.1 to 44 3
44.1 to 59 4
59.1 to 74 5
74.1 to 89 6
89.1 to 104 7
104.1 to 119 8
119.1 to 134 9
134.1 to 149 10
149.1 or more 11
*Total credits earned equal the accumulation of all Penn State credits successfully completed by letter grades A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, or symbols SA, R, S; credits by examination as defined by Section 42-50; and credit granted by transfer from other colleges and universities as defined in Sections 42-80 and 42-90.


Academic Renewal(Senate Policy 58-60)

A previous associate or baccalaureate degree candidate seeking readmission/re-enrollment as a degree candidate according to Section 58-50 or a non-degree or provisional student seeking readmission/re-enrollment to the University may request the Registrar to approve Academic Renewal. To be approved:

  1. The student must have had an absence of at least four years during which they were not enrolled in any Penn State credit courses, and
  2. The student's previous cumulative average was below 2.00.

Change of Campus (Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, D-1and, D-2)

Students request a change of campus using the "Update Campus" application found under the other academics dropdown menu in the LionPATH Student Center. This is only available to undergraduate students in degree status. A tutorial is available here.

The University admits first-semester baccalaureate degree candidates to a campus that can provide at least 2 semesters of normal progress toward the program they have selected. Generally, students are expected to complete 2 full years of academic work at their initial campus. After 2 years, they may have to change to a university campus that offers the upper-level course work required in their major.

The dean for each college will be responsible for establishing procedures to accomplish each of the following objectives:

  1. Inform each baccalaureate student (in the college) of the policies and procedures governing relocation to another campus.
  2. Identify the courses required to maintain normal academic progress for the student’s major preference.
  3. Identify the probable semester of change of campus for a student based on major preference.
  4. Assure that change of campus does occur consistent with the current course requirements of a student's major preference, the student's actual course experience, and the planned course offerings of the campus over the next several semesters.

A student may request an early change of campus in order to maintain normal progress toward his/her preferred major. The student who is headed toward a major that requires early change of campus is expected to remain in that major and to schedule courses consistent with it. Under special circumstances, request for other reasons may be approved as exceptions. (See College of Health and Human Development Policy for Change of Campus.)

The student must obtain approval from officials at his/her campus (first) and at the desired campus (second) in order for the change to be processed. The designated official at the student's campus determines if it is appropriate for the student to relocate. If the request seems appropriate, the student initiates the change in LionPATH using the "Update Campus" link. The student's current campus reviews the request and can approve or deny it. If denied an email is sent to the student. If approved the request is sent to the requested campus. The student is notified of this decision. If the change is approved, the student will be able to register for the subsequent semester at the new campus. If denied, the email will explain the reason for the denial and direct the student to the appropriate resource.

Note: Relocation to University Park during the first two years of academic work will be approved only under exceptional circumstances.

College of Health and Human Development Policy for Change of Campus Location

Change of campus to University Park should generally take place when the student achieves 5th semester standing at his/her campus of admission. There are two scenarios under which students can transfer to University Park prior to completing four semesters: 1) if a student is unable to make normal progress toward the degree because the requisite courses are not available at the student’s campus, and 2) if the vice-provost for undergraduate education has approved a policy exception for a given program. Absent one of these circumstances, students should not be advised that the college recommends transfer to University Park prior to completion of the fourth semester.

Early Change of Campus Request Procedure

A student is expected to remain at his/her campus of admission until he/she achieves fifth semester standing. A student may request an early change of campus in order to maintain normal academic progress when he/she is unable to obtain a full schedule of relevant (i.e. to his/her major) courses at his/her current campus. Students requesting an early change of campus because of academic reasons are expected to remain in their current major and schedule courses consistent with that major at the new campus.
Student requests for an early change of campus because of personal reasons may be considered. However, the student must document that there are clear and compelling reasons why an early campus change should be considered.
Both the sending campus and the receiving campus have the authority to deny the student request.

Confidentiality and Security of Student Records (Academic Administrative Policy and Procedure Manual, N-1)

The Pennsylvania State University collects and retains data and information about students for designated periods of time for the expressed purpose of facilitating the student's educational development. The University recognizes the privacy rights of individuals in exerting control over what information about themselves may be disclosed and, at the same time, attempts to balance that right with the institution's need for information relevant to the fulfillment of its educational missions. The University further recognizes its obligation to inform the student of his/her rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA); to inform the student of the existence and location of records as well as to define the purposes for which such information is obtained; to provide security for such material; to permit student access to, disclosure of, and challenge to this information as herein described; and to discontinue such information when compelling reasons for its retention no longer exit.

Directory Information

Students have a right to know about the purposes, content and location of information kept as part of their educational records. They have a right to gain access to and challenge the content of their educational records. They have a right to expect the information in their educational records will be kept confidential, disclosed only with their permission or under provisions of the law. Students have a right to permit or prevent disclosure of certain information in their educational records. Parents have the right to expect confidentiality of certain information about them in student records and, under certain conditions, to gain access to information in student educational records.

  1. Name
  2. Address (local, permanent residence and electronic mail)
  3. Telephone number
  4. Major
  5. Student activities
  6. Weight/height (athletic teams)
  7. Date(s) of attendance
  8. Enrollment status (full-time, part-time)
  9. Date of graduation
  10. Degrees and awards received and where received
  11. Most recent educational institution attended
  12. Class level (semester classification or level: first year, sophomore, junior, etc.

To Withhold Directory Information

All students may request that directory information not be released publicly. This is an important student privilege that results in the following:

  • Student name/address is excluded from the Penn State Web Directory and printed telephone directories. Requests to withhold will not alter previously published directories.
  • Your name will not appear in the commencement program.
  • Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties, including potential employers.
  • No information will be released to any person on the telephone or via e-mail.
  • Address changes must be made by the student only. You may change your address using the eLion system, in person at any campus Registrar's office or by mailing a written request along with a copy of photo identification to any campus Registrar's office.
    1. The student must complete and sign the Request to Withhold Directory Information Form.
    2. Present or mail this signed form along with a copy of photo identification to any campus Registrar's office.
    3. If an e-mail address is provided, the student will receive an official notification when the withholding of directory information is in effect.

To Release Directory Information

  1. To reverse the action of withholding directory information, the student must complete and sign the Request to Release Directory Information Form.
  2. Present or mail this signed form along with a copy of photo identification to any campus Registrar's office.
  3. If an e-mail address is provided, the student will receive an official notification when directory information will be released.

Entrance to Major/Change of Major/Update Academics (Senate Policy 37-30)

    The LionPATH Entrance-to-Major application is now available. A student who wishes to enter a major will use LionPATH’s “Update Academics” to request entrance to the major. To participate in this process, students will actively request entrance to majors when they are within an established credit window, have completed specified courses, and have earned the stated grade-point average. Administratively controlled majors will be reviewed by the academic unit.

        Exceptions to Degree Requirements/Course Substitution (Senate Policy 82-60)

        A student is expected to satisfy all University degree requirements (such as General Education, First-Year Seminar, Intercultural and International Competence or United States and International Cultures, Writing Across the Curriculum) that were in effect when the student first scheduled a class after his/her admission or most recent re-enrollment as a degree candidate. Requirements for a program (such as major, minor, option, honors) are those in effect at the time of the student's admission or most recent re-enrollment into that program.

        Course substitution and exceptions to degree requirements do not require a petition to the University Faculty Senate. A petition is not required for correcting registration errors or changing a grade if the request is made before the deadline.

        College of Health and Human Development Policy for Exception to Degree Requirements

        College advisers are encouraged to initiate course substitution petitions when appropriate, by using the online for Course Substitution system. Upon completion of the on-line form, the adviser will submit the request and the form will follow the pre-set approval path for authorization and ISIS entry. The student's reason for requesting the substitution and the adviser's rationale for supporting or denying support should be noted. Upon completion of the process, students are automatically, electronically notified of all final decisions.

        Holds on Student Registration and Records (Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual,C-2 and N-2)

        The additional of a new policy, Policy 34-30 Academic Registration Hold was approved by the Senate and will become effective upon completion of implementation processes.

        Authorized University offices may place a hold on a student's record that will prevent registration. Because of the seriousness of this action, the office placing the hold is required to notify the student. Holds are placed because of:

        • Academic issues--placed and removed by college dean's offices;
        • Financial issues--placed and removed by offices such as Parking, Library, Bursar;
        • Disciplinary issues--placed and removed by Student Affairs;
        • Health issues--placed and removed by the Health Center;
        • Administrative issues--placed and removed by the University Registrar.

        Nondegree Students

        Changes to Policy 14-00 and 14-10 pending implementation.

        Limitations to enrollment as a Nondegree Student

        Petitions for Exceptions to Academic Policies and Procedures to Senate Policy (Preamble to “Academic Policies and Procedures for Undergraduate Students” in the University Faculty Senate Policies for Students)

        A student petition is a formal request for a waiver of a Senate Policy/Procedure. Waivers would include any Senate policy listed in Policies and Rules for Undergraduate Students.

        Petition Types

        The most common petition types are retroactive withdrawals, late course drops, late course adds, and corrected grades.

        For students enrolled at University Park:

        • Students enrolled in a college will submit their petitions through the Dean's office of the college in which the student is enrolled
        • DUS and Provisional students will submit their petitions through the Division of Undergraduate Studies
        • Non-Degree Conditional students will submit their petitions through the Dean's office of the college in which the student plans to enroll
        • Non-Degree Regular and World Campus students planning to enroll in a degree program will submit their petitions through the college/campus in which they plan to pursue a degree. Students who are not pursuing a degree at Penn State or are undecided about a college will submit their petitions through the Division of Undergraduate Studies
        • View University Park petition contact at this URL:

        For students enrolled at a campus other than University Park:

        Student petitions are always submitted through the college/campus in which the student is currently enrolled, no matter where the student attended during the time of the request. Students are responsible for obtaining documentation from another college/campus if applicable.

        Students who are not currently enrolled will submit their petition through the college/campus in which they were enrolled while taking the course(s) in reference.

        Review of Petitions
        Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards reviews petitions continuously throughout the academic year, including summer sessions, and petition reviewing is not coordinated with meetings of the University Faculty Senate.

        Student petitions are reviewed at the college/campus level and submitters will make a recommendation of support or non-support to the Senate Committee. The petition will then be forwarded to the Senate Office where it will be reviewed by the Senate Subcommittee on Academic Standards.

        Time Frame
        After a petition is submitted, students can expect a decision within three to five weeks from the time the petition is received in the Senate Office.

        Financial Issues
        The student petition process does not include the handling of refunds or waivers of money owed to the University. These matters need to be addressed throught the Office of the Bursar.

        University Faculty Senate Petition Cover Sheet:


        Students are responsible for preparing the student request, obtaining supporting documents, completing university forms, and obtaining a transcript and relevant registration records, as described below.

        Trauma drop/withdrawal procedures ( be followed when a student's circumstances require unusual confidentiality (e.g., the victim of a sexual assault or violent crime). This procedure is streamlined to reduce the number of people involved in processing.

        Student Request

        The student should prepare a brief, factual letter (see sample letter that includes the following:

        • date the petition is submitted,
        • PSU ID number,
        • current address,
        • current phone number,
        • e-mail address,
        • a clear statement of the requested action,
        • a description of the conditions that warrant an exception, and
        • the reason University policy and/or procedure could not be followed

        Supporting Documents

        Along with the student's request, he/she should provide documentation of the circumstances that he/she claims justify an exception to University policy. Some examples are hospital records, a letter from a physician, a statement from a counselor, a statement from a student financial aid adviser, or court records.

        If the student's justification is based on a significant, prolonged medical problem and the student received care at University Health Services (UHS), the student may request verification of his/her condition for a senate petition by contacting his/her UHS primary care clinician. The director of UHS reviews all requests and decides on the appropriate recommendation.

        If the student is alleging that his/her extenuating circumstances is the result of one or more of the following problems: (a) unfair teaching practice; (b) misinformation from University personnel applying a University regulation, policy, or procedure; or (c) an administrative, advising, or clerical error then the student should provide documentation from the appropriate academic, administrative, or advising unit.

        If the petition involves course work taken through the World Campus, a statement about the student's enrollment history in the course must be included in the supporting documents. The student should request this statement from a World Campus adviser.

        Reference Materials

        Health And Human Development Program-Essential Courses

        Program Essential Courses

        Health And Human Development Recommended Freshman and Sophomore Courses by Major

        Recommended Courses by Major

        Consent to Release Education Records

        Courses to Test Interests and/or Abilities in Majors

        Satisfactory Academic Progress

        Academic Help

        AP Course Equivalencies

        Transferring Credit Tool

        PSU Courses Typically Needed for Admission to Health Profession Programs

        Health Professions Undergraduate Course Requirements Spreadsheet