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Center for Student Success

Student Success Advising

All new students at Carthage are matched with a student success advisor prior to their first semester as a part of their initial course registration process and will continue to work with them through graduation. These advisors are full-time advising and student success professionals who will facilitate your successful entry and transition to Carthage, serve as cultural navigators as you move toward your degree, and support you in overcoming obstacles and meeting your goals.

Student success advisors are assigned based on the academic division of your program of study and the first initial of your last name and may change as your academic goals shift during your time at Carthage. Student success advisors are located in the Center for Student Success on the main level of the Todd Wehr Center at the south end of campus.

Transitioning to Campus

As you prepare to leave for college and begin establishing Carthage as your new home away from home, your student success advisor will be one of your key contacts on campus. Becoming a college student is a rite of passage, and many new students move through three stages during this time: Separation, Transition, and Incorporation (Tinto, 1988). Your advisor will be there for you every step of the way.

Separation Stage: EXPLORING A NEW Home

Students develop strong ties with the social and academic communities within the institution.For some students, enrolling in college and starting a new journey can be both exhilarating and nerve-racking. For students living on campus, homesickness can quickly set in. For commuters, stepping away from friends and family back home to form new relationships on campus can feel uncomfortable. For any new student, navigating the complex world of higher education can be daunting initially. 


During this stage, students are torn between their old environment and their new one. Students may go home for a break and realize that both they and their friends have changed. Family or friends who have not experienced a college setting may not understand the demands of academic life. Students may not feel like they belong in their old settings, but have yet to find their place in the new one. With a little luck (and self-reflection), this won’t last long.


Finally, students develop strong ties with the social and academic communities within the institution. They engage with faculty and develop close ties with other students, spending more time on campus. They feel and act like true Carthaginians. While students may move backward and forward through these stages at different points in their first year, they are unlikely to digress from Incorporation to the previous stages for very long.

As you move through these phases and adjust to life on campus, you can expect assistance with the following from your student success advisor:

  • Learning about Carthage degree requirements and areas of study
  • Creating your first semester schedule
  • Establishing college-level time management and study strategies
  • Becoming self-sufficient with tools such as and Schoology
  • Understanding the degree planning process and building an initial academic plan
  • Reflecting on potential experiential learning opportunities and career pathways
  • Building confidence and self-advocacy skills
  • Connecting with academic, financial, and personal resources across campus
  • Overcoming early obstacles in achieving your degree

Looking Ahead

Student Success Advisor Anna Thompson advises a student on scholarship opportunities.As a part of Carthage’s holistic advising model, you will be matched with a career specialist in the Aspire Center and a faculty advisor in each area of study during your first year. You will be introduced to the Aspire Center staff during the final week of College Success Seminar, and begin working with them to develop an iAspire plan that will help you to establish and reach your long-term professional goals.

If you have a major declared, you will be introduced to your faculty advisor(s) at the beginning of your second semester (or earlier if you are a transfer student) and meet with them for course registration and degree planning moving forward. Students pursuing multiple programs may be assigned more than one faculty advisor accordingly. Undeclared students will meet with Sarah Gorke, director of career exploration and design, for academic course advising and registration and to explore skills, interests, and values and how those intersect with potential majors and programs of study here at Carthage.

Once you are matched with your career specialist and faculty advisor(s), your student success advisor will continue to provide support as you make strides toward earning your degree. Seek guidance from them on any of the following issues:

  • Setting goals for the upcoming term in response to a probationary academic status
  • Reviewing time management strategies, technological tools, and campus resources available to you
  • Weighing important academic decisions such as withdrawing from a course or changing your area of study
  • Resolving holds on your account which are preventing you from registering
  • Overcoming feelings of imposter syndrome or isolation that can derail your progress toward your degree
  • Understanding and navigating academic policies and procedures such as petitions
  • Assisting with course registration and degree planning as needed when faculty are not in session
  • Discussing other academic, financial, and/or personal challenges that arise throughout each term

For the majority of students, the question is not if, but when, they will need support in one of these areas during their college career. Seek help early and often to achieve your fullest academic potential. For our contact information, click here

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …