AMES & You

Let AMES be Your Guide

From admission through graduation, a student’s academic journey is an individual experience. At Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), Academic & Major Exploration Services (AMES) is an integral part of that process. Our team of professional advisors help students identify their own strengths, interests, and goals, and explore which of IU’s 300+ degree programs might suit them particularly well. No matter where a student is at in their own academic journey, we’re here to support them in finding their path to success. 

AMES partners with career and pre-professional services to guide undergraduate students at IUB in exploring degree options that align with their strengths, interests, and goals. While we work with students who enter IUB intending to spend their first year scoping out various majors, we also work with students who are thinking about changing majors and students who enter IUB in pursuit of majors in the Kelley School of Business, School of Social Work and the IU School of Nursing. When students pursue limited-capacity majors, they spend their first year at IUB working to meet eligibility requirements and applying for admission. Part of this process involves exploring alternate majors and learning more about career pathways so that students will be well-prepared for any possible admission outcome. 

Orientation Advising: We coordinate the advising and registration portions of New Student Orientation (NSO) and help new students register for classes that will support both their first semester transition to IUB and their individual interests. During Welcome Week, we give critical first-term information to incoming students. 

Outreach: Once classes are underway, students can expect frequent emails from their academic and career advising team. These emails connect students to resources and tools, inform them of important university policies and deadlines, and alert them if their academic performance needs additional attention.

Advising Meetings: During one-on-one advising meetings, we get to know your student’s individual talents, interests, identities, and needs. We listen to your student’s goals and help clarify them. The more we know your unique student, the better we can connect them to their path of personal academic success and to other enrichment opportunities and campus resources.

AMES students should book appointments to meet with their assigned academic advisor each semester. For example, students will want to consult their advisor when they:  

  • Begin planning courses for upcoming semesters
  • Are pursuing a limit-capacity major and need a good alternative major plan
  • Feel stressed about which major to pursue
  • Are not getting the grades they want
  • Are experiencing issues that affect their academics and don’t know what to do about it
  • Haven’t been able to gain admission into their intended major program
  • Want to make schedule changes and confirm they’re making wise decisions
  • Want to seek more enriching learning and career opportunities 

From enrolling into their own course selections each semester to reaching out when they need help, AMES guides students in taking ownership of their education. AMES students are responsible for:

  • Checking their email daily, learning to sort and prioritize their inbox’s content, and responding to advisor outreach
  • Scheduling appointments with their academic advisors and career coaches 
  • Preparing for their appointments in advance 
  • Showing up for their appointments, or cancelling them and notifying their advisor if they’re no longer able to attend 
  • Learning the admission requirements into their intended major 
  • Learning how to use degree planning and degree tracking tools to identify which courses to take each semester 
  • Learning how to use enrollment platforms to register for courses and make schedule changes 
  • Planning for an alternate major when seeking admission into a limited-capacity program 
  • Monitoring their grades and reflecting on personal academic performance at IUB 
  • Using campus websites to find information and understand important deadlines and policies 
  • Asking for help when something doesn't feel right or isn't working 

Recognize that this is a period of significant change and growth—for you and your student. You can offer support by:

  • Talking with your student about their expectations
  • Listening and keeping lines of communication open
  • Allowing your student to make decisions and to learn from mistakes
  • Encouraging your student to use all the resources available when they have questions and concerns
  • Trusting that advisors are knowledgeable and want your student to succeed

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your student’s confidentiality by placing certain restrictions on the disclosure of information contained in students’ educational records. Advising & Major Exploration Services (AMES) is committed to protecting this confidentiality.

No third party may have access to a student’s educational records unless the student has specifically authorized them to do so in writing. Students may consent to waive their rights under FERPA by signing a Release of Information (ROI) form and specifically listing the individuals to whom this information may be released. The ROI is different from the Third Party Release you may have filled out for User Access in One.IU.  

Students who wish to waive their rights and complete an ROI may do so using IUB’s FERPA Release platform. The ROI will supply a PIN number for any individual they list. Any time one of these individuals wishes to speak with an advisor, they must be ready to provide their PIN. The advisor will use the PIN to confirm the student’s waived rights before proceeding.