University Park

University Undergraduate Advising Handbook goes wiki

Move over Wikipedia, Penn State's online University Undergraduate Advising Handbook now includes an interactive feature that invites readers to add comments, share relevant experiences and ask questions about any of its more than 300 academic advising topics.Introduced this month, the "please add" button on every page of the handbook, which is located at, gives users the opportunity to contribute advising tips, queries or samples related to indexed subjects such as entering or changing majors, deferring grades, auditing a course, transferring credits, applying for a minor or planning concurrent majors. By publishing some readers' entries and comments, the Division of Undergraduate Studies hopes to better serve advising staff, faculty and students seeking information about academic policies and procedures.Laura Brown, senior undergraduate studies adviser in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, authored the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook in paper form more than 30 years ago in order to organize and cross-reference the growing number of University polices and guidelines about advising at Penn State. Back then, colleges maintained their own curricular information without coordinating or collaborating with other units."As the University became more complex," Brown said, "advisers and students had to cope with an increasing quantity and complexity of information when planning academic programs."Our purpose in producing the handbook,' she continued, "was to provide accurate and consistent information, at less expense and in a user-friendly format, to facilitate advising and to encourage the use of the University's vast resources."The University Undergraduate Advising Handbook was converted to a Web-based resource in 2000, and continues under Brown's oversight to provide a one-stop compilation of University, college and department advising resources. Information, policies and procedures are updated annually and cross-referenced with relevant University sources. Although the handbook is designed for use at University Park, most information is applicable at other Penn State locations.For details about the handbook and its newest interactive feature, visit or contact Laura Brown at or (814) 865-7576. 

Last Updated June 17, 2014