Role of Faculty and Advisors

As you work with students in classroom, research or advising situations, you are likely to encounter individuals who would benefit from an exchange opportunity.
  • They may be seeking courses that would complement, supplement, or even replace those offered by your department.
  • They could be looking for facilities or research options offered by another campus that would enhance their education.
  • They might benefit from study at a campus where they hope to do graduate work.
  • Perhaps you have a colleague at another NSE campus teaching different courses or offering different research options that would enhance the student's undergraduate degree program.
  • You may be familiar with a university that would provide the proper environment in which a student could better develop both academically and personally.
As you get to know your students encourage them to consider NSE as one way to make the most of their undergraduate education. With the academic offerings and facilities of close to 200 colleges and universities, think of NSE as an expansive extension of your own institution's academic resources.

The academic advisor of a student who participates in NSE plays an active role in most, if not all, of the processes listed below.

Prior to Placement

  • Exploring Exchange Participation
    Review degree progress with the student and consider where NSE might most appropriately fit within departmental degree requirements as well as the student's goals and objectives. Consider how courses offered at other institutions and the opportunity to live and learn in new places can enhance the student's academic program as well as expand their knowledge other people and other places. Make sure the student has a flexible academic plan for the exchange period since enrollment in specific courses at the host campus is based on availability and cannot be guaranteed.

  • Participation by Seniors
    The National Student Exchange has no policy which precludes participation by seniors. In fact, 25 percent of NSE participants exchange during their senior year. For some students, an advantage of exchanging as a senior offers opportunities to explore graduate and professional school programs or seek out future employment. For information on the policy of your own campus relative to seniors, contact your NSE coordinator.

  • Selecting Exchange Sites
    When you feel that exchange is appropriate for a student, helping them select campuses may be the most important contribution you can make. It is important that the campuses selected by the student serve their own personal needs as well as meet the academic requirements of their major. You can assist the student in examining their proposed sites, reviewing host campus curricula, and determining the appropriateness of selected NSE campuses relative to your own departmental requirements.

  • Majors
    While some students will take courses in their major while on exchange, others may choose to take electives and/or fulfill core requirements. Searching for course offerings or majors, at NSE's many campuses could be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but NSE has made the job easier. Majors links to a search engine that enables the student to search by campus to determine if the major is offered, or search by major to determine which member campuses offer a particular program. Some campuses may restrict access to selected majors. Those will be identified on the Campus Profiles as "closed", "limited", or "restricted".

  • Program Accreditation
    Is your program recognized by a regional, national, professional or specialized accrediting agency? If so, will you require that the student exchange to a similarly accredited program if planning to take courses in his/her major? If enrolling in a program where like accreditation will be required, assist the student in identifying a host campus that meets this requirement.

  • Program Information and Course Descriptions
    Extensive information on NSE member campuses can be accessed from the Resources header on this site. Campus Profiles list majors offered as well as restrictions on course access. Member Campus Links provides direct access to the home page of each NSE member. The Campus Catalog link connects to the campus catalog for each campus.

  • Honors Program
    If your advisee is an honors student and seeking a campus which allows access to honors courses, consult Honors Access, under the Resources header, for a list of member institutions which accept incoming NSE students in their honors programs.

  • Recommendation
    You might be asked to provide a written recommendation for the student as part of their application process. That is helpful to the NSE coordinator in determining overall eligibility as well as department approval for program participation.

  • Placement Probabilities
    NSE encourages students to select at least three exchange sites. Some NSE campuses place limits on the number of students they are able to receive. The NSE coordinator on your campus has access to placement statistics from previous years and is in the best position to assist the student in determining placement probabilities. From the campuses selected by the student, the coordinator may recommend prioritizing the choices in such a way as to improve the student's potential for acceptance. Although 83% of applicants are annually placed at their first choice college or university, the student must be prepared with acceptable alternatives.

  • Placement
    The majority of NSE placements are made the first week of March at a conference where decisions will be made on approximately 2500 applicants. Your NSE coordinator will attend to represent your campus in this process. In preparation for this conference, most campuses will establish an application deadline by mid-February. Additional placements may be made after the March conference, but availability of NSE members to accept students is more limited for post-conference placements.

After Placement


  • Advising Agreement - Prior to leaving the home campus, the student must develop a written advising agreement governing how courses completed at the host campus will fit into the student's home campus academic program. Your home campus NSE coordinator will provide the advising agreement form and answer questions you or the student might have regarding how courses successfully completed will be identified on the home campus transcript and whether or not the grades earned on exchange will be calculated in the home campus gpa.

    For flexibility, NSE students are advised to list at least twice as many courses as they actually plan to take. This will help the student accommodate to host campus registration priority and course availability. NSE students must meet all host campus pre-requisites or co-requisites. Use the Campus Catalog links to find course descriptions for the host campus. The advising agreement should indicate where each intended course, if satisfactorily completed, will fit into the student's home degree program, major, electives, core requirements, etc. You should keep a signed copy of the agreement. Signed copies should also be given to the student, the NSE coordinator, and the records office.

    If a student fails to complete a written advising agreement prior to exchange, the student has no guarantee of how completed courses will fit into the home campus degree requirements. For any additions, deviations or substitutions from the initial advising agreement the student must secure written (e-mail or fax) approval from the individual who initially approved the agreement.

  • During Exchange - Some students may periodically contact you during exchange, but that is usually when they need approval to modify their advising agreement. Prior to return to the home campus, the student may need advising assistance in selecting courses for their first term back home.