Chapter 2 Advising Information

2.1 Primary Source

The WF ED Graduate Student Handbook is a document containing the official guidance for graduate students that was adopted by the graduate faculty in WF ED.25

The WF ED Graduate Student Handbook outlines the faculty’s guidelines for degrees pursued by WF ED graduate students, specifies WF ED program requirements, and identifies URLs for web sites and other information sources from the University at-large about graduate studies at Penn State. The only official version of this Handbook is the version made available online, so make sure you refer to the current online version before you take actions or make decisions about your graduate degree program. Warning: Links to multiple and different versions of the Handbook were posted at one time on the College of Education website. If you find that several competing versions are posted, I recommend that you contact the WF ED Program Coordinator or the Degree Staff Assistant identified at for clarification about which version is offficial.

Do revisions of requirements or processes specified in revisions of the WF ED Graduate Student Handbook made after you start your degree program affect your degree processes and plans? Perhaps. The revised Handbook itself might offer an authoritative answer to this question. However, absent any direct, accessible, written statements about the implications of changes in the Handbook that could affect you, obtain clarification from the WF ED Program office.26 I cannot make such clarifications for you if the WF ED Graduate Student Handbook itself is not clear. Fundamental policy, processes, and guidance about the WF ED graduate program are handled jointly by the WF ED graduate faculty. If you request a clarification about the Handbook, let me know the outcome.

2.2 Other Documents & Sources

Refer to the following 9 resources so that you have a comprehensive understanding of the panoply of requirements and guidelines you must master to navigate through a WF ED graduate degree program that I advise.

2.2.1 My Web Site

A page27 pertaining to my “Current Work” served on my web site contains information about establishing meetings and appointments with me, my physical location, various ways to contact me, and how students request recommendations from me for employment or for other reasons.

2.2.2 The Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin

Attend especially to sections of the Bulletin28 about degree requirements. The Graduate School Bulletin provides links to up-to-date policies and procedures that affect graduate students.

2.2.3 College of Education Web Site for WFED

This site29 is the official web presence of the WF ED academic program within the Department of Learning and Performance Systems in Penn State’s College of Education. This site for WF ED has the reputation of not being updated when official changes occur in information presented on its pages. Double-check with WF ED Program Coordinator or the Degree Staff Assistant identified at before you decide or act based on any information contained on this web site. Unfortunately, the web site for the College of Education often is unavailable for brief periods weekly.

2.2.4 Workforce Education and Development Graduate Course Scheduling Sequence

The WF ED Teaching Schedule30 is a guide to what WF ED graduate courses are offered and when. Unless I am notified otherwise by my handlers, I teach31 WF ED 540, Data Analysis in WF ED, during Fall Semester and WF ED 550, Research in Workforce Education, during Spring Semester. I typically am not employed by Penn State during Summer Session, which is a hint to you that my availability to provide advising service to you is limited during Summer Session.

2.2.5 Important Dates - Graduate School

This web page,32 updated annually by Penn State’s Graduate School, specifies class start/end dates, add/drop dates, declaration of minor deadlines, and other calendar-based matters pertinent to graduate students.

2.2.6 Information - Bursar

The Office of the Bursar33 is the source for all tuition payments, payment deadlines, and other financial matters affecting Penn State students. Your relationship with the Bursar is personal and direct. Neither I nor the WF ED Program Office can help you navigate this relationship.

2.2.7 Academic Calendars - University

This web page34 contains links from the Office of the University Registrar to key University dates and deadlines posted by academic year for the current year and a number of subsequent years forward. Neither I nor the WF ED Program Office can override any deadlines posted on these calendars.

2.2.8 The Thesis, Dissertation, Performance and Presentation Deadlines Calendar

This web page35 displays deadlines for theses, dissertations, performances, and final oral presentations. Students writing master’s papers should contact the WF ED program office for deadlines associated with the approval and submission of their papers. This calendar is posted separately for each Summer Session and Semester. Neither I nor the WF ED Program Office can override any deadlines posted on this calendar.

2.2.9 The L-WFED E-mail Distribution List

L-WFED, a listserv e-mail list, is an important means of communication among current WF ED faculty and staff and active graduate students matriculated for masters or doctoral degrees in WF ED. L-WFED is the first and fastest route for communicating information about the WF ED program. L-WFED is available to distribute program-related information and announcements (e.g., such changes in courses as meeting times or locations). Contact the WF ED Program Office if you do not believe you are a subscriber to L-WFED or to obtain guidelines for using L-WFED.

2.3 Principles for Your Use of Advising Information

You should develop a deep understanding and working knowledge of the WF ED Graduate Student Handbook and other sources of information about graduate schooling listed in this Graduate Advising Guide.

I associate the following principals with the information listed in “2.1 Primary Source” and “2.2 Other Documents & Sources.”

  • You read and understand all of the information I have delineated and the documents and sources to which this information is linked. Otherwise, seek consultation from me.36
  • You are responsible solely for knowing and acting on directives and for meeting any deadlines specified. The consequences of failure to act on directives and defaulting on deadlines are yours alone to navigate and avoid. Do not expect me, other WF ED faculty, the WF ED Program Coordinator, or the WF ED Program Office to remind you or prompt you when actions are required or deadlines approach, occur, or pass. Moreover, do not use the staff in the WF ED Program Office as a “look-up service” for information with which you should be familiar from the WF ED Graduate Student Handbook and other sources of information about graduate schooling listed in this Graduate Advising Guide. As stated in the WF ED Graduate Student Handbook, “It is the student’s responsibility to meet all deadlines, including those for course registration, committee appointment, scheduling of written and oral examinations, and graduation.”37
  • You seek the most competent advice about completing your degree program. Students often seek the advice of other students enrolled in the WF ED program. Certainly, other students can offer good information and interpretations of policy and requirements about the WF ED graduate program. However, to state it bluntly, I have observed that students’ interpretations of WF ED processes for degree completion sometimes are incorrect, are incomplete, or are based on wishful thinking. Accept only advice that you verify. Audiens cave!

It is easier to advise than to be advised. ~ Anonymous

2.4 A Vade Mecum of Assets Every Passmore Advisee Should Possess on the Way to Success

  • An always up-to-date, factually correct, properly composed curriculum vitae (scour spelling, punctuation, grammar, consistency; avoid typographic flourish).
  • A professional-looking website that describes your current and previous professional status, has a link to your curriculum vitae, and outlines your accomplishments, with links via URLs. There are many guides to developing a curriculum vitae, but one admonition is that you do not include in your curriculum vitae details about tasks you completed in every position you have held.38
  • A copy of the most recent Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, with which you become encyclopedically familiar.
  • A personal, self-owned computer (avoid institutionally-owned computers because they are not easily configurable without administrator permission).
  • Free-of-charge software (made available for students at – e.g., Office 365, Adobe Creative Commons) installed on a personal, self-owned computer.39
  • Reference and citation management software installed on a personal, self-owned computer and integrated with Office 365 products (purchased or free-of-charge, such as EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, RefLinks) and the knowledge and skills necessary to use this software40
  • A plan of studies filed in the BOX directory that I have established for you to manage documents related to your degree program (see below).
  • Calendars of critical events and deadlines (I will not track these for you; see section 3.2 in this Graduate Advising Guide).41
  • A good working relationship and partnership with Degree Graduate Staff Assistant.
  • An approach to scholarship and work with other scholars that is guided by what the Greeks called agápi, a term that encompasses benevolence, along with a willingness to serve other people and offer abilities and effort for the common good.

  1. Available on through a link posted on Penn State College of Education website:

  2. Contact the Program Coordinator or the Degree Staff Assistant identified at


  4. Online Bulletin at

  5. WF ED web presence is at

  6. An Excel file with the MIME-type, .xlsx, that is posted on the official WF ED web site at by the WF ED Program Office.

  7. Refer to my complete teaching portfoltio at

  8. Current important dates at


  10. Calendars linked at

  11. Calendar displayed at


  13. Section describing “Academic Advisor and Registration,” at Emphasis is in the original.

  14. Use of is suggested because when you have graduated you can export a WordPress site made at

  15. See

  16. All of my advisees should receive at least one briefing about curation of scholarly documents from Ellysa Cahoy, Reference Librarian,, +1.814.865.9696.

  17. A critical calendar of events is accessible from the Degree Graduate Staff Assistant listed at