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Who Does What on College Campuses: A Glossary for Parents

Johnson  Hall side view

During your student’s years in college, you may become aware that colleges and universities have a language of their own. And titles and terms that meant one thing in high school may have a different meaning in a college setting.

Below is a listing of important offices and personnel you and your student may encounter at Meredith.

Academic Advising – this office can provide information about class schedules and assist students with choosing classes for future semesters. Once a student declares a major, their Faculty Advisor may change to align better with the major and assist with class selection for the remainder of the student’s college career.

Accounting – responsible for the day-to-day financial workings of the College. Staff in this office can help with questions about registered student accounts.

Career Planning/Center – this office can help prepare a student for internships, provide support with resumes, assist with majors and/or careers, and more. Meredith students can start using Career Planning as early as the freshman year! Staff may also teach a course for undecided students such as Career Planning 101.

Chaplain – the campus chaplain helps people of all faith backgrounds feel at home on campus. The chaplain can provide spiritual and emotional support to help students thrive at college.

Counseling Center – The Counseling Center staff is ready to help with any type of concern or issue a student may have. Services at Meredith’s Counseling Center are typically free for current students of the institution – and everything at the Counseling Center is confidential.

Dean of Students – The Dean of Students is an advocate for all students and can assist with social, personal, and academic concerns. The Dean works closely with others across campus to address concerns about students who may need assistance either in the classroom or socially.

Disability Services – if a student has a medical or learning disability and wants to know what accommodations are available in college, it’s best to talk with a Disability Services Coordinator or Director.

Faculty Advisor – a faculty member who will help students choose classes according to their academic interests and intended major.

Financial Assistance Counselor – helps students and their families identify and understand a variety of funding sources for their college education. Financial aid counselors can help a student complete the FAFSA process and to apply for loans and grants, or private scholarships.

Health Center – The Health Center takes care of common colds and such and is also a good resource for health-related concerns and referrals to local resources. Services in the Health Center are confidential. The services are usually included in the tuition and fees for residential students.

Resident Assistant or Resident Advisor (RA) – this is a student leader who lives on your student’s residence hall floor. The RA has been selected and trained to assist residential students with needs or concerns related to living in the residence halls. An RA can provide information, assist with personal or social concerns, and help address roommate issues.

Residence Director (RD) or Residence Hall Coordinator – RDs or Coordinators are typically full-time staff members who live in apartments in the residence halls. They typically have offices in the residence hall as well. RDs and Coordinators supervise the RAs and provide assistance for residents in the hall and on campus in general. This person also serves on duty for crisis and emergency situations.

Registrar – the registrar’s office is where students will go to get information about their academic records and their graduation eligibility. The registrar maintains important academic information about the college and prepares information such as honors lists and transcripts.

Residence Life Director or Director of Housing Services – The director oversees everything related to residence life and supervises the RDs/Coordinators. This person works closely with residence life staff to assist with resident crises and concerns. The director is available to assist residents and parents regarding any issue in the residence halls.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu