Ask a Former Academic Advisor


head shot of Liza Lagman Sperl

My name is Liza, and I'm a proud former academic advisor. I cut my teeth as a general advisor in the University Advising Center, eventually moving over to the Honors College and then crossing to the administrative side of the house to the Office of the Registrar. Along the way, I've earned my Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Honors, University Honors, English minor), Master of Arts (School and Communithy Counseling - Marriage and Family concentration) and finally, in December 2021, my Doctor of Education (Higher Education Administration).

Over the course of 25 years, I've come to appreciate just how much technology and advising can help us better assist students. Part of my job as the current Outreach and Communications manager is to bridge the gap between the college knowledge needed to succeed and the policy and procedures behind how things get done. Knowing the limitations of a system or the formal policy behind how something works helps us as academic staff be more credible and provides a clear and concise answer to our students.

On this page, I'll regularly post questions I've received and my answer, blog-style, based on my experience as an academic advisor and with my current knowledge of the mechanics of registration. I'll remove any personally identifying information for any parties involved, and I'll try to include screenshots where possible. While this page is written with faculty and academic staff in mind, my hope is to provide useful information in a somewhat conversational format that may be interesting to a general audience as well.

So welcome, and happy scrolling. If you would like to submit a question, feel free to email me at


NB: For more information regarding academic advising at WSU, please visit the Advisor Training Academy (ATA).


Subject: Michigan Guest Application and the University Seal

Q: Can you clarify the sealing process for students who want to complete a Michigan Guest Application? 

A.  Not all institutions require the university seal or even use the same application. The Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) changed the name of the Uniform Michigan Guest application to the Model Undergraduate Guest application to reflect the wide variety of ways in which a student might be allowed to enroll at another institution.

To begin, have the student go to the guest institution's admissions website to find out what is required to register as a guest. If the Michigan Guest application is allowed, they should complete part I to the best of their ability, including indicating which classes they want to take. Some schools will have their own version of the form, or they can use the Model Undergraduate Guest application.

The student needs to fill out the form completely or their application might be rejected. Instead of being able to skip the regular admissions process, they'll potentially lose class time correcting the error and submitting the corrected application. Students can check the transferability of a course using the Course Equivalency website.

As advisors, you are considered university representatives and can complete section II attesting to the students' course selection(s), GPA, standing, and eligibility to return to the university. 

If the school specifies that the application has to be sent by the university, please have the student email us a completed application at It is helpful if they include the email to which it should be sent. We will then complete the form, if necessary, and email it to the guest institution noting that the embossed seal is not available via email.

Requiring the university seal or not depends on the institution to which the student wishes to attend. Some schools, like Henry Ford Community College, want the application sent from WSU to their admissions email directly. Other schools prefer a student have an official transcript sent as verification of their home institution. If the student needs the embossed seal, they may bring the completed form to the Student Service Center during regular business hours.

Unless specified by the guest institution, the student is responsible for submitting the application to the guest school.

At the end of their semester as a guest, students should have their official transcript sent back to WSU. Please encourage students to do this each semester so the courses post in a timely manner, especially if they are pre-requisites to subsequent classes.

Last updated: May 25, 2023