academic advising

Rights & Responsibilities

Academic advising is an integral part of the educational process. The primary purpose of academic advising is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans compatible with the attainment of their life goals.

Effective advising is characterized by a good working relationship between the advisor and the student, which adapts to the experiences and changing needs of the students.  

Quality advising also requires understanding, affirming, and respecting the individual differences within the University community. The advisor is expected to develop the knowledge, experience, and interest for successfully communicating with students in a genuine, sincere, accurate, and confidential manner. Students are expected to understand University and program requirements and accept the responsibility for fulfilling them. Together advisors and students are expected to maintain a professional and mutually respectful relationship as they review students’ progress toward the attainment of educational objectives.

Academic advising is an interactive process in which both students and advisors share the responsibility.  The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, as a source of accurate information, as a coordinator of academic planning, as an assistant in helping students to solve academically related problems, and as an agent of referral to other professionals and campus resources.

Responsibilities of the University Administration

Effective advising is contingent upon adequate staffing, facilities, and resources including sufficient course offerings. Given the above, the administration should:

  1. Ensure that facilities and personnel resources are adequate for effective advising.
  2. Provide professional orientation, continuing education, and evaluation for advisors.
  3. Provide adequate incentives, compensation, and recognition for advisors.
  4. Ensure that administrative offices respond promptly to advisement inquiries.
  5. Ensure that administrative offices provide current information.

Responsibilities of the Undergraduate Advisor

Inherent in the advisement process is the need to help students understand the nature of the University and a university education. Given the above, the advisor must:

  1. Have a thorough understanding of:
    1. The Foundational Studies Program.
    2. Institutional requirements
    3. course sequences and major and minor requirements, and, if appropriate
    4. teacher education requirements of advisees.
  2. Know University and college/school policies and procedures.
  3. Be available to students by maintaining adequate office hours and appointment times that are reasonable to accommodate students’ needs.
  4. Be sensitive to the unique needs of individual students.
  5. Discuss linkages between academic preparation, the world of work, and life goals.
  6. Provide students with information about alternatives, limitations, and possible consequences of academic decisions.
  7. Monitor student advisees’ progress toward educational/career goals through the maintenance of accurate student records.
  8. Refer students to appropriate resources for needed assistance and serve as an ombudsperson (advocate) for advisees.
  9. Participate in professional development activities related to academic advisement.
  10. Exhibit the professional rapport necessary to maintain congenial relationships with advisees and for maintaining a positive, constructive attitude toward advising in general.

Responsibilities of the Undergraduate Student

Students must accept the idea of a university education. To have a successful educational experience requires developing a commitment to the advisement process that entails:

  1. Being knowledgeable about the academic policies, procedures, and requirements (including graduation requirements) of:
    1. The University
    2. The college or school
    3. Students’ program major(s)
    4. Students’ program minor(s)
    5. The General Education Program
  2. Planning an academic program to meet degree requirements.
  3. Maintaining personal copies of a tentative degree plan, progress reports, Foundational Studies evaluations, transfer credit evaluations, and other important University documents.
  4. Knowing the name and office location of the academic advisor, and  actively participating in the advising and scheduling process by consulting with that person.
  5. Taking advantage of the information and advice provided.
  6. Seeking and reviewing relevant information for decision-making.
  7. Developing social, academic, and career goals, and examining how these goals can affect life.
  8. Understanding that students must accept final responsibility for decisions regarding personal goals and educational goals, and for satisfying graduation requirements.

Back to Top