Student Academic Affairs

academic advisement—rights and responsibilities

Definition of Academic Advising

Indiana State University is committed to providing quality advising. 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 solve academically related problems, and as an agent of referral to other professionals and campus resources.

Responsibilities of the University Administration

    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 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
    3. students’ program major(s)
    4. students’ program minor(s)
    5. the Foundational Studies 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.
  9. Apply for graduation.

Student Participation in Program Planning. Each student enrolled in the University is expected to read carefully and to understand the contents of this Catalog. This includes the awareness of the University’s general policies and regulations for academic achievement necessary for continued enrollment as well as for graduation, in addition to those regulations identified by Student Activities and Organizations relating to his/her social and campus conduct.

Students also are responsible for familiarizing themselves with any requirements special to the academic discipline of their choice which must be a condition of their qualifying for graduation.

Each student should assume at the earliest moment possible the initiative for preparing the semester schedule of classes. The academic advisor is available to offer suggestions and to verify the accuracy of course choices in meeting curricular patterns, but the primary responsibility for knowing the requirements of the academic program and proceeding to satisfy those requirements in an orderly and sequential manner remains with the student.

Degree Audit Tools. Each student will run a degree audit report each semester to use during the advising and registration period for the subsequent term. The degree audit (which is available on the MyISU Portal at http://myisu.indstate.edu) provides students with a current account of courses taken (along with credit hours and grades earned), and also indicates remaining unmet requirements in students’ declared degree programs. Students who have entered the university Fall 2012 forward, will utilize MySAM.  All other students will utilize DARS.  Students are encouraged to review their degree audit each term, report any inaccuracies or questions to their academic advisor, and use the report to plan for degree completion. A completed plan of study is required for all student on the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee.  The degree audit tools are for students and advisors to use to track progress toward degrees; it is not a substitute for academic advising, nor does it certify students for graduation.