Helping student's move into college effectively is one of the most important responsibilities for an academic advisor. Academic advising should focus on building a relationship between student and advisor. The relationship established in the advising process can contribute to student success and retention.
Developmental academic advising uses interactive teaching, counseling, and administrative strategies to assist students with achieving specific learning, developmental, career, and life goals. As an academic advisor you help students develop and focus on their potential for growth, explore with students the factors that lead to success, and show interest in the student's academic progress and extracurricular achievements.
Academic advising can be viewed as a three-dimensional process. The diagram below represents an overview of this process.
- Request information about academic programs
- Clarify policies and procedures
- Register for repeating course
- Guidance for SAP
- Drop/ add of course
- Understand degree requirements
- Monitor progress toward degree
- Research careers, internships, and co-op programs
- Discuss academic problems
- Help with goal setting
- Participate in all scheduled pre-enrollment and orientation programs for incoming students at university, college, and departmental levels
- Prepare in advance for academic advising meetings. Map out courses you want and need to take for your degree and present this to your advisor
- Initiate contact with your advisor and get to know them
- Make and honor academic advising appointments. Just as you have a variety of responsibilities, your advisor has multiple students to advise as well as other professional obligations, realize that their time is just as important as your time
- Know academic policies, procedures, and regulations such as drop/add, retakes, academic probation/dismissal, academic fresh start, financial aid, etc.
- Know degree requirements and remain informed about changes in your curriculum. Map out a plan of action for your academic career and review it with your advisor.
- Seek specialized assistance from academic support and student services department as needed. While your advisor is available for your help, there are limitations to what services they should provide for you. Ask them for references to specialized services such as personal counseling, career and employment services, tutoring, etc.
- Know the information contained in the university, college, and departmental sections of the University Catalog.
- Make the effort to get to know your advisor personally, the better you know one another and the more comfortable you feel, the more successful your advising relationship will be.