Academic Advising
Advising Responsibility: What It Is vs. What It Is Not
What It Is

Advising is a responsibility shared by faculty, staff, and students.  It is not, however, the advisor’s responsibility to set goals, choose courses, or make decisions for students.  Neither is it solely the advisor’s responsibility to see that students fulfill all requirements and complete all necessary paperwork.  The advisor’s task is to guide the student toward accepting responsibility for mature academic decision-making.  Keeping this provision in mind, we can stat that advisors’ responsibilities include:

  • Using data to provide accurate information about educational options, requirements, policies and procedures.
  • Planning educational programs consistent with students’ interests and abilities.
  • Assisting students in continual monitoring and evaluation of their educational progress.
  • Helping students meet special educational needs through referrals to other resources of the institution.
  • Helping students understand the nature and purpose of higher education.
  • Helping students learn to accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions.
  • Helping students clarify their values and goals.

What It Is Not

Rather than the partnership described above, advising sometimes is mistaken for an isolated task performed for students by advisors prior to the registration period.  Advising is not something advisors do to, or for students, but it is something advisors and students do together over a period of time.  Advisors should avoid advising situations that resemble

  • Just obtaining a signature to register
  • Focusing only on a student’s academic experience.
  • Telling students what to do.
  • Personal counseling.
  • A paper relationship.