Student Academic Affairs
academic advisement—rights and responsibilities
Definition of Academic 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 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
- Ensure that facilities and personnel
resources are adequate for effective advising.
- Provide professional orientation,
continuing education, and evaluation for advisors.
- Provide adequate incentives, compensation,
and recognition for advisors.
- Ensure that administrative offices respond
promptly to advisement inquiries.
- Ensure that administrative offices provide
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:
- Have a thorough understanding of:
a. the General Education Program.
b. institutional requirements
c. course sequences and major and minor
requirements, and, if appropriate,
d. teacher education requirements of advisees.
- Know University and college/school
policies and procedures.
- Be available to students by maintaining
adequate office hours and appointment times that are
reasonable to accommodate students’ needs.
- Be sensitive to the unique needs of
- Discuss linkages between academic
preparation, the world of work, and life goals.
- Provide students with information about
alternatives, limitations, and possible consequences
of academic decisions.
- Monitor student advisees’ progress toward
educational/career goals through the maintenance of
accurate student records.
- Refer students to appropriate resources
for needed assistance and serve as an ombudsperson
(advocate) for advisees.
- Participate in professional development
activities related to academic advisement.
- 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:
- Being knowledgeable about the academic policies,
procedures, and requirements (including graduation
a. the University
b. the college or school
c. students’ program major(s)
d. students’ program minor(s)
e. the General Education Program
- Planning an academic program to meet
- Maintaining personal copies of a tentative
degree plan, progress reports, General Education
evaluations, transfer credit evaluations, and other
important University documents.
- Knowing the name and office location of the
academic advisor, and actively participating in the
advising and scheduling process by consulting with
- Taking advantage of the information and advice
- Seeking and reviewing relevant information
- Developing social, academic, and career
goals, and examining how these goals can affect
- Understanding that students must accept
final responsibility for decisions regarding
personal goals and educational goals, and for
satisfying graduation requirements.