Basic Advising Expectations

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Help students find their academic direction

  • Students who work with faculty tend to engage more substantively in their academic interests and pursuits. Advisors should give students a picture of what their field of study offers, while not discouraging exploration of other disciplines and opportunities.
  • Advisors can guide students in how to discover their academic strengths.

Provide accurate and complete information

  • Advisors consult online resources and printed materials and show students where to find the information themselves.
  • When in doubt, advisors can call their back up advisor, one of the Assistant Deans in the College Office.

Help students make thoughtful and timely decisions

  • Students have to make difficult decisions about their educations and lives. Advisors can guide them in how to make such decisions responsibly. Advisors encourage students to ask for help and highlight other resources they may consult, such as their peer advisor, campus resources, or MAP advisors.
  • Some of these decisions will require more than one meeting. An advisor will schedule a follow up conversation or email to check in about how the process is going.

Be accessible

  • Advisors should communicate their availability and their preferred contact (Email, phone, etc.).
  • Advisors should strive to be available to meet in a timely fashion, particularly during Advance Registration.


  • Sometimes listening is more important than providing quick answers. Students process decisions better if they can talk them through with an advisor.
  • They need a sounding board who asks good questions and challenges them to think beyond their prior experience.

Write notes

  • Because advisors are part of a team, it is important to keep good notes.
  • Notes enable advisors to treat the student consistently and to follow-up effectively. They document the conversation and help an advisor remember details for future conversations.

Be familiar with academic support services and know how to refer students appropriately

  • Students should be referred to campus resources like CAPS, WLRC, tutoring, cultural centers, SDS, etc.
  • It’s helpful to follow up with a student after referring them. The accountability provides an extra layer of support.