Support Tools from Academic Advisement
While the student retains responsibility for making decisions, the Academic Advisor plays a key role in the student’s educational growth. By giving meaning to the assumptions which guide the curriculum, Academic Advisors help glue one course to another, relating core to major to career goals. By incorporating appropriate services and cocurricular programming information into the advising process, Academic Advisors help students connect to valuable support resources and further their college experience.
Contacts between Advisor and student also influence the student’s perception of self, the field of study, and the institution. Advisors should establish procedures within their departments to ensure appropriate accessibility throughout the term and that necessary support materials are in place. Students should be encouraged to prepare for meetings with their Advisors. Advising procedures and the utilization of support materials should periodically be reviewed within the department to maximize a positive outcome.
Students usually come to their Advisors with three basic types of requests:
Short-term Assistance: approval of class
schedules, confirmation of graduation requirements, etc.
The Academic Advisor needs a working knowledge of the curriculum, institutional procedures, course sequences, and degree requirements.
Information: where to go for financial aid, what
the job market is for specific majors, how to get involved in campus
The Academic Advisor needs to be current on university services and opportunities.
Long-term Assistance: developing an educational
plan, choosing a major/minor, evaluating personal skills, academic challenges,
social/personal problems, etc.
The Academic Advisor needs certain helping skills. These include an ability to listen and respond in a manner that can help the student explore, understand, and solve his/her own problems. Also, the Advisor must know when it is appropriate to refer a student to someone else for assistance.
Within the advising session, you should take the lead in establishing a rapport and structuring the interaction. You should develop an advising session style which includes the following elements:
· a welcoming greeting of the student as a person
· clarification of the meeting’s purpose
· assessment of the students’ degree of preparation
· assistance and information delivery
· clarification of the next steps
· foundation for next meeting
You will also find it productive to actively listen to your advisees and to take notes on each contact. You may often glean information key to your advising which you should note for future reference. For example, phrases like, “my coach said...” or “before practice...” would alert you that you may be working with a student athlete. Advising notes help to track your interactions with your advisee so that you “know” that you did discuss CPC deficiencies, or that you did not recommend a particular course, or that a particular student has job related time constraints. Reviewing advising notes prior to a session helps you be more effective in carrying out your advising responsibilities.
Advising for Registration
You should prepare for these sessions by updating yourself on course offerings and any pertinent changes in the registration process. The planning calendars included on the website provide an overview of each term’s official college dates. Check the Advisors’ Notes on this website for timely updates on the registration process and links to key tools.
Your awareness of departmental courses and sensitivity to seasonal offerings will strengthen your ability to assist advisees in developing educational “plans”. It is useful to familiarize yourself with personal development courses such as ASU1000, Personal Finance and offerings in music and art; a working knowledge of Honors and Study Abroad programs helps you broaden a student's interests. Your awareness of current class information can also be a valuable tool in helping to focus the student on viable target selections: the Course Schedule on the home page just above the emergency symbol is a good quick reference that shows all offerings with current seat standings.