Advising Information for Faculty
The Advising Manual for Faculty
was written originally in 1998 at the suggestion of the Retention
Committee. The Committee recommended that the manual be comprised
primarily of two types of information: (1) information on how the
advisor could be more effective in assisting students from a personal
perspective and (2) administrative responsibilities of faculty so that
the manual could be used as a reference manual for technical information
needed during the advising process. This manual was last updated in
January 2008 to include many recent institutional and state policy
changes. The LS Advising Manual was written by Dr. Tonya
Strickland to serve as a reference for those who advise our Learning
advising is the very core of successful institutional efforts to educate
and retain students.”
-- Charlie L.
THE ROLE OF THE ADVISOR
Research has shown that a significant correlation exists between student retention and interaction between the student and faculty members. The advising process is an integral aspect of the student/faculty relationship. Most faculty agree that academic advising of students should be more than assisting students in completion of the registration form. But how many faculty find themselves so busy with preparing class material, grading papers, and doing research that perhaps "advisory responsibilities" fall to a lower priority? Therefore, the advisor must realize the full significance of advisement and designate it as a top priority. The following suggestions were developed by the BC Retention Committee to serve as guidelines to the advisor:
- Review progress on a formal basis with the student at some time during the semester when you have extended time using a program of study check sheet on which grades have been posted each term.
- Emphasize to the student at the beginning of the semester that the student should make an appointment with the advisor during the semester. The advisor also should take advantage of spontaneous meetings with an advisee in an informal setting by expressing interest in the student and inquiring about the student's academic progress (and about personal situations if appropriate). Be especially attentive to students who are having academic difficulty. Suggestions are given later in the manual for using an "Action Plan" advising form.
- Demonstrate a caring and empathetic attitude toward the student in advising sessions. Practice active listening skills. Don't overload students academically. Evaluate students test scores and high school grade point average and curriculum and find out if they work or have various family responsibilities--then advise course work accordingly. Two three hour courses and perhaps an additional PE course is sufficient for a person with multiple work and home responsibilities.
- Engage in developmental advising (career and life planning versus only course scheduling). For example, for a student who has a declared program of study, inquire as to why he/she chose a particular program. Such inquiry leads to finding more about a student's background and educational and career goals. Inquire as to the satisfaction each student is feeling toward meeting his/her career and educational goals. Stress the idea that the status of an occupation is of little consequence to job satisfaction. For a student who has not declared a program of study, discuss his/her background and educational and career goals. Make referrals where appropriate such as to the Career Development and Counseling Center to take an interest inventory or to the BC Academic Resource Center for tutoring or other academic assistance.