Academic Advising

Academic advising is the collaborative process by which students engage with a member of their institution (professor, mentor, or advisor) to receive direction or advice on academic or personal decisions. The purpose of this process is to counsel or inform students, so they get the most of their college experience. Advising includes establishing educational goals or milestones based on the student’s interests and intentions.OverviewAcademic advising is the collaborative process by which students engage with a member of their institution (professor, mentor, or advisor) to receive direction or advice on academic or personal decisions. The purpose of this process is to counsel or inform students, so they get the most of their college experience. Advising includes establishing educational goals or milestones based on the student’s interests and intentions. Academic advising is common during undergraduate and graduate studies, and many higher education institutions require students to meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for courses.

Common advantages for students to meet with an academic advisor include: 

  • Assistance in selecting, changing, adding, or canceling classes.
  • Aid in navigating university policies and procedures.
  • Consistent monitoring of  academic progress.
  • Better connections with faculty and administrators.

An estimated 20-50% of students enter college undecided, while an estimated 75% report having changed their major at least once.  Some reasons students cite for changing majors include lack of information, outside influences that affect  decision-making and progress, and developmental issues and academic difficulties.Relationship to EcosystemAcademic advising falls under career navigation in the ecosystem. It  is an integral part of helping students and learners navigate the educational pathway to their careers.

Examples

  • Professional advisors list three main types of advising. Developmental advising helps students explore academic and career goals and pathways, and is achieved through collaborative and process-based advising. Prescriptive advising is used to directly provide students with information tailored to their programs or majors. With intrusive advising, the advisor makes the first point of contact during critical points in the student’s academic career. Intrusive advising pays special attention to groups considered high- or at-risk (e.g., students on academic probation or who need extra help in class).
  • Nearly half of U.S. students begin their college education at a community college. Many community colleges have a center dedicated to academic advisement. Advising is typically viewed as a collaborative, interactive, systematic and systematic process, one that is ongoing, multifaceted, and is a shared responsibility of both the student and the assigned advisor. Advisors assist and support students in a variety of ways; e.g., guiding students in developing a meaningful academic plan that aligns with career and personal goals; helping select a program of study; providing an academic plan, including course approval; monitoring academic progress; and helping locate resources that support student success. Advisors typically help students plan for university transfer, which can be a detailed, multi-step process. “How To Guides” are also common at many colleges, providing a variety of technology-assisted “apps” or “bots” to help students understand and navigate their educational journeys.
  • At four-year institutions, advisors are typically focused on completion of a baccalaureate degree. A freshman may meet with an academic advisor to discuss what courses to take to complete a baccalaureate degree in four years. The student and advisor work together to construct a class schedule that fulfills the requirements of the major. It is not unusual for students to change majors multiple times; making academic changes are processes that advisors can be especially helpful with.

References

Request an Edit

Have something to add or refine? Your input in this work matters greatly and we look forward to reviewing your additions

Organizations (289)

Initiatives (331)

Topics (95)

Skip to content