Objectives of Advising

  • Exploration of career/educational goals
  • Review of educational program, program requirements and timelines
  • Review of academic progress
  • Check for any "holds"
  • Selection of courses - check for pre-general education requirements, prerequisites, etc.
  • Review of time management issues for scheduling classes
  • Make referrals if needed


Tips on Referrals

  • Listen clearly to what the student is saying or perhaps not saying. Students may not say that they need a referral to a particular office, but if they are expressing concern about a particular issue, a referral may be necessary.
  • Be aware of the offices and departments on campus that students may need to see for assistance. Know who the contact persons are in those offices and where they are located.
  • Students may be reluctant to follow through on a referral. Encourage the student to seek out the help that he/she may need. It may be helpful to contact the referring office by telephone, in order to make sure you are sending the student to correct place and possibly to schedule an appointment. You may want to put the student on the phone to schedule an appointment, this would greatly increase the likelihood that the student will follow through.  
  • Refer the student to the right place and person. For example, if a student is having financial issues, discuss what they have done and what they know at this time so you know if an appropriate referral is to an employment office, to the financial aid office, or to both.
  • Try to keep the number of offices a student may have to visit as minimal as possible. Send them to the right offices first. For example, when a student needs to drop a course, they should get the course withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office before seeing their professor, so that they do not have to backtrack.
  • Have the student write down questions and develop an agenda for the office visit. They will be more prepared and have had the opportunity to think through their concerns.
  • Keep notes of your referral in the students file or with your advising notes. Follow up with the student on how the office visit went and if the student’s issues have been addressed.

Take from: Tips on Faculty Advising with students by Cathy Kennemer and Bob Hurt. Faculty Advising 2013. http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resourses/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Faculty-advising.aspx


Developmental Advising

Developmental advising incorporates a growth-oriented model which helps the student to cultivate self awareness and an understanding of educational and career goals. This approach recognizes that the advising relationship is a partnership in which both parties have responsibilities. By utilizing a developmental approach, as opposed to a prescriptive one, advisors will benefit from a more rewarding experience with their students. Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for themselves in college and beyond.

Focus on potentialFocus on limitations
Growth-oriented emphasisProblem-oriented emphasis
Proactive approachReactive approach
Equal, shared problem solving basisAuthoritarian, advice-giving basis
Responsibility shared by student and advisorResponsibility assumed by advisor
View of student as wanting to learn and capable of self directingView of student as not highly motivated, requiring close supervision
Shared evaluationEvaluation by advisor only
Shared initiativeInitiative taken by advisor
Relationship based on trust and respectRelationship based on status

Working with Students in Academic Jeopardy

There are many resources available to students in academic jeopardy, including Academic Consultation in the S&T Advising Center, LEAD, the Writing Center, Math Help, and On-Track. Students who are on probation should meet with their advisor regularly to discuss a recovery plan for the semester and to monitor progress. Students who are on academic deficiency should sign up for On-Track, a program designed for at-risk students. Deficient students should also meet regularly with an advisor to monitor progress.

Additional Resources:

GPA Calculator: http://registrar.mst.edu/gradpointcalcmst/index.html

Sample Permission Letter to Write a Letter of Recommendation