Academic Advising: Advising as Mentoring
Advisors can be most helpful when they mentor students in ways that enhance their academic experiences at the University. Strategies for mentoring students include the following:
- Advisors serve as an essential point of contact for communicating the expectations and rationale of the curriculum. In this capacity, advisors can be helpful in explaining the rationale behind major requirements, the University’s Core Curriculum, and specific college requirements.
- Though students are ultimately responsible for understanding and meeting the requirements of their respective academic programs, advisors can provide helpful feedback by monitoring academic progress, helping to clarify requirements, policies, and procedures, and directing students to appropriate sources of information.
- With the exception of incoming freshmen and transfer students, students are usually familiar with registration procedures and able to schedule their own classes. However, advisors can help students to make sure that their schedules are thoughtfully constructed and consistent with their goals, abilities, and aspirations.
- Advisors can be helpful in informing students about career paths for their majors and preparing them for life after college by providing feedback, directing them to appropriate resources, and helping them to identify their academic, professional and personal goals.
- Every student brings a unique combination of strengths, resources, barriers, challenges, and responsibilities. Advisors can help to identify special needs or potential difficulties that a student may face and recommend appropriate assistance.
- Advisors can be particularly helpful when they encourage students to take advantage of options and opportunities they may not have considered, such as special courses, campus activities, leadership opportunities, internships, study abroad, special scholarships, additional majors or minors, and graduate study.