Faculty Advising ToolkitAcademic advising is an important part of any college student experience. Advising should be woven into the fabric of the student’s academic life, and when done well, it will promote both personal and scholarly growth. Academic advising is a reflection of the best professional knowledge of the day and should not be left to chance.
Use the resources and tools below to create a supportive advisor-advisee relationship with your students.
Find Your Advisees
Since students graduate and change majors, your assigned advisee list will likely change from semester to semester. Getting a current list of your advisees is the first step to becoming an effective advisor.
Once you know who your advisees are, there are a number of resources available to help you during your advisee meetings.
Meet Your Advisees
Getting to know your advisees and developing the advisee-advisor relationship is a meaningful part of the higher education experience.
Most WSU students do very well academically, but some may struggle with the transition from high school to college. Some students may also experience barriers due to personal or health issues and advisors can help students overcome these challenges.
However, both students and faculty are quite busy during the semester between students’ classes, jobs and clubs and your own teaching schedule and other commitments. This can make meeting advisees difficult, so do your best to provide flexible and varied options for appointments whenever possible.
Advisors may meet with advisees during office hours, in a classroom setting or online. One tool available for scheduling advising appointments is the advising scheduler. Instructions (PDF) on how to use this tool are available.
Prior to an advising appointment, you should gain an understanding of your advisees’ academic status by reviewing a transcript or DARS to better support your advisees’ success.
Register Your Advisees
Supporting your advisees includes providing quality academic information, but it also includes referrals and support from other areas.
Here are some resources that may be helpful during appointments or as supplemental tools and resources for supporting advisee success:
- Video instructions on how to read a Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
- Tutoring Services, if you have an advisee who is struggling in a class
- Important Dates for advising
- Blank planning sheets which can be useful for organizing classes during registration
- Free online foreign language placement exam and opportunities for retroactive language credit
- Transferology is an online tool that allows students and advisors to view a school's academic programs, courses and course equivalencies
Refer Your Advisees
- Although your advisees have declared a major, many students will want to explore majors or add a minor at some point in their academic career. Students can explore majors online or schedule an appointment in the Warrior Success Center.
- An advisee may also have questions related to articulation agreements with other institutions.
- WSU offers excellent resources for advisees who want to study away with international programs.
- Paying for college can be very stressful. Cash Course offers free and practical information, and students can find out how to pay the bill or ask questions about tuition and fees in the Warrior Hub.
- Help your advisees prepare for their future career or refer them to the Career Exploration 101 video
Retain Your Advisees
Retention can be defined as students who remain continuously enrolled in an institution from semester to semester and year from to year, eventually persisting or completing their degree.
The formula for student retention, however, is as diverse as the student dynamic itself. Students stay or leave a university due to a combination of academic, financial, social and personal reasons.
WSU offers a decentralized advising format, and the Warrior Success Center embraces the appreciative advising approach. This approach starts with disarming students, or put them at ease to start a dialogue based on personality and learning styles. Once the advisee-advisor relationship is established, open discussion can begin about majors, course registration and career planning.
There are various other advising approaches that you may want to consider.
No instructor or advisor can resolve all issues a student might face in college. However, the literature is clear that quality academic advising supports retention, persistence and graduation.
Below are additional resources for learning more about advising curriculum, models and strategies.