Academic Affairs

Academic & Career Advising Task Force

Advisor Competencies

Foundations Knowledge

Concepts and information that are fundamental to good academic and career advising.

Summary of Competency's Main Points

  1. Personal Advising Philosophy that indicates how you will incorporate this knowledge into daily academic and career advising
  2. NACADA Core Values
  3. Council for the Advancement of Standards for Higher Education (CAS)
  4. How to handle ethical and legal dilemmas

Incorporating Competency into Training

Those who develop training programs for advisors should include ways in which those they are training develop an understanding for the Conceptual, Relational, and Informational elements of academic advising.

CR I Does your training program for professional and faculty advisors include:
   X 1.  A review of NACADA core values?
   X 2.  A review of CAS?
XX   3.  Case studies or discussion items that include ethical or legal dilemmas (examples of legal and ethical dilemmas, e.g. parent/FERPA)?
XX   4.  Case studies or discussion items that include disabilities/accommodation issues?
CR I Questions/activities which may help guide you in the development of your training program:
   X 1.  What are the NACADA core values of academic advising?
   X 2.  What is FERPA? How does your campus implement FERPA? How does a student waive his/her FERPA rights on your campus?
     3.  What is the process for a student who wants accommodations on your campus? What office handles accommodations? Who is the contact person?


  1. Write a personal advising philosophy statement. Incorporate key theories and values that inform your daily work with students. The statement should be no longer than 250 words.
  2. Review your campus/advising office/career center goals.
    1. How are the NACADA Core Values reflected in the goals?
    2. How are the standards recommended by the Council for Academic Standards (CAS) reflected in the goals?

Case Study #1

In an advising appointment in November, Dan mentions that he has a diagnosed learning disability. You and he are talking about his midterms, his academic performance, getting ready for finals and choosing classes for next semester. He hasn't requested accommodations because he is intimidated by his teachers and thinks if he asks for help he will be treated differently. He has not connected with anyone on campus about this and you are the only one he has told.

Recommended questions/issues to bring up in discussion with Dan:

  1. What questions should you ask Dan? What else do you need to know?
  2. What are the resources on your campus for a student with a learning disability?
  3. What strategies are available for a student in this situation at this time of the semester?
  4. How can you, the advisor, help Dan prepare to talk to his teachers?

Case Study #2

Allison's mom calls you in November ranting that Allison can't register for classes and they are all filling up. She wants to know what she has to do to register, what classes she needs to take, and what Allison's password is in the registration system. She is somewhat argumentative. You pull Allison's academic record, advising folder, etc and quickly review it while Allison's mother repeats herself. It is instantly clear to you that Allison is not telling her mother the whole story: Allison is on probation (which means there is a hold on her record and she can't register without seeing an advisor), if she doesn't improve this current semester she will be suspended, and she has not been in to see an advisor since she last registered.

Recommended questions/issues to bring up in discussion about this case study:

  1. What information do/can you give Allison's mother given FERPAs guidelines and your campus' implementation of the policy?
  2. How do you counsel/advise Allison's mother?
  3. What, if any, follow up would you do?