Academic Affairs

Academic & Career Advising Task Force

Advisor Competencies

Knowledge and Application of Advising Policies
at the Local Institution

Brief description of competency: Master an understanding and awareness of the goals, missions, core values and policies that are related to advising; be effective and knowledgeable on how and when to apply advising policies in specific instances.

Summary of Competency's Main Points

  1. Be knowledgeable of all current academic requirements for majors, minors, certifications at your institution.
  2. Know which policies and requirements apply to which groups of students; e.g., importance of initial date of enrollment.
  3. Be familiar with any/all appeal procedures that affect a student's program.
  4. Know and adhere to your institutions goals, objectives and mission for advising.
  5. Know when and how to apply FERPA.
  6. Know how and when to apply your institution's policies and requirements.

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

The following questions may help guide you in developing your training sessions.

Sample Questions to Include in Training

CR I  
   X 1.  How do you assist a student who has a learning disability that prevents him/her from completing the math requirements?
 X   2.  Where do you find the graduation requirements for a returning student?
   X 3.  What is the foreign language requirement for graduation on your campus?
   X 4.  Where can a student buy health insurance on your campus?
   X 5.  What is the deadline for adding a class or dropping a class on your campus?
   X 6.  Explain how an F is calculated into a student's grade point?
XX   7.  Do you know how to assist students who are unsure of a major?
CR I Does your training program for professional/faculty advisors include:
X  X 1.  Printed and on-line material regarding your institution's policies and procedures regarding advising course?
 X X 2.  Knowing who on campus has authority to rule on questions/appeals of regulations?
     3.  The academic structure within the university and where/how advising is located?
XX   4.  Training on how and when to make referrals to other sources?
   X 5.  Training on how to read student records, such as degree audits, transcripts, transfer credit evaluations?
   X 6.  Advice on how to interpret and use test scores such as ACT, math/English placement, AP?
   X 7.  Informational materials that are readily available and continually updated?
 X   8.  Ways to assist students in selecting a major?
X    9.  Training in integrating advising theory with real life situations?
XX   10.  Understanding your campus's distinction between academic and career advising functions?

Training Activity/Case Study

Joe started to attend a math class during the summer term. He attended the class on the first night, but because of work hours and other responsibilities, forgot to officially register for the class. The instructor was a part-time adjunct for the summer who knew little or nothing about class rosters.

Joe attended the class sporadically, performed poorly on the tests and quizzes but was hopeful he would pass the course with a C. He needed at least a C in order to avoid Academic Suspension. After the final, the instructor told Joe that he needed to register for the class so the instructor could record the grade. And, by the way, the grade to be recorded would be an F.

Joe brings this situation to his adviser for help.

Questions for Group Discussion of Case Study

  1. How likely is this situation to happen on your campus?
  2. Which policies and regulations do you need to apply on this situation?
  3. Describe how you would approach this situation with the student.
  4. What is the adviser's role here: Advocate for the student? Uphold university regulations?
  5. How does the adviser involve the instructor of this course?
  6. Can you describe an outcome that would be satisfactory to the student?