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Being an Effective Advisor

Articles to assist you:

  • Structuring Student Learning through Advising: Applying the PARC Model to practice.
    • Pelletier, J. & Teniell, T. (2009, September). Structuring student learning through advising: Applying the PARC model to practice. The Bulletin. Association of College Unions International.
  • New to advising? Do you know you can co-advise a group with someone else?
    • Specifically reivew the section "Strategies for successful team advising" if you are a new advisor, or if you co-advise the organization with someone else.
    • Beatty, C. & Bottoms, M. (2009, September). Team advising a college union programming board. The Bulletin. Association of College Unions International.

Advisors should:

  • Although regular communication is preferred, advisors must be able to communicate with his or her student organization, at least once per semester.

  • Role model honesty and integrity by following established laws or procedures.

  • Provide feedback or help the group develop their own opinions about actions or events.

  • Share knowledge of University policies, resources and relevant past experiences.

  • Be available to the group you advise.

  • Remember that the management of the group (programmatically and financially) remains with the student leaders within the group. Advisers can offer suggestions but they should not be responsible for doing work for the students, signing contracts for the organization or have a prominent role in any of the finances.

30 Reminders for Effective Advising

  1. Care about the students you advise by showing them empathy, understanding, and respect.
  2. Establish a warm, genuine, and open professional relationship.
  3. Show interest, helpful intent, and involvement.
  4. Be a good listener.
  5. Establish rapport by remembering personal information about students that you advise.
  6. Be available; keep office hours and appointments.
  7. Provide accurate information.
  8. When in doubt, refer to the Office of Student Leadership & Service.
  9. Know how and when to make referrals, and be familiar with referral sources.
  10. Don’t refer too hastily; but don’t attempt to handle situations for which you are not qualified.
  11. Have students contact referral sources in your presence.
  12. Contact students you advise frequently; don’t always wait for students to come to you.
  13. Don’t make decisions for students; help them make their own decisions.
  14. Focus on students’ strengths and potential rather than limitations.
  15. Seek out students you advise in informal settings.
  16. Monitor students’ progress toward education goals.
  17. Determine reasons for poor academic performance and direct students to support services.
  18. Be realistic with the students you advise.
  19. Use all available information sources.
  20. Clearly and professionally, outline students’ responsibilities.
  21. Follow up on commitments made to the students you advise.
  22. Encourage students to consider and develop career alternatives when appropriate.
  23. Keep an anecdotal record of significant conversations for future reference.
  24. Evaluate the effectiveness of your advising.
  25. Don’t be critical of other faculty or staff to students.
  26. Be knowledgeable about career opportunities and job outlook for various majors.
  27. Encourage students to talk by asking open-ended questions.
  28. Don’t betray confidential information.
  29. Categorize students’ questions; are they seeking action, information, or involvement and understanding?
  30. Be yourself and allow students to be themselves.