Core Values for Effective Advising*
1. Advisers are responsible to the individuals they advise.
- Academic advising is an integral part of the educational process and affects students in numerous ways. As advisers enhance student learning and development, advisees have the opportunity to become participants in and contributors to their own education. In one of the most important potential outcomes of this process, academic advising fosters individual potential.
- Regular student contact through in-person appointments, mail, telephone, e-mail, or other computer-mediated systems helps advisers gain meaningful insights into students' diverse academic, social, and personal experiences and needs. Advisers use these insights to assist students as they transition to new academic and social communities, develop sound academic and career goals, and ultimately, become successful learners.
- Advisers recognize and respect that students' diverse backgrounds are comprised of their ethnic and racial heritage, age, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, as well as their physical, learning, and psychological abilities. Advisers help students develop and reinforce realistic self-perceptions and help them use this information in mapping out their futures.
- Advisers introduce and assist students with their transitions to the academic world by helping them see value in the learning process, gain perspective on the college experience, become more responsible and accountable, set priorities and evaluate their progress, and uphold honesty with themselves and others about their successes and limitations.
- Advisers encourage self-reliance and support students as they strive to make informed and responsible decisions, set realistic goals, and develop lifelong learning and self-management skills.
2. Advisers respect students' rights to their individual beliefs and opinions.
- Advisers guide and teach students to understand and apply classroom concepts to everyday life.
- Advisers help students establish realistic goals and objectives and encourage them to be responsible for their own progress and success.
- Advisers seek to understand and modify barriers to student progress, identify ineffective and inefficient policies and procedures, and work to affect change. When the needs of students and the institution are in conflict, advisers seek a resolution that is in the best interest of both parties. In cases where the student finds the resolution unsatisfactory, they inform students regarding appropriate grievance procedures.
- Advisers recognize the changing nature of the college and university environment and diversity within the student body. They acknowledge the changing communication technologies used by students and the resulting new learning environments. They are sensitive to the responsibilities and pressures placed on students to balance course loads, financial and family issues, and interpersonal demands.
- Advisers are knowledgeable and sensitive regarding national, regional, local, and institutional policies and procedures, particularly those governing matters that address harassment, use of technology, personal relationships with students, privacy of student information, and equal opportunity.
- Advisers are encouraged to investigate all available avenues to help students explore academic opportunities.
- Advisers respect student confidentiality rights regarding personal information. Advisers practice with an understanding of the institution's interpretation of applicable laws such as the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Advisers document advising contacts adequately to meet institutional disclosure guidelines and aid in subsequent advising interactions.
3. Advisers are responsible for involving others, when appropriate, in the advising process.
- Academic advisers must develop relationships with personnel critical to student success including those in such diverse areas as admissions, orientation, instruction, financial aid, housing, health services, athletics, academic departments, and the registrar's office. They also must establish relationships with those who can attend to specific physical and educational needs of students, such as personnel in disability services, tutoring, psychological counseling, international study, and career development. Advisers must also direct students, as needed, to experts who specialize in credit transfers, co-curricular programs, and graduation clearance.
- Because of the nature of academic advising, advisers often develop a broad understanding of an institution and a detailed understanding of student needs and the resources available to help students meet those needs. Based upon this understanding:
- Advisers can have an interpretative role with students regarding their interactions with faculty, staff, administrators, and fellow students, and advisers can help the institution's administrators gain a greater understanding of students' needs.
4. Advisers are responsible to their institutions.
- Advisers keep those not directly involved in the advising process informed and aware of the importance of academic advising in students' lives. They articulate the need for administrative support of advising and related activities.
- Advisers respect the opinions of their colleagues; remain neutral when students make comments or express opinions about other faculty or staff; are nonjudgmental about academic programs; and do not impose their personal agendas on students.
5. Advisers are responsible to their educational community.
- Advisers advocate for students who desire to include study abroad or community service learning into their co-curricular college experience, and they make appropriate referrals to enable students to achieve these goals.
- Advisers understand the intricacies of transfer between institutions and make appropriate referrals to enable students to achieve their goals.
*Adapted from National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) Advising Standards & Values