Faculty Advisement Handbook


| Advisement Session: What to Consider; What to Remember

First Session
E-mail each new advisee and invite them to visit you at the start of the semester.  Give them your office location, office hours, phone extension and e-mail address.

Most course advisement after the first time might be routine and even easy.  However, at all sessions:

  • Make sure advisees have your office hours, phone extension and e-mail address
  • Be open to all student inquiries
  • Discuss any Early Warnings
  • Review course progress in General Education for undergraduates
  • Review program progress for graduate and undergraduate students
  • Consider special needs/requirements or special programs
  • Review any questions/problems
  • Up-Date Advisement Checklist
  • Review the degree audit and the transcript together


Regular Course Advisement

The first advisement session is the time to set the stage for a good advisement relationship.  The following points are important both in the first session and in subsequent advising sessions with all advisees. 

At the start of any registration advisement, review the student’s courses, and make sure the requirements are up-to-date.

Try to learn about any changes in your advisee’s personal and career goals.

Some special programs or activities may affect scheduling.  Athletes have to consider the times of practices and competitions.  Some students might have to see two advisors.  If your advisee is in the Honors College, The Learning Resource Program, STEP, Levermore Global Scholars or has a double major they should be seeing two advisors.  If they are in pre-med or pre-law or a similar program they should be advised to see the Office of Pre-Professional Advisement and Fellowships in Levermore 303.

Advisement for Special Circumstances

Sometimes problems or unusual circumstances emerge in an advisement session.  These are common situations.

Poor Grades
When you review the transcript, you may see problems that suggest particular questions or interventions, such as:

  • Is the student in the right major for her/himself?
  • Should the student visit the Learning Center, Earle Hall, Lower Level
  • Should the student go to the Writing Center, Earle Hall, Lower Level
  • Reviewing co-curricular activities or work obligations
  • Could the student benefit from counseling, University Center, Room 310

Missing an academic deadline or problem with an academic rule
Be familiar with academic deadlines and rules, and the petition process that is available to students.  Don’t give advice that contradicts University policy, or leads the student to expect something that is not available - such as an automatic drop after the final date to drop, or a refund.  Students are informed of all critical dates. If a student is missing multiple deadlines there is probably something else going on.

Satisfactory progress towards the degree
In general, help your advisee progress satisfactorily towards his or her degree (that is graduating on schedule) and meeting the general university requirements.  Graduating on time may be affected by:

  • Putting off requirements, or changing the order of requirements
  • Falling below the minimum GPA in the major and the university
  • Taking a lighter load for one or more semester (fewer than 15 credits in a semester for undergraduates)
  • Staying Undeclared too long
  • Changing a major during the last two years.

Early Warnings
For the first 8 weeks of each semester every faculty member teaching undergraduate classes has an Early Warning Roster on C.L.A.S.S. This system allows each faculty member to notify the Office of Academic Services of any students having difficulty in any class. In addition to contacting the student directly, the Office of Academic Services informs the students’ advisor of these warnings.  This is a chance to reach out and try to make suggestions to your advisee.

Mid Semester Checkup

It’s a good idea to try to check in with your advisees during the course of the semester.  See how they are doing.  If they received Early Warnings talk to them about it.  Try to find out if s/he has the same career and major goals they had prior to the term.  Explore whether your advisee might need some assistance and urge her/him to get it while there is time to address the issue(s).

Concluding the Advisement Session

At the end of any advisement session, make sure your advisee knows of your on-going availability during any time in the semester and encourage him or her to drop by to tell you how courses in general are going.  Also let your advisees know that if they have any particular problem that you can be a resource for finding out where in the university help or assistance is available.

Academic Forms

Samples of various forms a student might need are included in the appendixes.

This page was last modified on September 6, 2013.
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