Academic Advisor: How to Maximize Your Appointment

Last Updated on May 22, 2023

Portrait of academic advisor and college student smiling together while discussing educational plans.
It’s important to come prepared for your appointment with your academic advisor in order to maximize the time spent.

Academic advising plays an important role in supporting student learning on a college campus. It is a process in which academic advisors assist students in their growth and development by creating meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. While advising is often associated with course selection, it is actually a lot more than that. It is a commitment and shared responsibility between an advisor and the student. Let’s have a look at the roles and responsibilities of an advisor and the student respectively.

Role of an academic advisor

The role of an advisor is active rather than passive and the process of advising requires following objectives to be met:

  • Help students develop realistic career plans through schedule planning for each semester. Provide each student with an up-to date academic schedule through to graduation.
  • Assist students in building a program consistent with their abilities and interest
  • Provide accurate and up-to date information about policies, requirements, and procedures.
  • Try to make out-of-class/informal contacts to understand personal interests of the student as an individual.
  • Create positive working relationships with students, staff, faculty, and other university advisors.
  •  When appropriate, refer students to other campus services and resources.

Role of a student

The student/advisee is an equal partner in the advising process. As the taker you are ultimately responsible for your educational decisions and choices. Thus, you are expected to:

  • Contact and schedule appointments with your academic advisor each semester or when in need of assistance
  • Make sure your advisor is aware about your academic and personal goals
  • Familiarize yourself with academic policies and procedures
  • Define primary plan to achieve your educational goals but open to accept an alternative, if required
  • Accept final responsibility for all designs made

How to prepare for a meeting with an academic advisor?

While you don’t need to have all the answers handy, it is important to come prepared for your appointment in order to maximize the time spent. For instance, you must carry appropriate materials or resources and maintain your advising portfolio including your educational plans and other details. Include a current copy of your academic advisement report to make it easier for the advisor to track your progress and discuss future plans. Lastly, be sure to go prepared with a list of questions and/or concerns you would like to get addressed during your session. Remember to take initiative. After all, it's your career planning.

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