Because we believe academic advising to be a developmental process, the mission of the Shepherd University Academic Advising Program is to assist students in the clarification of their educational and professional goals. Academic advisors will work closely with their students and advisees to improve student learning and to encourage their intellectual growth, their personal fulfillment, and their academic and professional excellence.
The Academic Advising Program is led by the assistant dean of teaching, learning, and instructional resources and by the Committee on Academic Advisement. The committee publishes the Shepherd University Faculty Advisor’s Handbook, which is intended to serve as the major resource tool for academic advisors, and it provides annual developmental training workshops for both new and existing faculty and staff who serve as academic advisors for students.
To achieve its mission, the Academic Advising Program is designed to accomplish the following goals:
- Articulate institutional requirements and policies.
- Assist students in their selection of appropriate courses.
- Assist students in developing an academic program consistent with the student’s academic interests, aptitudes, and professional goals.
- Assist students in monitoring progress toward their established educational and professional goals.
- Refer students to other appropriate institutional support services, when necessary.
Definition of Academic Advising
Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their educational and professional goals and in the development of plans for the realization of those goals. It is an ongoing and multifaceted process by which students are assisted in realizing their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor.
An academic advisor is initially assigned on the basis of academic interest expressed by the student. It is the responsibility of both the student and his/her academic advisor to participate in the advising process equally. The academic advisor serves as a resource for planning and academic progress review and as an agent of referral to other campus services as necessary. The academic advisor is not authorized to change established policy of the university. Any advice which is at variance with established policy must be confirmed by the vice president for academic affairs. After consultation with an academic advisor, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to choose and implement his/her academic program and to see that all specific requirements for that program and all general requirements for graduation from the university have been met in an acceptable and timely manner.
Joint Responsibilities in the Advising Process
General Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor
- The advisor should be available to students on a regular basis.
- The advisor should encourage honest and meaningful communication between faculty and students.
- The advisor should assist students in developing decision-making skills by helping students identify and assess alternatives to and the consequences of their academic choices.
- The advisor should stay informed about university programs, policies, and procedures, and should explain the specific requirements of the student’s academic program and the general requirements for graduation from the university.
- The advisor is an important source of information for the student and should be familiar with the campus resources available to students who need them.
- The advisor should know when and where to refer students to receive the assistance that they need.
- The advisor should keep accurate records and monitor the progress of advisees.
- The advisor should genuinely care about students and take the initiative to reach out to students in times of need.
General Responsibilities of the Advisee
- The student should consult with his/her academic advisor often.
- The student should seek assistance with decisions to be made rather than expect the advisor to make them.
- The student should accept responsibility for these decisions.
- The student should be knowledgeable about the academic policies, requirements, and procedures of the university.
- The student should make appointments for academic advising and scheduling of classes.
- The student should be on time for the advising session prior to registration and come to it with the necessary forms completed, an idea of the type of courses needed, and a list of alternatives, if necessary.
- The student should follow through with appropriate action after each advising session and keep the advisor informed of all changes made in the student’s class schedule.
Advising Assistance Center (AAC)
The Advising Assistance Center on campus is to assist students with questions and concerns regarding academic advising. The Advising Assistance Center provides students with answers to questions ranging from “Who is my advisor?” to “What do I need to do to graduate?” The AAC is located on the ground floor of the Scarborough Library in the Howard N. Carper, Jr., Learning Commons. Academic and Careers Advisors and graduate student advisors work with students and their academic advisors to navigate the online catalog and to help develop conversations that revolve around the catalog and the various offices and services on campus. The center has also proven to be a resource to full-time and adjunct faculty alike, helping with questions beyond those associated with advising. Visitors are encouraged to stop by either as a walk-in or by appointment. The center is open daily during regular library operating hours, including evening hours, closing just one hour before the library itself closes.
If a student is confused about registration, advisement, financial aid, changing majors, or any related subject, the Advising Assistance Center is a resource for answers.
Contact the Advising Assistance Center by phone at 304-876-5317 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAC is also on Facebook as “Shepherd University Advising Assistance Center,” and can receive a tweet @SUAdvising
Visit AAC links at www.shepherd.edu/advisement/sources.html and www.shepherd.edu/university/aac.html.