Academic advising is an important part of any college student experience. Advising should be woven into the fabric of the student’s academic life.
When done well, it will promote both personal and scholarly growth. Academic advising is a reflection of the best professional knowledge of the day and should not be left to chance.
Use these resources and tools to create a supportive advisor-advisee relationship with your students.
Find Your Advisees
Since students graduate and change majors, your assigned advisee list will likely change from semester to semester. Getting a current list of your advisees is the first step to becoming an effective advisor.
Once you have a list of your advisees, there are a number of resources available to help you during your advisee meetings.
Meet Your Advisees
Getting to know your advisees and developing the advisee-advisor relationship is a meaningful part of the higher education experience.
Most WSU students do very well academically, but some may struggle with the transition from high school to college. Some students may also experience barriers due to personal or health issues, and advisors can help students overcome these challenges.
However, both students and faculty are busy during the semester. Students have classes, jobs and clubs and you have your own teaching schedule and other commitments. This can make meeting advisees difficult, so do your best to provide flexible appointment options whenever possible.
Advisors may meet with advisees during office hours, in a classroom setting or online using Zoom. One tool available for scheduling advising appointments is the advising scheduler. Instructions for the advising scheduler on how to use this tool are available. Consider including a link to the student registration instructions in the email invitation to your advisees.
If your advisee is on Academic Warning and has not had an Academic Warning meeting, these are the next steps to remove a registration hold (PDF). These steps are also available through an audio recording.
Supporting your advisees includes providing quality academic information, but it also includes referrals and support from other areas.
Here are some resources that may be helpful during appointments or as supplemental tools and resources for supporting advisee success:
- Prior to an advising appointment, you should understand your advisee's academic status. Reviewing their transcript or Degree Audit will help you to better support your advisee's success.
- Academic calendars
- Academic catalog
- WSU general education program and goals
- Student Schedule Planning Sheet (PDF) which can be useful for organizing classes during registration
- Course placement information
- Department preferences for CMST 191 or CMST 192 (PDF)
- Students can request a registration override (blue card) for a class from the course instructor
- Steps to remove a registration hold (PDF) for a student on Academic Warning. These steps are also available through an audio recording.
- Online foreign language placement exam and opportunities for retroactive language credit
- Graduation application and commencement information for senior advisees
- Transferology is an online tool that allows students and advisors to view a school's academic programs, courses and course equivalencies
- Watch a tutorial on how to use the Web Registration System in eServices
The Minnesota State Graduation Planner (PDF) allows students and advisors to create semester-by-semester plans to graduation using simple drag and drop functionality. Planned courses are easily verified against the degree audit (DARS) to check for missing requirements.
Students who have registered for their last semester of courses need to complete a Graduation Application. Questions can be directed to the WSU Registrar’s Office.
Refer Your Advisees
Advisors provide quality referrals and help students learn about all the resources and support services available on campus.
- Counseling and Health Services are available at the Integrated Wellness Center.
- Tutoring Services if you have an advisee who is struggling in a class.
- Paying for college can be very stressful. Refer students that have financial holds to the Financial Aid Office or the Dean of Student's Office. WhichWay offers free and practical information, and students can find out how to pay the bill or ask questions about tuition and fees in the Warrior Hub.
- Career Prep will help your advisees prepare for internships and their future career.
- Although your advisees have declared a major, many students will want to explore majors or add a minor at some point in their academic career. Students can explore majors online or schedule an appointment in the Warrior Success Center.
- WSU offers excellent resources for advisees who want to study away
- An advisee may also have questions related to articulation agreements with other institutions.
- Early Intervention Program: If you have concerns about a student's attendance or progress in your course, please provide an update. Even if you have already spoken to the student, do not hesitate to submit a notification if you don't see the behavior changing. We want to help. The more touch points we have as a community the better our chances of success with the student.
Best Advising Practices
Retention can be defined as students who remain continuously enrolled in an institution from semester to semester and year from to year, eventually completing their degree.
The formula for student retention, however, is as diverse as the student dynamic itself. Students stay or leave a university due to a combination of academic, financial, social and personal reasons.
WSU offers a decentralized advising format and the Warrior Success Center embraces the appreciative advising approach. This approach starts with putting students at ease to start a dialogue based on personality and learning styles. Once the advisee-advisor relationship is established, open discussion can begin about majors, course registration and career planning.
There are various other advising approaches that you may want to consider.
No advisor can resolve all issues a student might face in college. However, the literature is clear that quality academic advising supports retention, persistence and graduation.
Here are additional resources for learning more about advising curriculum, models and strategies.
Forms and Resources
- Change Major Form
- Declare Major/Minor Form
- Directions for Students Changing or Declaring a Major
- Advisor Change Form
- Find out which courses transfer
- General Education Program
- AP/IB/CLEP/PSEO Information
- Graduation Application
- Major Exploration Resources
- Major Exploration Video
- Report Index for Faculty Advisors
- FAQs for Faculty Advisors