A faculty advisor should:
- Be proactive, especially with first and second year students, initiating contact. Checking in periodically with first-year advisees is very important.
- Be informed about college requirements and curricula including the major, Gen Ed and International Programs. Advisors of undeclared majors should also have a good knowledge of the curricula of other departments.
- Be able to explain Union College policies, regulations and procedures.
- Help students be proactive in making informed decisions about their academic progress and help them understand the benefits of the breadth requirements of the College.
- Be able, if an advisee enquires, to provide initial assistance with regard to graduate study, career questions, tutoring resources, and then be able to make an appropriate referral (study skills, psychological, housing, etc.)
- Set aside designated times for advising appointments during the pre-registration. One cannot assume that regular posted office hours will be sufficient.
- Help students look beyond the current term and think about their greater college experience; this includes helping the students with long-range planning in terms of course selection.
- Maintain confidentiality and have an understanding of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA.)
- Assist students in taking responsibility for tracking their own progress in general education, program, and graduation requirements.
- Maintain a complete and accurate record of advisees’ progress, review students’ schedules and grades at the very beginning of each term, and alert them to problems and issues.
- Assist students who are unable to register for three courses in completing their schedule.
- Meet with senior majors early in the Fall to plan the rest of their year.
- Make arrangements with their department chair to have advisees taken care of whenever on leave from the College.
Advising is a continuous process with an accumulation of personal contacts. These contacts are more critical and may need to be more involved at the beginning stages. Getting to know advisees and listening to student interests and concerns, if they are open to sharing, can be an important part of the advising process.