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Academic Advising

Good Advising Definition

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Academic Advising

Students can find their advisor contact information on the homepage of their myWCU account.

Good Advising: A Shared Responsibility

The Advising Relationship

Academic advising is an educational partnership between a faculty member and a student whose goal is the student's academic, personal, and professional success. Advisors and advisees collaborate to help students achieve their aims. Advisors explain policies, identify resources, and give advice; however, students are ultimately responsible for making the decisions that will keep them on track. The advising relationship thus mirrors other teaching relationships at West Chester University.

At WCU, advisors and advisees:

Treat each other with Respect

Student Faculty
Listen carefully to faculty advice Listen carefully to student concerns
Make yourself reasonably available to meet with faculty Make yourself reasonably available to meet with advisees
Whenever possible, answer advisor communications within two work days Whenever possible, answer student communications within two work days
Make efforts to find information independently and be informed Help advisees understand academic rules and policies
Communicate politely; maintain civility in all interactions Communicate politely; maintain civility in all interactions
Help faculty understand your point of view Help students feel welcome and comfortable with the advising process
Plan ahead by scheduling an appointment with your adviser in advance of the registration period Communicate availability to students and inform them of how they should schedule meetings with you
Reschedule and/or cancel sparingly and with as much notice as possible. Reschedule and/or cancel sparingly and with as much notice as possible.

Understand your Advising Duties

Student Faculty
Plan ahead by scheduling an appointment with your adviser in advance of the registration period Communicate availability for meetings and response time to students and inform them of how they should schedule meetings with you; inform them of the process for getting advice over winter/summer breaks
Strive to be available, especially at peak registration times Strive to be available, especially at peak registration times
Try to see your advisor during his/her office hours Attend regular office hours
Arrive for your advising appointment with topics/questions for your adviser Keep records on your advisees that allow you to be prepared for meetings
Become an educated consumer so you can make well informed decisions; ask for guidance and advice from multiple reliable sources, double-check all information/advice with multiple sources (advising handbook, advisor, Registrar's website, etc.) Find answers to student questions or direct students to the people who can help answer those questions
Take an active, collaborative approach to advising with your advisor Understand the importance of high quality advising and foster a collaborative approach to advising with your advisees
Check your WCU email account daily. You are responsible for reading all messages in a timely manner and for meeting deadlines Check WCU email to respond to student questions
Learn the requirements for your major and general education requirements. Continue to educate yourself about requirements and policies
Remember that advisors provide "advice": you must know your own requirements. Ultimately, all decisions are yours. Maintain confidentiality of student records by following university policy and FERPA guidelines

Work to Clarify Students' Professional & Life Goals

Student Faculty
Discuss your professional and life goals with your advisor, to discover how academic planning can help you achieve them Assist students in their efforts to formulate professional and life goals, to help them plan academic routes to achieve those goals
Accept responsibility for your decisions and your actions (or inactions) Guide students in understanding the consequences of their decisions and actions (or inactions)

Contribute to Realistic Academic & Career Plans

Student Faculty
Take advantage of campus resources for professional development, such as individual in-person assistance at the Career Development Center Refer students to campus resources for professional development, such as individual in-person assistance at the Career Development Center
Do independent research into jobs and career paths Discuss students' job and career options
Draw connections between classes and professional life through inquiry and reflection Help students make connections between classes and professional life
Work on and follow a realistic academic plan; identify options when the plan encounters obstacles Assist student in making a realistic academic plan; identify options when the plan encounters obstacles. Alert department chairs when you see patterns of obstacles

Educate yourselves about Institutional Policies, Procedures and Opportunities

Student Faculty
Familiarize yourself with the policies in the Undergraduate Catalog – repeats, probation, academic integrity, harassment, etc. Provide accurate information about institutional policies and procedures – repeats, probation, academic integrity, harassment, etc. – and refer students to appropriate offices
Familiarize yourself with your major program's special requirements (such as FATE for ed majors) Provide accurate information about students' major program special requirements (such as FATE for ed majors)
Learn how to interpret university and program policies, procedures, and regulations Keep up to date with university and program policy changes and emphasize these to advisees.
Seek out extracurricular activities and events that will support your academic, professional, and life plans. Encourage participation in extracurricular activities and events that will support students' academic, professional, and life plans.

Make Good Class Choices

Student Faculty
Devise an initial plan for your course schedule and take it to your advising meeting Assess and adjust student class plans accurately
Actively participate in monitoring your degree progress by regularly accessing your Degree Progress Report (DPR) and by referencing the university catalog Maintain an understanding of general education requirements, including changes, to assist advisees with correct course selection
Know your degree requirements so that you can choose classes wisely Assist students in accurately choosing courses that satisfy academic requirements and help them actualize their career goals
Explore other options, if a class is not available Help students devise options, if classes are not available. Alert department chair to patterns of unavailability

Address Challenges through Knowledge & use of Campus Resources

Student Faculty
Learn about the resources available to you on campus, such as counseling, tutoring, housing, etc. Makes appropriate referrals to students experiencing academic, emotional, or interpersonal challenges: counseling, tutoring, housing, etc.
Know that help is available on campus, and don't hesitate to ask for assistance Connect students to the people or office that can help them
Be prompt in responding to problems, such as academic probation Help students recover from problems: for example, by submitting and following up on Academic Recovery Plans

Use available Tech Tools

Student Faculty
Actively monitor your progress by regularly accessing your Degree Progress Report, by examining your program's advising sheets, and by referencing the university catalog Be able to use the Degree Progress Report and assist students in understanding how to use it
Learn to utilize and regularly access myWCU Document students' degree progress, including using myWCU Advisor Comments
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