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DSC Academic Advising: Components of Academic Advisement

Components of Acdemic Advisement

The exact role of the advisor in each advising setting cannot be defined, nor should it be prescribed.  Every advising conference and relationship should be shaped by the personalities, needs, and interests involved.  Whenever possible, however, the advisor’s function should be to prevent rather than to solve problems.  The following are among the steps that might be taken to forestall or minimize problems and to strengthen the advisement process.

1.         General Program Information.  Advisors should be certain that their advisees are aware of the various programs of study at Dalton State College, that they understand the core curriculum in transfer programs, that they are familiar with the entrance and graduation requirements of the College and those of the degree or certificate program selected, and that they have access to a Dalton State College Catalog.

 2.        College and Program Entrance Requirements.  Dalton State College is committed to developing and maintaining a broad spectrum of curricula designed to meet the post-secondary education requirements of Northwest Georgia.  Students need to be aware that admittance to the College does not guarantee admission to any particular program.  However, students should also know that programs of study are designed to facilitate matriculation to more advanced programs as skills develop.

3.         Entrance and Exit Exams.  Students should know that although performance on these exams can impact their short-term career options, the primary function of standardized testing here at Dalton State College is to assess the effectiveness of specific programs and the College.

4.         Academic Progress Information.  Each advisee should be aware of the requirements for academic progress, the possibilities for recognizing superior performance and the consequences of poor performance, and any specific grade requirements in special programs.  Each advisee should understand how to compute grade point averages.  Additional information on academic progress is included in the Appendix.

5.         Program/Course Planning.  The advisor should plan with the student a proposed schedule of courses to complete the chosen program of study in an orderly manner within a reasonable period of time.  Specific attention should be given to the student’s anticipated course load, outside responsibilities, sequences of required courses, frequency of required course offerings, and other considerations that could affect the selection of courses and the completion of the selected program.

6.         Academic Counseling.  Advisees should be assured that they are welcome to discuss problems encountered in their courses and reminded that they are required to meet with the advisor should they be notified of academic deficiency by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Advisors should take a directive role in suggesting solutions--reduced course load, the FYES 1000 course for first-time full-time Bachelor’s Degree students, better study habits, reduced outside activities, testing and tutoring through the Academic Resources Center, change of major, etc.

7.         Career Advising.  The advisor should be adequately informed to discuss with advisees opportunities in careers related to their majors, and to explain the relationship between specific programs of study and careers in those fields.  The advisor should freely refer advisees to the Academic Resources Center for career testing and counseling whenever appropriate.

8.         Availability and Accessibility.  Each advisor must post adequate office hours and always be available during those times.  In addition, the advisor should establish as early as possible in the advisee-advisor relationship an assurance that the advisee is welcome to discuss problems, concerns, and interests and to ask for information.  The advisor should also explain the best procedure for arranging conferences.  Each advisee should understand advising and registration procedures.  Make sure each advisee knows your email address and office telephone number.

9.         Confidentiality.  The confidentiality of all academic and personal infor­mation must be assured, not only as a matter of legal right, but also as a means of establishing the basis for open discussion and effective counseling.

10.       Personal Enrichment and Campus Involvement.  The advisor should encourage the advisee to be aware of the opportunities for personal, cultural, social, recreational, and academic enrichment and involvement outside of the classroom at Dalton State College.  Extracurricular participation increases commitment to the institution, contributes to satisfaction with the College, supports academic performance, and fosters personal growth and development.  On commuter campuses students often need specific information about opportunities and direct encouragement to participate in campus activities.

Source: Dalton State College Advisors' Handbook (2011).