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DSC Academic Advising: Characteristics of Academic Advisement

Characteristics of Academic Advising



No single or simple definition of academic advisement can encompass all of its dimensions.  As with all personal relationships it must be, in many respects, flexible, unstructured, and individual.  Certain specific goals of advisement and general characteri­stics of successful advisors can, however, be identified.


The American College Testing Service suggests six specific goals that should be foremost in each advisor-advisee relationship:

1.         To help students clarify their values and goals and to better understand themselves as persons;

2.         To help students understand the nature and purpose of post-secondary education;

3.         To provide accurate information about educational options, requirements, policies, and procedures;

4.         To plan an educational program consistent with the student’s interests and abilities;

5.         To assist students through a continual monitoring and evaluation of their educational progress;

6.         To integrate the many resources of the institution available to meet the student’s individual educational needs and aspirations.

Among the activities which help an advisor realize these goals are the following:

1.         Acquainting advisees with academic requirements, regulations, services, and opportunities of the College;

2.         Helping advisees understand their past educational achievements and how these are related to their present educational goals;

3.         Increasing advisees’ awareness of their abilities and aptitudes through the use of test results and other data;

4.         Helping advisees plan a program of courses each term and developing a program completion plan;

5.         Assisting advisees when they are not performing at the level of their abilities or are experiencing academic difficulty;

6.         Referring advisees to other persons and services on campus as needed;

7.         Maintaining regular contact with advisees and keeping accurate records.


Source: Dalton State College Advisors' Handbook (2011)