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DSC Academic Advising: Characteristics of Academic Advisors

Characteristics of Academic Advisors

Although academic advising requires many qualities, an extensive survey within the University System suggests that both advisees and faculty agree on six characteristics of good advisors.  Successful advisors are

1.         Student-oriented, having an interest in and concern for students as individuals;

2.         Knowledgeable about the requirements and policies of the College;

3.        Skilled in interpersonal relationships, able to listen, able to be directive and non-directive, able to demonstrate patience and tolerance;

4.         Available to students;

5.         Careful about details such as record keeping, follow-through, and follow-up;

6.         Positive about and committed to advisement.


The American College Testing Service offers the following list of suggestions to conscien­tious advisors:

1.         Care about advisees as people;

2.         Establish a genuine, open relationship;

3.         Show interest, helpful intent, and involvement;

4.         Be a good listener;

5.         Remember personal information about advisees;

6.         Keep appointments;

7.         Do not attempt to handle counseling situations for which you are not qualified;

8.         Be familiar with referral sources;

9.         Take initiative in contacting advisees;

10.       Do not make decisions for students;

11.       Seek out advisees in informal settings on campus;

12.       Monitor advisee progress;

13.       Be realistic;

14.       Do not be critical of other faculty or staff;

15.       Do not betray confidential information;

16.       Be knowledgeable about job outlooks;

17.       Be yourself and allow advisees to be themselves.


The rewards of good academic advisement can be as richly varied as the demands.  Among those often cited by both students and advisors are (1) increased success in attaining educational and career goals, (2) higher correlations between student ability and academic performance, (3) higher retention rates, (4) increased satisfaction with the academic process, and (5) the development of positive attitudes toward the faculty and the institution.  In so far as these benefits are realized for advisees, the advisor’s sense of professional and personal growth is enhanced.


Source: Dalton State College Advisors' Handbook (2011)