Thirty Reminders for Effective Advising

(David S. Crockett)

  • Care about advisees as people by showing empathy, understanding, and respect.
  • Establish a warm, genuine, and open relationship.
  • Evidence interest, helpful intent, and involvement.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Establish a rapport by remembering personal information about advisees.
  • Be available; keep office hours and appointments.
  • Provide accurate information.
  • When in doubt, refer to catalog, advisor’s handbook, call someone, etc.
  • Know how and when to make referrals, and be familiar with referral sources.
  • Don’t refer too hastily; on the other hand, don’t attempt to handle situations for which you are not qualified (i.e., suicide attempts).
  • Have students contact referral sources in your presence (Can they call from your office if an appointment is necessary?).
  • Keep in frequent contact with advisees; take the initiative; don’t always wait for students to come to you.
  • Don’t make decisions for students; help them make their own decisions. (Decision-making is at the heart of academic advising. “What courses do I need to take next semester?” “What major should I choose?” “Should I drop my math course?” An important role for advisors is to assist students in learning the decision-making process and the skills necessary to become effective and independent decision makers.)
  • Focus on advisees’ strengths and potentials rather than limitations.
  • Seek out advisees in informal settings.
  • Monitor advisees’ progress toward educational goals.
  • Determine reasons for poor academic performance and direct advisees to appropriate support services.
  • Be realistic with advisees.
  • Use all available information sources.
  • Clearly outline advisees’ responsibilities. Encourage advisees to consider and develop career alternatives when appropriate.
  • Keep an anecdotal record of significant conversations for future reference.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your advising.
  • Don’t be critical of other faculty or staff to advisees.
  • Be knowledgeable about career opportunities and job outlook for various majors.
  • Encourage advisees to talk by asking open-ended questions.
  • Don’t betray confidential information.
  • Categorize advisees’ questions; are they seeking action, information, or involvement and understanding.
  • Be yourself and allow advisees to be themselves.

In Plymouth Magazine

Example Image

Student Spotlight: Mae Williams ’14G A Twenty-first-century Preservationist

When Mae Williams ’14G enrolled in the Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program in the fall of 2012, she was drawn to the strength of a program in which, she says, “The professors are not academics locked away amidst a pile of books, but are actually out in the field on a daily basis, […]

Example Image

Nora Galvin ’14, Stellar Student-Athlete

As an NCAA Division III school, Plymouth State is home to the true student-athlete: the student who exhibits the same drive, dedication, and commitment to excellence both in and out of the classroom; who studies hard for a rewarding future; and plays for the love of the game. PSU social work major Nora Galvin ’14, […]

Example Image

Ut Prosim: Burton for Certain

Ray Burton ’62 lived all his years in the North Country of New Hampshire. Few elected officials have ever understood the lifestyle and character of their constituents as well as he did or have known so many of them by name. On December 14, 2013, hundreds of Burton’s fellow citizens joined dozens of past and […]