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

From Korea with Gratitude

When Dan Lee stepped off the plane in California back in 1990, the 20-year-old South Korean émigré was seeking the American dream. After earning an advanced degree in economics, he accepted a job offer at PSU, believing the small-town New England setting would be a good place to raise his young family. As an associate […]

Example Image

A New Day, A New Way of Giving

Thanks to life in the digital age, when information is as close as a swipe and a tap away, old-school philanthropy has been turned on its head. Donors want—and can find—more information about the causes and organizations they support. They want to feel confident that their gift is going to make a difference; and with […]

Example Image

¡Bienvenidos a Cuba!

PSU professor and her students discover the challenges and joys of visiting Cuba » Political science professor Filiz Otucu Ruhm always dreamed of going to Cuba. In fact, she planned on visiting the island more than a decade ago. “The social scientist in me wanted to observe Castro’s Cuba, then go back after Castro, and […]