At Dickinson, academic advisors usually encounter new advisees at three transitional points: when students enroll in a First-Year seminar; when students declare a new major; and when students get reassigned, most often because an original advisor goes on sabbatical.

Each of these transitions merits special consideration. You may find it useful to review your expectations and procedures with upper-class students, just as you did with incoming First-Year students. Some students report that the experience of changing advisors can be disorienting. As you get to know your new advisees, you may encounter important opportunities to help them refine and articulate their goals.

Advising for New Advisees

In a community of inquiry, academic advising is an educational process that, by intention and design, facilitates students’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education and fosters their intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning.

At a liberal arts institution, academic advising provides students with the opportunity to build a relationship with their advisor for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning their educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success, and in learning how to access the variety of resources and services available to them.

Academic advising is a collaborative educational process whereby students and their faculty advisors are partners in meeting the essential learning outcomes and outlining the steps for achievement of the students’ personal, academic, and career goals. This advisor/advisee partnership requires participation and involvement of both the advisor and the advisee as it is built over the student’s entire educational experience at Dickinson. Both the advisee and the advisor have clear responsibilities for ensuring the advising partnership is successful.

Advisor Responsibilities – What You Can Expect

As your advisor, you can expect me to:

  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, graduation requirements, and college policies and procedures
  • Encourage and guide my advisees to define and develop realistic academic goals
  • Encourage and support my advisees to gain the skills to develop clear and attainable educational plans
  • Provide advisees with information and discuss strategies for utilizing available resources and services
  • Assist my advisees in understanding the purposes and goals of higher education and the effects on their lives and personal goals
  • Assist my advisees in understanding how study abroad can contribute to their academic and personal goals, and guide advisees in their early thinking about study abroad options
  • Monitor my advisees’ progress toward meeting their goals
  • Be accessible for meeting with my advisees through office hours for advising, telephone, e-mail, or web access
  • Assist my advisees in gaining decision-making skills and skills in assuming responsibility for their educational plans and achievements
  • Assist my advisees in working closely with their other professors
  • Maintain confidentiality

Advisee Responsibilities – What You Are Expected To Do

As an advisee, you have clear responsibilities in the advising partnership in order to be successful:

  • Become knowledgeable about College programs, policies, and procedures
  • Clarify personal values and goals and provide your advisor with accurate information regarding your interests and abilities
  • Come prepared to each appointment with questions or material for discussion
  • Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience
  • Ask questions if you do not understand an issue or have a specific concern
  • Keep a personal record of your progress toward meeting your academic goals and graduation
  • Schedule regular appointments or make regular contacts with your advisor during each semester
  • Organize official documents in a way that enable you to access them when needed
  • Complete all assignments or recommendations from your advisor

Materials for New Advisees