At Dickinson College the primary advising relationship is between faculty members and their students. Dickinson faculty members provide the academic advising for matriculated students and recognize advising as part of their teaching responsibilities (Academic Handbook). By providing the structure and supporting systems, the Office of Academic Advising serves as a centralized resource; Class Deans support faculty advisors, their advisees and instructors.

The advising office provides centralized coordination and support programs, such as peer tutoring and time management and learning-skill workshops. Class Deans offer an additional layer of support for faculty advisors, their advisees and course instructors. We invite members of the Dickinson community to contact the appropriate Class Dean to address academic concerns or for advice about college policies.


The Academic Advising program supports the educational mission of Dickinson College. "Advising for excellence" means that we strive to engage students in a community of inquiry, assist them in making thoughtful choices about their academic program, and prepare them for a future beyond the limestone walls.

Our student-centered program, faculty delivered and professionally administered, is developmental. We recognize:

  • that advising is an extension of teaching and that faculty should be primary in this program, deliberately challenging students, assessing progress toward their goals and referring them to other resources as appropriate,
  • that individual students are ultimately responsible for using available resources in the pursuit of their educational goals,
  • that students need different levels of support over the course of their four years in college.

Principles of Good Advising

Academic advising is an important aspect of teaching at Dickinson College. The excellent academic advisor is accessible to students and is an effective listener and communicator who is also knowledgeable about academic programs, regulations, and resources; is concerned about student performance and development; and is aware of career opportunities and services. The excellent academic advisor provides sufficient time for advising, maintains confidentiality in the advising relationship, and refers students to other resources as appropriate.

Excellent advisors help their advisees:

1. explore their intellectual interests and the learning opportunities available to them,

  • Good advising is a shared responsibility in a community of inquiry. Individual academic advisors are only the most visible bearer of that responsibility. Other individuals – instructors, administrative officials, athletic coaches, and peers – are important formal or informal contributors. Furthermore, academic departments and programs and offices such as the Center for Global Study and Engagement, Career Center, and Student Development play crucial roles in providing academic and career-related advice not only to individual students but the college community as a whole.

2. articulate their educational objectives,

  • Good advising encourages students to articulate their own educational goals. Well-advised students reflect upon the relationship between those objectives and other choices they make to inform not only course selections but also decisions such as studying off campus or participating in internships and co-curricular activities.

3. develop a coherent academic program,

  • Good advising not only helps students understand the requirements for a Dickinson degree, (including the individual distribution requirements and those for majors and other academic programs), but also fosters consideration of the reasons for such requirements.

4. prepare and plan for the transition from college to the world of work and further education.

  • Good advising prepares students for careers and appropriate graduate education. We succeed as a College to the extent that our students go on to productive and rewarding careers that suit their skills, interests, and values. Good advising recognizes and works toward this goal.
  • Good advising helps students begin the process of exploring post-graduate opportunities appropriate to their discipline(s).
  • Advising for careers and advanced education begins in the first year as a process of helping students search for disciplines in which they excel and which they enjoy.