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Advising FAQ

How is an academic advisor different from a guidance counselor?

You may have worked with a guidance counselor in high school. A key difference between your working relationship with your guidance counselor and your working relationship with your academic advisor will likely be the degree of responsibility expected of you. Often, guidance counselors take charge of scheduling meetings and offer authoritative direction about both educational and personal matters. Academic advisors, on the other hand, can expect that you will take the lead both seeking their guidance and in making decisions; they may ask you provocative questions rather than provide easy answers; and they are likely to refer you to campus colleagues to help you address broader questions.

Your academic advisor is an integral part of a network of mentoring and supportive relationships —some formal and some informal—available to you here at Dickinson. One thing that distinguishes your relationship to your advisor from other such relationships is the central importance of academic goals and decisions. Navigating your educational path is a core priority when you work with your advisor.