The ultimate success of the academic advising system is strongly dependent upon the accessibility of accurate program information. Along with this technical aspect of the advising system, the relationship that develops between Advisor and Advisee provides an important context for the flow of information and a vehicle for enhancing students academic success. A healthy Advisee/Advisor relationship requires that each party be clear on his/her responsibility in the advising relationship. This document lays out the roles and responsibilities of Advisors and Advisees at Trinity Western University.

Responsibilities of Advisees

The academic advising system is designed to provide a resource to students for assistance in the process of selecting courses, clarifying academic program requirements and dealing with related issues. For this system to work effectively, it is necessary that students take the initiative in using tools such as the Academic Calendar, program checklists, and the Academic Advising Office Web pages  to familiarize themselves with academic standards, programs, and policies. Ultimately, it is the students responsibility to ensure that s/he meets all University requirements and regulations.

Each student is urged to take advantage of designated advising periods by making an appointment with his/her Advisor. Early contact with an Advisor and a commitment to maintain regular contact throughout a students program are key elements in helping ensure long-term academic success. As well, regular Advisor/Advisee discussions help facilitate the process of exploring broader issues such as career and graduate study options.

Some specific responsibilities of Advisees include:

  • Acquiring the information needed to make appropriate decisions regarding course selection, program planning, and the successful completion of all graduation requirements;
  • Making appointments with their Advisor during the advising period in the fall and spring semesters, as well as other times during the year when they have questions or concerns;
  • Being prepared for meetings with their Advisor by bringing relevant materials (e.g., a program checklist), completing required forms prior to the meeting (e.g., a tentative course schedule), and making a list of any questions they may have;
  • Honestly communicating with their Advisor their interests, abilities, and circumstances;
  • Keeping an up-to-date file relating to course and program decisions;
  • Accepting the consequences of academic and personal decisions.

Responsibilities of Faculty Advisors

The principal goal of the academic advising system is to provide academic program information to students in a personable manner. The advising system that most readily achieves this goal is one where a student in a given program is paired with a faculty Advisor in that same program. For the system to work effectively, Faculty Advisors need to keep current on program requirements in their area, be familiar with a wide range of resources available through the Academic Advising Office web pages, and create an atmosphere of caring and professional concern for students.

During the time that an Advisee is paired with a given Advisor, circumstances may arise in the students experience on campus which cause the Advisor to go beyond his/her normal responsibilities, e.g., by going to bat for the student when s/he is having difficulty resolving an issue, or by acting as a mentor for that student. Of course, whether or not an Advisor assumes roles like these will depend on the circumstances facing the student and the nature of the particular Advisor/Advisee relationship.

Some specific responsibilities of Advisors include:

  • Helping their Advisees to better understand the importance of the academic advising relationship and the roles each person plays in it;

  • Regularly using advising tools such as the Academic Advising Office web pages, the core requirement checklist, and the Advisee folder to provide accurate and relevant information as needed for each individual Advisee's program;

  • Facilitating meetings with their Advisees each semester (e.g., by posting a meeting sign-up sheet) and encouraging their Advisees to attend these regularly scheduled meetings, and keeping brief but accurate written records of meetings as appropriate;

  • Assisting students in the course selection process by reviewing their choices in light of core and program requirements, and signing the pre-registration form once s/he is satisfied that they have given thoughtful consideration to their course selection;

  • Respecting a students right to make his/her own decisions, but in cases where the Advisor has some reservation about the choice a student is making, s/he should communicate her/his concern and note this in the student Advisee file (hard copy or e-copy);

  • Regularly asking open-ended questions in order to encourage students to clarify their academic goals.

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