1B. Mandatory Academic Advising

WHAT is quality academic advising?

Earlier, you watched a video of a quality academic advising interaction within the “Academic Advising at UAF” section. Now, watch the video below. Compare and contrast the two academic advising interactions that take place. Reflect on what was done differently in the second interaction and how the interaction improved.

Quality academic advising, whether done comprehensively or prescriptively, is an important factor that positively impacts student persistence, graduation rates, and degree completion timelines.

Prescriptive advising involves the “nuts and bolts” of academic advising, wherein the academic advisor provides a diagnosis of the student’s educational and career plan and then prescribes ways to fix or enhance the plan.

Comprehensive advising, also called developmental or intrusive advising, looks at the whole student, focusing on the personal, familial, community, financial, workplace, and other supports and barriers impacting the student’s educational and career plan. The academic advisor works in tandem with the student to minimize barriers and maximize supports pertaining to the student’s educational and career plan.

Academic advisors engaged in quality academic advising strive to attain and improve characteristics based on general knowledge and skills, interactive competencies, and self mastery as outlined in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) individual excellence for professional practice in higher education. 

WHY is academic advising mandatory at UAF?

Academic advising takes work and time, whether you do a good job of it or not. However, if you engage in quality academic advising interactions with your students you will save time in the long run by providing the student with accurate, relevant information that will positively impact the student’s educational and career plan.

In the UAF Catalog, students are told, “Academic advising is a vital part of your experience as a student at UAF. In fact, academic advising is so important UAF requires you to meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester before you can schedule your courses…” (UAF. (2013). 2013 – 2014 UAF Catalog, 43, 75).

The UAF Faculty Senate emphasized, “UAF considers advising to be an integral part of the educational process…Effective academic advising is perhaps the highest form of service that the individual faculty members can render to students and to UAF.” (UAF. (1988). UAF Faculty Senate Meeting, 7).

However, almost one-third of UAF students are non-degree seeking. Non-degree students who have not applied to UAF are not required to meet with an academic advisor, but are encouraged to do so if they are enrolled in more that nine credits a semester or have accumulated more than 30 credits as a non-degree student.

WHO are your advisees?

Every department assigns students to their faculty and professional staff advisors differently. Discuss your academic advising roster with your department chair. Once assigned, you will see your academic advising roster on UAOnline.

WHEN should you meet with your advisees?

You should meet with your students at least twice a semester to be sure they have the latest information and to fine-tune their educational plan.

HOW do students know what major they are in?

UAF’s Office of Admissions & the Registrar sends students a letter when they are admitted to UAF that states their major and includes a listing of Academic Advising Resources, as well as follow-up communications which include step-by-step instructions on what they should do once they are admitted to UAF.

WHERE do you go for help with academic advising?

Contact the professional staff or faculty advisor for your unit or the Academic Advising Center for assistance.

Besides these training modules, print and/or web academic advising resources include:

 

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