Academic Advising

Undergraduate academic advisors hold an important role in helping students understand the options, obligations and opportunities related to their academic interests. Advisors work to interpret the environment of the academic institution while facilitating learning across curricular and co-curricular opportunities.

The First-Year Advising Council was established and first convened in summer 2013 to align the efforts of first-year advisors to better meet the needs of first-year students. The council’s work led to a series of recommendations that were approved by the Faculty Senate Academic Advising Council in November 2013:

  • Advisors will utilize the first-year advising syllabus to guide and structure advising meetings with students.
  • As part of a suite of structural recommendations, colleges will utilize unique registration PINs that change each term to force a scheduled advising meeting at least once per term during a student’s first three quarters at the university.
  • The university will implement an online change of major process that requires a meeting with an advisor from the new college or major and immediately updates a student’s degree checklist in MyDegrees.
  • The notes function in MyDegrees must be utilized to track students’ contact with advisors.
  • Advisors will have will have dedicated first-year advising FTE noted in their position descriptions.

These enhancements, in addition to a checkpoint system currently in development, will aid in the success of first-year students by improving pathways for major exploration and transition, supporting at-risk students through data-driven interventions, and by increasing retention and academic success across student populations.


Susie Brubaker-Cole
Associate Provost for Academic Success and Engagement
Co-chair, First-Year Advising Council