Preparing to be a Stellar Academic Advisor

Preparing to be a Stellar Academic Advisor


  • Become familiar with the advisement tools in Lions Den. (pdf of screen shots)
  • Have the Course Catalog available in hard copy, and bookmark pages that will be useful in advising, such as your department requirements, major courses, academic policies (page 46) and general education courses (page 67).  
  • Take the FERPA Tutorial if you have not done so already.
  • Pay attention to the progression and graduation requirements of your program.
  • Know the support services on campus.
  • Know basic Financial Aid guidelines, including TAP.
  • Browse the NACADA resources.
  • Review FERPA regulations and complete tutorial 
  • Contact advisees at least two weeks prior to advisement (email or USPS) to introduce yourself and your location/email, and to provide instructions for making their advising appointment.  Make sure that you remind them to come prepared to discuss academic goals, to bring their status sheet and any unresolved questions they have, and to have reserved their tentative courses in Lions Den for the next semester.  (Sample letter to new advisee; sample letter to continuing advisee)
  • Allow each advisee at least 30 to 45 minutes for each advisement session.
  • Don't speak outside of your scope of knowledge.  Ask questions if you do not fully understand a policy or procedure. Your department chair is an excellent resource.