"Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience." – R.J.Light

30 Reminders for Effective Advising

  1. Care about the students you advise as people by showing empathy, understanding and respect.
  2. Establish a warm, genuine, and open relationship.
  3. Evidence interest, helpful intent, and involvement.
  4. Be a good listener.
  5. Establish rapport by remembering personal information about students you advise.
  6. Be available; keep office hours and appointments.
  7. Provide accurate information.
  8. When in doubt, refer to the catalog.
  9. Know how and when to make referrals, and be familiar with referral sources.
  10. Don't refer too hastily; on the other hand, don't attempt to handle situations for which you are not qualified.
  11. Have students contact referral sources in your presence.
  12. Keep in frequent touch with students you advise; take the initiative; don't always wait for students to come to you.
  13. Don't make decisions for students; help them make their own decisions.
  14. Focus on students' strengths and potentials rather than limitations.
  15. Seek out students you advise in informal settings.
  16. Monitor students' progress toward educational goals.
  17. Determine reasons for poor academic performance and direct students to appropriate support services.
  18. Be realistic with the students you advise.
  19. Use all available information sources.
  20. Clearly outline students' responsibilities.
  21. Follow up on commitments made to the students you advise.
  22. Encourage students to consider and develop career alternatives when appropriate.
  23. Keep an anecdotal record of significant conversations for future reference.
  24. Evaluate the effectiveness of your advising.
  25. Don't be critical of other faculty or staff.
  26. Be knowledgeable about career opportunities and job outlook for various majors.
  27. Encourage students to talk by asking open-ended questions.
  28. Don't betray confidential information.
  29. Categorize students' questions; are they seeking action, information, or involvement and understanding.
  30. Be yourself and allow students to be themselves.
Used with the permission of ACT
(American College Testing Association)