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Office of Student Success

Academic Advising Handbook: Advisor Responsibilities

"Set high standards for students inside and outside the classroom and balance challenge with support." (Kuh, et al. 2005)

"Academic advising is the only structured activity on campus in which all students have the opportunity for an on-going, one-to-one interaction with a concerned representative of the institution." (Habley, 1981)

"Frequent faculty-student (advisor-student) contact in and out of the classroom is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement." (Chickering, et al. 1995)

Advisor Responsibilities

Kansas State University is committed to providing effective advising services to students as an essential component of their educational experience. Semester advising generally is required as a condition for enrollment. Electronic permission for reentered enrollment must be received from the advisor. Students are encouraged to seek academic advising regularly throughout their academic careers. Students are responsible for initiating advising contact and preparing for advising sessions. The advising relationship between the academic advisor and the student is protected by confidentiality.

In accordance with the Kansas Board of Regents academic advising policy, department and college-based advising systems are available to all students to assist in and provide the following:

Goal setting: Help students set both short-term and long-term educational goals.

Information: Inform students of the graduation requirements of their department, help with strategic course selections so as to minimize the number of semesters required for graduation, and inform students of career opportunities in their field of study.

Transitions: Inform students how to change colleges and/or departments and provide information to explain the process students follow to enroll in their curriculum and to drop or add courses during the semester.

Accessibility: Have reasonable hours and methods of availability for students. Students should be able to set up appointments for an adequate amount of time to make curricular selections and career choices.

Referral to campus resources: Be able to refer students to various campus resources, such as the ones listed below:

  • Academic Achievement Center
  • Counseling Services
  • Career Center
  • Degree Audit System (DARS)

In an advising relationship, it is important to know who has the responsibility for certain issues and decisions. At K-State, the ultimate responsibility for advising rests with the student; however, not all students will take the initiative nor do they realize what their responsibilities are (see Student Responsibilities).

Though not official K-State policy, the following guidelines may help new advisors better understand their responsibilities.

  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours for academic advising as needed throughout the semester.
  • Maintain academic advising skills through the use of informational courses, seminars, SWAP sessions, or advising manuals that are available in the library or over the Internet. NACADA offers great opportunities for professional development!
  • Use assessment information, course projections, high school course records, academic transcripts and other student data as a means of identifying students' strengths, skills, and potential problem areas.
  • Provide assistance to all advisees in setting both short-term and long-term educational and career objectives.
  • Assist advisees with schedule planning and course selection on both a long-term and short-term basis. It is important to map out an academic plan in an early meeting to determine which courses need to be taken in sequence, as well as which courses are only offered once every year or every other year, so the student does not miss the opportunity to take a needed or desired course.
  • Monitor advisees' academic progress and initiate contact with those who are failing to progress satisfactorily.
  • Remain informed about academic policies, procedure, changes in departmental or university curriculum requirements, etc. This includes drop/add, retakes, academic probation/dismissal, academic fresh start, financial aid, etc.
  • Remain knowledgeable about career opportunities and prospects in advisees' field of study.
  • Be knowledgeable about campus academic support services and refer advisees to these services as needed.


Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson, Eds, (1995)The Seven Principles in Action: Improving Undergraduate Education. Anker Publishing Co.

Habley, W.R.. (1981). Academic Advisement: The critical link in student retention. NASPA Journal, 18.

Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J.H., White, E.J. and Assoc. (2005). Student Success in College.

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) http://www.nacada.ksu.edu