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Office of Student Success

Guidelines for KSIS Advising Notes

The Advising Notes tool in KSIS allows faculty and staff with Advisor access to maintain an easy-to-use online record of advising notes for all students. This tool will improve advising across campus by ensuring that advisors have accurate and more complete information on their advisees, even when students move between departments, schools, and/or colleges. 

Please review these important guidelines for using KSIS Advising Notes.  General instructions are also posted at KSIS Help for Advisors

Guidelines for using KSIS Advising Notes

  • Any faculty or staff with advisor access can create general or sensitive notes.
  • General notes can be viewed by other faculty and staff with authorized Advisor access.
  • Sensitive notes can only be viewed by the author or those who have been granted access by the author. How to grant access to sensitive notes
  • Focus on observation and reaction rather than accusation. For example, refer to Examples for General and Sensitive Notes
  • Notes are not private; they become part of a student’s educational record and are protected by FERPA. Although students do not have instant access, they do have the right to inspect, review, and amend their educational records.
  • Once a note has been published, it can no longer be edited. Additional notes must be entered for further comments.
  • Drafts must be edited, saved as a new draft, or published within two business days or the draft will be automatically published.

How to Create Advising Notes for an Individual Advisee

How to Create Advising Notes for Multiple Advisees

Recording a General Note

Keep notes as brief and succinct as possible. Content and information to include in contact notes could include:

  • Information that will aid advisors and colleagues in helping a student on a degree or career path including but not limited to withdrawal, medical leave, or military service. Good notes help support transitions.
  • A focus on facts and events. Use descriptive comments to summarize conversations and interactions.
  • A list of recommended courses, along with alternatives.
  • When and why exceptions have been made, or note if a form documenting/approving such exceptions has been filed.
  • Possible student consequences of not following advice given by advisor.
  • Referrals to campus or community offices or services or names of staff.
  • Action items requested/required of the student and the follow-up timeline.
  • Notes that will facilitate a personal relationship with the student or help with reference letters or scholarship applications. This might include personal interests, hobbies, travel, etc.
  • Notes or emails if they have a bearing on career or degree progress.
  • If a student raises a personal issue relevant to an advising matter, it may be appropriate to refer to such a matter as a private issue rather than providing specific/detailed information. More detailed information could be recorded in the sensitive note section.

Recording a Sensitive Note

  • When noting something of a personal nature, preface the remark with student confidentially reported… or student prefers to explain in-person the nature of this issue.
  • Support subjective judgments with fact-based observations.

Professional & Ethical Responsibility

The professional and ethical responsibilities for viewing, entering, changing, and sharing academic information about a student are described in the National Academic Advising Association's Statement of Core Values of Academic Advising:

  • Advisors respect the rights of students to have information about themselves kept confidential. Advisors share information with others about students and their programs only when both advisor and student believe that information is relevant and will result in increased information or assistance, assessment, and provision of appropriate services to the student.
  • Advisors gain access to and use computerized information about students only when that information is relevant to the advising they are doing with that particular student. Advisors enter or change information on students' records only when legitimately authorized to do so.
  • Advisors need to document advising contacts adequately to aid subsequent advising interactions.

Information adapted from Missouri State University, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.