- 32-00 Advising Policy
- 32-10 The University’s Advising Program
- 32-20 The Nature of the University’s Advising Program
- 32-30 Responsibilities of Advisers and Advisees
- 32-40 Assignment of Adviser
32-00 Advising Policy
The policies of Section 32-00 define the goals and purposes of the University’s academic advising program.
Academic advising plays a central role in enhancing student success at Penn State and is integral to the teaching and learning mission of the University. Through active engagement with academic advising, students can identify and challenge their assumptions while developing thoughtful academic plans to meet their educational and career goals. Advising programs across the University promote intellectual discovery, help advisees articulate the value of higher education, and encourage students to take advantage of both curricular and co-curricular learning. Advisers also advocate for students, as needed, but empower them to be self-directed learners. Academic advising at Penn State is accomplished as a partnership between faculty and staff who serve as primary-role advisers. Therefore, the careful documentation of advising interactions is an important responsibility of academic advisers and should be completed in the University’s formal online advising note system to ensure support of students’ successful navigation of the University’s academic opportunities, policies, systems and procedures. Overall, academic advising is a collaborative relationship among academic advisers, students, faculty, and the many other units that support student success at Penn State.
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
32-10 The University’s Advising Program
Oversight of the University’s academic advising program rests with the University Advising Council (UAC). This Council will be appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education and will consist of the directors of academic advising from all Colleges and enrollment units at Penn State, including regional representatives from the University College, along with two faculty who are members of the Senate Committee on Education, and two students representing UPUA and CCSG. Additionally, one member of UAC will be appointed as an ex-officio member from the Office of the Registrar as well as from the Office of Student Aid. The Council will have sufficient authority to aid all academic units in improving the delivery of their advising programs in accordance with the criteria for effective advising listed below. The Council will provide input and guidance on the implementation of advising-related policies and assess the quality of the University’s advising program.
Academic advising programs at Penn State will create opportunities for students to actively engage with academic advisers so that they are able to: (based on CAS Standards, 2015)
- Articulate their educational decisions and plans in the context of their interests, abilities, and values;
- Synthesize information from various sources to set goals and make decisions;
- Assume responsibility for meeting academic program requirements;
- Articulate the meaning of higher education and the purpose of the curriculum;
- Cultivate the intellectual habits that encourage life-long learning;
- Function as global citizens who engage in the world around them;
- Demonstrate integrative learning by making connections across all parts of their educational experience;
- Identify and participate in engaged scholarship opportunities.
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
Revised Editorially: 9/22/08
32-20 The Nature of the University Advising Program
Each academic unit will establish an academic advising program designed to meet the broad goals set forth in 32-00. An effective academic advising program possesses the following elements:
- A mission statement that aligns with 32-00 and 32-10 as well as additional student learning outcomes as determined by the unit.
- Assessment plan to measure program effectiveness at helping students reach stated learning outcomes.
- A clear advising structure communicated to faculty, staff, and students.
- Access to academic advising.
- Should be student-focused to promote an environment that allows students to make informed choices relating to their goals.
- Should promote engagement with University advising tools to reach advising objectives, including the documentation of advising interactions to permit communication across the University.
- Should establish ratios of adviser to students at a level appropriate for additional responsibilities of the adviser and should recognize that advisers assigned to advise students within particular subgroups may need lower ratios of students.
- Should encourage advisers to engage in proactive advising practices to help meet University commitment to academic success, student learning, and degree completion. This includes regular review of all student academic records and adherence to appropriate University policy; referral of individual students to appropriate offices; follow-up with alerts or other issues that may interfere with student success; and incorporation of a variety of advising strategies.
- Should ensure that units maintain accurate web information on academic information as well as unit level policies and procedures.
- Should ensure that units devise visible assessment plans that connect of the mission and objective of academic advising to student outcomes with the intent of allowing students and others to see and understand the value of academic advising.
- Should have access to professional development opportunities.
- Should receive recognition and rewards such as university and college-level advising awards.
- Should participate in ongoing assessment by supervisor or peer review. This assessment and feedback can serve as evidence of advising effectiveness for evaluation.
- Should articulate clear expectations regarding their advising responsibilities to departments and academic units.
The academic advising delivery and assessment employed by each advising unit should address its own standards and practices that includes input from students.
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
32-30 Responsibilities of Advisers and Advisees
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources aimed at supporting student success at Penn State.
A. Responsibilities of Advisers
The Adviser Will:
- Engage students in active discussion of their educational and career objectives with the intent of helping students to understand the range of educational opportunities available at Penn State.
- Help students to better understand the logic of the curriculum and the relationships among educational opportunities such as General Education courses, University requirements, programs, undergraduate research opportunities, internships, study abroad programs, and other academic experiences.
- Help students to understand the nature of the University’s academic programs and to understand the expected standards of achievement and likelihood of success in certain areas of study.
- Assist students in addressing concerns affecting their academic progress and make referrals to appropriate support services.
- Ensure that students are aware of appropriate University procedures and policies, and help students understand their purpose and rationale.
- Help students to plan a course of study and give advice about courses and the adjustment of course loads.
- Complete consistent electronic documentation of advising interactions in the “student advising system” as Penn State is based on mobility within the institution. A cohesive record of students’ movement through the institution is necessary to provide a consistent and strong advising experience.
- Actively reach out to students as interventions are needed, and provide timely responses to concerns raised by the student or others in a student’s support network.
- Create an inclusive environment that welcomes and supports all students.
- Participate in ongoing professional development to keep informed of and current with advising practice and University policies.
- Where appropriate, contribute to and engage in the scholarship of teaching, learning, and advising.
B. Responsibilities of Advisees
The Student Will:
- Acquire the information needed to assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of all graduation requirements.
- Explore educational opportunities at Penn State by learning more about their [intended] major and evaluating the fit of their interests and abilities with their [intended] program.
- Engage in planning prior to meetings with academic advisers using relevant tools and resources, such as the University Bulletin, Suggested Academic Plans, and degree audits.
- Meet regularly with assigned academic adviser to discuss goals, plans, suitability of other educational opportunities provided by the University, academic progress, challenges, and concerns.
- Seek a variety of opportunities and information needed to set and achieve educational goals.
- Become knowledgeable about the relevant policies, procedures, and rules of the University, college, and academic program.
- Use the logic of the curriculum to integrate learning across all educational experiences.
The student’s assigned academic advising unit also will monitor the progress of its advisees towards satisfactory completion of all graduation requirements. It will ensure appropriate communication and relevant interventions in accordance with other University policies designed to promote student success. Advisees in turn will routinely contact their advisers each semester and will assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of graduation requirements.
Revised: 5/5/81 (as 32-90)
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
Revised Editorially: 10/7/15
32-40 Assignment of Adviser
Degree Candidates and Non-degree Regular Students
University Park – Responsibility for assignment of adviser for every student with degree status rests with the college in which the student is enrolled (or seeking admission) or the Division of Undergraduate Studies if enrolled in DUS.
Commonwealth and World Campuses – Responsibility for assignment of adviser rests with the campus where the student is enrolled.
DUS Conditional Students (previous PROV status)
University Park – Responsibility for assignment of adviser rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies.
Commonwealth and World Campuses – Responsibility for assignment of adviser rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies designee at the campus where the student is enrolled.
Non-degree High School students
University Park- Responsibility for assignment of adviser rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Advisers must meet all clearance requirements, as determined by the University and/or state and federal legislation.
Commonwealth Campuses – Responsibility for assignment of adviser rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies designee at the campus where the student is enrolled. Advisers must meet all clearance requirements, as determined by the University and/or state and federal legislation.