You are invited to use this handbook for Academic Advising to design, benchmark, and assess the advising processes, policies, and tools in your own area; and to contribute to and improve upon this collaborative work for our collective benefit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join in the content creation and improvement process.
For live (secured) information posted on the University Advising SharePoint web site, please make certain you are in the TTU Advisors mailing group (managed by DaNay Phelps), and visit http://sharepoint.ttu.edu/advising. Thanks for partnering with us and your colleagues across campus to deliberately pursue the mission of this institution and exceed the goals and standards of leaders in our own professional field.
Joshua Ryan Barron
Unit Associate Director
Texas Tech University Advising
Responsibilities in the Student-Advisor Relationship
Texas Tech believes in the potential of each student to succeed and values their pursuit of excellence. Therefore, TTU provides academic advisors and advising programs to inform, guide, empower, and encourage students from Orientation to Graduation. While students are responsible for their academic progress, academic advisors assist with educational planning that leads to timely matriculation and graduation. Students’ success requires their commitment to and investment in an action-oriented decision-making process. This fosters intellectual and personal development which results in informed and invested educational choices.
The advising process is designed to prepare students to be leaders and decision-makers. To that end, students are responsible for being active and invested participants, especially by:
- Investing the time and energy necessary to meet and exceed the highest standards of academic excellence
- Engaging in a mutually respectful working relationship with their academic advisor(s)
- Making and keeping a minimum of one appointment per semester with the appropriate academic advisor(s)
- Creating a class schedule based on deliberate examination of educational, career, and life goals
- Cooperating and communicating with the university by reading and responding to all official communications
- Reading and acting in accordance with official university documents related to institutional procedures, degree program requirements, standards of academic progress, and the code of student conduct
- Completing required paperwork and adhering to university deadlines
- Discussing the Graduate-On-Time (GOT) contract program with an academic advisor to determine its merits to their educational plan; and where deemed appropriate, signing a contract in the academic advisor's office before the university-stipulated deadline
- Keeping advisors informed about circumstances that could influence academic performance, e.g. work schedules, illness, family situations
- Notifying advisors immediately when receiving a course grade of D or F, when dropping a course, or when withdrawing from the university
- Exploring and, as appropriate, utilizing available student resources
- Investigating opportunities to conduct undergraduate research, study abroad, and participate in service learning
- Documenting and maintaining records of all university interactions
Advising is a process through which students examine themselves, explore their opportunities, determine their best-fit educational paths, and develop action plans for achieving their university degrees. Academic advisors facilitate this process. Additionally, advisors advocate for students in the university system, serve as resource brokers for the university community, and help students thrive in a large university setting. Academic Advising Programs identify relevant and desirable student learning and development outcomes and provide programs and services that encourage the achievement of those outcomes. The most important outcome of academic advising is self-discovery: each student’s educational goals are matched with offerings of the university. To that end, advisors are responsible for:
Student Growth and Development
- Reinforcing student self-direction and self-sufficiency
- Assisting students in assessing their interests and abilities, making decisions, and developing short-term and long-term plans to meet their objectives
- Discussing and clarifying educational, career, and life goals to assist in the development of a meaningful educational plan
- Assisting students to understand the educational context within which they are enrolled
- Assisting students to make the best academic decisions possible by encouraging identification and assessment of alternatives and consideration of the consequences of their decisions
- Instructing students in the use of course selection tools and registration systems
Accuracy and Availability
- Interpreting university policies, procedures, and standards, and clarifying requirements for both general education and their chosen academic major
- Providing current, accurate, and timely information, especially for the selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences
- Making advising conferences available to students each academic term in a format that is convenient to the student, i.e., in person, by telephone, or on-line, individually or in groups
- Allowing an appropriate amount of time for students to discuss plans, programs, courses, academic progress, and other subjects related to their educational programs
Assessment, Referral, and Confidentiality
- Directing students with educational, career or personal concerns, or skill/learning deficiencies to resources and programs on the campus when necessary
- Making students aware of and referring to educational, institutional, and community resources and services, e.g., internship, study abroad, honors, service-learning, research opportunities
- Identifying environmental conditions that may positively or negatively influence student academic achievement and proposing interventions that may neutralize negative conditions
- Evaluating and monitoring student academic progress and the impact on achievement of goals
- Collecting and distributing relevant data about student needs, preferences, aspirations, and performance for use in institutional decisions and policy
- Maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Operating Policies of Texas Tech University and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Departments in each academic college provide academic advisors who specialize in specific majors. Texas Tech also values students who have yet to choose an academic major or who are uncertain of their educational direction. The Texas Tech University Advising Center serves these students through retention-based academic advising and conducts university-wide transition programs to facilitate the persistence and success of all students.
When faced with a difficult question or challenging situation, the University Advising Center is always a good place to begin. From here, it’s possible.
Bring your questions to 79 Holden Hall.
Significant portions of this content paraphrased and used with permission:
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (2006). CAS professional standards for higher education (6th ed.).
Washington, DC: Author.