This handbook is designed to be read or skimmed through for information, so that it can serve as a read-through text as well as a reference. The following sections of the handbook contain information intended to help you in advising all undergraduates at various levels:
Few experiences in students' college careers have as much potential for influencing their development as does academic advising. Students place a great deal of trust in their advisors. That trust warrants quality service and programs. This handbook was developed to help strengthen TTU's academic advising program by providing information and advice to faculty advisors.
TTU is a relatively large institution where students are likely to struggle in connecting personally with the institution. For this reason, we rely more heavily on the role of academic advisors to serve as a personification of the institution. Students who feel that their advisor cares for them as individuals are more likely to value their advisor's advice, and are more likely to return to their advisor when they are experiencing difficulties. From an advisor's standpoint, it is easier to advise a student with whom you are familiar, and it makes writing recommendations simpler, too. An advisor who has good listening and questioning skills is better able to identify academic or personal problems that may affect students' academic performance. For these reasons the Getting to Know the Student section of the handbook discusses techniques that may help you in communicating and building relationships with students.
Advising students in a relatively unstructured educational program such as the TTU Plan increases the challenges of advising. As a TTU academic advisor, you need to be familiar with the TTU curriculum, campus rules, and procedures to form a basis on which advice is given. Most importantly, you need the skills to give good advice. These topics are covered in the Guiding Students Through the Plan section of the handbook.
Academic advisors need to be familiar with the career development model and the different stages students go through as they formulate career plans. The complexities of career development are described in this section, along with referral sources.