National Advising GuidelinesOn the national level, increasing interest in improving the quality of academic advising at America's educational institutions has motivated extensive research. The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has published the following standards and guidelines for academic advising that represents over six years of effort by several hundred professionals in higher education:
The primary purpose of an academic advising program is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. Academic advising should be viewed as a continuous process of clarification and evaluation.
The ultimate responsibility for making informed decisions about life goals and educational plans rests with the individual student. The academic advisor assists by helping to identify and assess alternatives and consequences of decisions.
Institutional goals for academic advising should include:
- Clarification of life and career goals
- Development of suitable educational plans
- Selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences
- Interpretation of institutional requirements
- Increasing student awareness of educational resources available
- Evaluation of student progress toward established goals
- Development of decision-making skills
- Reinforcement of student direction
- Collecting and distributing student data regarding student needs, preferences, and performance for use in institutional policy-making
The National Academic Advising Association's "Statement of Core Values of Academic Advising" is included in this Handbook's appendix.
At Texas Tech, the Plan results in educational experiences that are usually different for each student, so advising needs to be specifically tailored for the individual. This adds a new level of complexity and responsibility for the advisor.