Academic Advising is a form of teaching. Advisors provide accurate information to students in a mentoring environment, challenging them to reflect on interests, skills and aptitudes; to think critically about goals and objectives; to select courses and majors; to have a graduation plan and to consider career options.

Elon University’s academic advising program is two-pronged. First-year students are advised through the Elon 101 program, where both faculty and professional staff serve as academic advisors. Once a student officially declares a major, a faculty member within that department partners with the student for academic advising. Advising is a shared responsibility between advisors and students. The ultimate responsibility for successful degree completion, however, rests with the student.

The following chart illustrates three facets for effective delivery of academic advising.


(information to inform practice)

Knowing student population characteristics

  • Regular admits vs. transfers
  • Characteristics of regular admits
  • Traditional vs. non-traditional

Knowing student development theory

Knowing university expectations for advising

  • Faculty handbook
  • Departmental goals
  • Value for P&T
  • Value for Unit 1
  • “Advising is teaching”

Knowing university advising structure

  • First-year advising in Elon 101
  • Departmental advising
  • Departmental handbooks for the major


(information to share with students)

Knowing curriculum

  • General studies
  • Major requirements
  • ELR
  • Foreign language competency

Knowing technology

  • OnTrack
  • Degree audits

Knowing resources

  • Advising Center
  • Tutoring and Writing centers
  • Career Services
  • Financial Planning
  • Bursar’s Office
  • Registrar’s Office

Knowing extra-curricular/co-curricular options

  • Student organizations
  • Internships
  • Research
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Study abroad


(interactions with students, parents, colleagues)

Developing skill sets for student interaction

  • Listening
  • Problem solving
  • Advising vs. counseling
  • Interview skills

Managing parent queries

  • Website information

Soliciting and using student feedback

  • What do students say about advising and mentoring in your department?
  • What do they want or need?
  • What can/should the department do?

Learning from colleagues

  • Seek support from seasoned advisors within the department
  • Utilize registrar’s office and advising center personnel