This is your student’s Academic Journey!

Student role

Think of your student as flying a plane. They are in the Pilot seat ready to take-off on this new adventure! Student responsibility is the key to all development and learning (Davis & Murrell, 2003). We emphasize the student role as the more responsibility the students have for their educational journey, the more meaningful it will be. Your student should practice self-advocating for themselves during their time here. Academic advisors and family members encourage students to grow into this responsibility.

Academic advisor role

Think of their advisor as a Co-pilot. They are there to help your student when there could be possible turbulence along the way! Advisors do more than help students register for class. Advisors foster and encourage personal and intellectual growth in students (Crookston, 1972). They are well-informed about Elon’s student resources, which enables them to assist students in navigating these resources and opportunities. They assist in the student developing a meaningful education plan that is compatible with the student’s personal and/or career goals. The advisor continues to encourage the student to take ownership of their educational journey.

While Academic Advisors can make suggestions and recommendations to the Elon student, it is important to note that ultimately, every decision is made by the student, themselves.

Family or Guardian role

Lastly, you, as the parent or guardian, are the passengers on the plan! trusting that your student will land safely!

Family members are crucial to a student’s success. Today’s college students often look up to their family members as mentors and role models. Positive reinforcement can be extremely helpful. It is important for family members to engage in their student’s academic planning and decision-making. And it is equally important that they help their students become self-advocates. We have academic advisors ready to share their wisdom and experiences with your student. However, we understand that it will be a transition to shift primary responsibility from you, as a family member, to your student. We want to encourage you to turn responsibility over to your student. With your encouragement, we know that your student can grow into an amazing professional and Elon alum!

      Source: Menezes, M. D. (2005). Advisors and parents: Together building stronger advising relationships. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site.


      How do I balance checking in on my student but also giving them space to grow?

      Transition to college is something you will both experience, though in very different ways. We recommend having a conversation with your student before they arrive on-campus. Outline expectations that you both have. Be sure to let them set some expectations as well.

      A great way to start this discussion is by reviewing the Academic Calendar together. This lets you both learn about when classes start each term so you can discuss when to arrive on-campus. You can review semester breaks like fall and spring breaks.

      We also recommend that you visit the Office of Parent Engagement website and possibly join some Elon family social media platforms to learn about how other families manage this balance.

      What happens during the ELN 1010: First-Year Advising Seminar?

      ELN 1010: First-Year Advising Seminar course is taught by your student’s initial academic advisor. The course is also supported by an undergraduate peer educator. The advisor and PE focus on helping students navigate the academic aspect of college life in the first half of the class. Much of the second half of the class focuses on academic interests and how to plan out these potential interests for their time at Elon. By the end of the class, students will have created a graduation plan to help guide them and to help them meet their goals.

      How often should my student be meeting with their advisor?

      Students can request to meet with advisors for different reasons throughout the academic year. There are times that students must meet with their academic advisor. Advisors require that students meet with them during the registration advising prior to registering for courses in the future semester. This advising meeting focuses on course selection and staying on track with theirĀ graduation plan.

      Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor when concerns arise about their academic progress in an individual course or overall.

      How soon can my student switch to an advisor in their major?

      Students must complete ELN 1010 prior to declaring their major. Students are assigned an advisor within their major shortly thereafter their official declaration. If a student would like a specific advisor, that can be requested on the same major declaration form. Once in their major, if a student would like a new advisor, they must contact the Department Chair of that major.

      How hard is it to change/add a major/minor?

      Not hard at all! All a student has to do is complete the online form found on the Office of Academic Advising Major Declaration Process webpage. A student can switch a previously declared major in the same manner.


      Disclaimer: Due to FERPA regulations, academic advising deals with the student and not their family unless they are together and/or FERPA rights of the students have been waived. We do not answer family requests of us that ask how their student is doing, nor are we a reporting service to them when their student makes questionable choices.