Universities and colleges employ academic advisors to help current and incoming students make appropriate decisions regarding their education. The advisor is typically assigned to a specific university department and has a strong knowledge of all requirements for degrees offered in that department. The advisor serves as an information provider, counselor, and facilitator for students.
The advisor helps students design their course schedules, keeps abreast of degree requirement changes or potential changes, and passes any new information on to students. For students seeking post-baccalaureate education, the advisor details academic requirements for graduate school admissions and required aptitude and knowledge testing.
Advisors also serve a crucial role with new enrollees and transfer students. They provide these future students with information on whether transfer or AP credits will be accepted by the university, as well as help these new students design an academic plan.
The educational requirements for an academic advisor usually include at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably one within a field in their assigned department. A university may look to hire an advisor from its teaching ranks or look to qualified recent graduates.
The academic advisor typically works in an educational office environment. He or she must be comfortable with computers, possess strong organizational skills, and be willing to continually update his or her knowledge of degree programs and requirements.
Academic Advisor Tasks
- Assist students in understanding and reaching degree requirements.
- Assess method of payment for services, initiate processing, may refer to specialist for financial options.
- Provide outreach to students in danger of not completing degree requirements and identify at-risk scenarios.
- Greet visitors, ascertain purpose of visit, and direct them to appropriate staff or department.
- Assist in course registration and planning.