The mission of academic advising at Rhodes is to promote student learning. Each entering student is assigned an academic adviser, who will function in that capacity until the student formally declares a major. This must be done prior to the registration period of the spring semester of the sophomore year. At that point, a faculty adviser from the major department is assigned to or selected by the student.
Assisted by the academic adviser, the student learns:
- To understand the nature of a liberal arts education
- To assess his or her strengths and weaknesses
- To formulate educational and career goals
- To plan a course of action to achieve those goals
I. Guidelines for the Student Advisee
- Realize that final responsibility for meeting Degree or Foundation Requirements rests with the student.
- Prepare adequately for each advising session.
- Make preliminary course selections prior to registration advising appointments.
- With the assistance of the adviser and Career Services, clarify personal values, abilities, interests, and goals.
- Become knowledgeable about and observe institutional policies, procedures, and requirements. This requires a careful reading of the College Catalogue.
- Contact and make an appointment with the adviser when in need of assistance or when required. If the student finds it impossible to keep the appointment, notify the adviser before the scheduled appointment.
- Maintain a personal advising folder and take it to every advising appointment. Documents placed in this folder might include grade reports, declaration of major forms, course plan, and other documents related to the student’s academic record.
- Follow through on actions identified during each advising session.
- Keep the adviser informed about academic achievements, difficulties, and other factors that could influence the student’s academic career.
- Declare a major no later than the spring semester of the sophomore year and choose a new adviser if necessary.
- Evaluate the advising system, when requested, in order to strengthen the advising process.
- Accept final responsibility for all decisions.
II. Guidelines for the Academic Adviser
- Provide a professional, confidential, and caring atmosphere that encourages and respects interaction with students.
- Keep informed of information and resources that can be used to address questions on academic matters. Participate in educational advising programs offered throughout the year.
- Be knowledgeable of institutional policies, procedures, and academic requirements. Provide accurate information to assist students in selecting, scheduling, and registering for courses.
- Stay informed about non-academic resources (e.g., Counseling Center, Career Services, Student Development and Academic Services, etc.).
- Maintain a confidential file on each advisee showing the student's academic progress. Forward this file to a new adviser if one is chosen.
- Post and keep office hours. Be available beyond those times for special appointments.
- Assist advisees in selecting courses that will satisfy requirements, fit their strengths, and contribute to their career and life goals.
- Assist advisees in an honest self-assessment of academic strengths, skills, and interests as they make academic decisions.
- Work with Student Development and Academic Services to monitor advisees' academic progress and give appropriate advice, encouragement, or assistance if any student is experiencing academic difficulty.
- Initiate contact with advisees on a regular basis, especially in their first year.
- Contact and advise students whose academic success is at risk, especially those who have received notifications of deficient work, low mid-term grades, academic probation, and the like.
- Do not criticize other faculty, staff, or students in the presence of students.
- Keep a sense of humor.
III. Guidelines for the College
- Value academic advising as a necessary extension of the teaching/learning process.
- Provide ongoing training opportunities for new and continuing advisers.
- Ensure that academic advising is fully integrated into other programs of the institution (e.g., admissions, orientation, registration, counseling and career planning, etc.).
- Collect data on the impact of effective advising both on recruitment/retention and as an effective intervention for students in academic difficulty.
- Develop and implement strategies to evaluate academic advising as part of the faculty's annual assessment of performance.
- Communicate academic policies to students and provide supporting rationale for such policies.