Academic Advisor and Student Responsibilities

Academic advising is an educational process that facilitates students’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education. It fosters intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning (NACADA, 2006).

At the University of La Verne, academic advising provides students with the opportunity to build interpersonal relationships with their advisors for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning their educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success, and in learning how to access the resources and services that are available to them on campus.

Academic advising is a collaborative educational process whereby students and their faculty advisors are partners in meeting and ensuring academic, personal, and career goals. This partnership requires proactive participation and involvement by both parties. This partnership is a process that is built over the student’s entire educational career at University La Verne. Both parties have clear responsibilities for ensuring that this partnership is successful. However, please understand that I, your advisor, will not make decisions for you. I will help you to develop realistic educational and career goals based on the most accurate information that is available to me. However, the educational choices you make are yours alone, thus the responsibility for knowing and fulfilling your degree requirements rest on you (Appleby, 2008).

Advisor Responsibilities: What You Can Expect

You can expect me as your advisor to:

  • Protect and secure the integrity of the La Verne degree by enforcing all university and departmental policies and requirements.
  • Treat you with respect and as an adult. Although we might occasionally speak with a parent or a guardian (assuming there is a FERPA release on file), the ultimate educational responsibility, accountability for good academic behaviors, and success are yours alone.
  • According to FERPA, legal jurisdiction to access academic information transfers to the college student when you turn 18-years of age or you matriculate in college, whichever comes first.
  • If we have cause to reach out, we will. We expect a timely response.
    • If we don’t reach out out of the blue, it doesn’t mean we don’t care. Rather, it’s incumbent on YOU to proactively reach out to us when you need help.
    • You should reach out before issues become problems.
  • Be accessible for meetings during office hours, by appointment, telephone, or email.
  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, requirements, and academic policies and procedures. If I do not know the answer to a question, that I will find the answer or the resource that will answer your question and reply in a timely manner.
  • Encourage and guide you to define and develop clear and realistic educational plans.
  • Provide you with information about campus resources and services.
  • Encourage and guide you in gaining the skills to access the resources and services that are available to you online or with university offices.
  • Assist you in understanding the purpose and goals of higher education and its effects on your life and personal goals.
  • Monitor and accurately document your progress toward meeting your educational goals.
  • Assist you in gaining decision-making skills and in assuming responsibility for your educational plans and decisions
  • Maintain confidentiality (will not discuss issues with parents or non-university persons without your written permission; will respond to academic questions only via email accounts)
  • Assist you in working with, and developing relationships with faculty and instructors

As an advisee, you have clear responsibilities in this partnership in order to be successful:

  • Schedule regular appointments or make regular contacts with your advisor during each semester
  • Come prepared to each appointment or walk-in with questions or materials for discussion
  • Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience
  • Ask questions if you do not understand an issue or have a specific concern
  • Refrain from asking for academic advise from friends, classmates, or parents
  • Keep a personal record of your progress toward YOUR academic goals
  • Organize documents in a way that enables you to access them when needed
  • Be proactive in checking often the electronic resources via MyLaVerne to keep track of your academic progress
  • Become knowledgeable about degree programs and requirements, policies, and procedures
  • Complete all assignments or recommendations from your faculty advisor
  • Gather all relevant information before making decisions that affect your educational goals
  • Clarify personal values and goals and provide your faculty advisor with accurate and truthful information regarding your interests and abilities
  • ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISIONS AND YOUR ACTIONS (or INACTIONS) that affect your educational progress and goals


  • Appleby, D. (2008). In Gordon, V.N., Habley, W.R., Grites, T.J. (Eds). Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook, 2nd ed.. Advising as Teaching and Learning, pp. 85-102. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • National Academic Advising Association. (2006). NACADA concept of academic advising. Retrieved September 21, 2007) from

Adapted & used with permission from “Sample Academic Advising Syllabus,” by Charlie Nutt, Kansas State University, NACADA 2005 Conference, Sarasota, FL.