About Us

Advising is a developmental process that assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process that assists students in realizing their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is an ongoing, multi-faceted process and is the responsibility of both student and advisor. The advisor serves as a case manager, facilitating communication; coordinating learning experiences through course and career planning and program progress review; and connecting and referring students to other campus services as necessary.

The primary purpose of academic advising is to assist students in their growth and development by constructing meaningful educational plans that are compatible with their life goals. It is a continuous and consistent process that is built upon the basis of frequent, accumulated personal contacts between the advisor and student. Effective academic advising is considered a cornerstone of the student’s experience at Radford University.

Goals of Academic Advising

  • Assisting students in their development of an educational plan consistent with their life goals and objectives.
  • Supporting students in their development of decision-making skills.
  • Providing accurate information about institutional policies, procedures, resources, requirements, and programs.
  • Making referrals and connecting students to other campus and/or community support services.
  • Guiding students in their evaluation or re-evaluation of progress toward established goals and educational plans through monitoring processes.

Roles and Responsibilities of Advisors

The academic advisor’s role is an active rather than passive one! The process of effective advising requires the following objectives to be met for and with each student:

  • Help students define and develop realistic educational career plans through schedule planning for each academic semester. Each student will have an up-to-date academic plan through to graduation.
  • Meet with students during incoming student orientation to assist with their initial adjustment to university academic life.  Schedule at least two face-to-face or virtual meetings with students each semester throughout the academic year.
  • Meet at least once each semester with continuing students to plan for the subsequent semester and to review/revise long range academic program schedules.
  • Assist students in planning a program consistent with their abilities, interests, and career objectives.
  • Monitor progress toward educational and career goals and work together to review their progress toward completion of their proposed academic program and to discuss grades and other performance indicators.
  • Discuss and reinforce connections and relationships between academic program(s) and occupation/career pathways and goals.
  • Interpret and provide rationale for institutional policies, procedures, and requirements.
  • Follow-up with the student on any report of unsatisfactory work (notice of class probation for poor attendance, notice of withdrawal from courses and/or failing grades, incomplete grades from past semester(s), etc).  Special attention is paid to students who are admitted provisionally or have been placed on academic probation.
  • Approve all designated educational transactions (e.g., pre-registration/registration schedule, drops/adds, withdrawals, change of major and advisor, waivers, graduation requirements, etc).
  • Work with the student to determine areas of personal interest, strengths, needs, and challenges. Connect the student with campus-wide and community-based resources and opportunities.
  • Maintain up-to-date advising notes, including a summary record of performance to date and any referrals made (grade reports, transcript, requirements completed, etc.), dates of advising sessions, notation of special circumstances, up-to-date information and details, etc).
  • Inform and, if necessary, refer students to other institutional resources when academic, attendance, or other personal challenges require intervention by other professionals.
  • Proactively contact and be available and accessible to the student as needed. Office hours are posted in Starfish and available to students early in the semester.
  • Consult regularly with faculty colleagues in order to have current and accurate academic program information. For career and graduate school options, students are referred to the Center for Career and Talent Development or the College of Graduate Studies and Research when more information is needed.

Characteristics of Effective Advisors

Academic advisors who possess the following characteristics are most successful with students:

  • believe in the opportunities provided to students through proactive and case management-based advising
  • demonstrate a concerned and caring attitude toward advisees
  • exhibit effective interpersonal and communication skills
  • are available to students as needed
  • engage in frequent contact with advisees
  • demonstrate knowledge of institutional regulations, policies, offerings, and procedures
  • monitor student progress
  • use appropriate information sources and refer students when necessary
  • engage in a developmental, appreciative approach to advising

Advisee (Student) Responsibilities

The advisee is an equal partner in the advising process. As an advisee, the student is ultimately responsible for their educational choices and decisions. Students are, therefore, expected to:

  • Clarify personal values, abilities, interests, and goals in regard to academic outcomes and life.
  • Contact and schedule regular appointments with their advisor each semester as required or when in need of assistance.
  • Prepare for advising sessions and bring appropriate resources or materials. Students should maintain their own advising portfolio, including educational plan and other details.
  • Come prepared to their registration advising session with a planned schedule for the forthcoming semester.
  • Become knowledgeable and adhere to institutional policies, procedures, and requirements.
  • Access and use Starfish for academic updates, notes from faculty and academic advisors, registration updates, and other purposes.
  • Read their Radford University email and other important communications from the University and academic advisor.
  • Accept final responsibility for all decisions made and acquiring graduation requirements.