What do academic advisors do?

Help you understand the purpose and goals of higher education and their effects on your life and personal goals. Accurately monitor and document your progress toward achieving your educational goals. Be accessible for meetings during office hours, by appointment, phone or email. Navigating the complexities of life as an online student can be challenging.

That's why online academic advisors at the University of Arizona are a critical resource for students. Academic advisors, or student advisors, help guide you through your educational journey and university systems. They ensure that you're on track to earn your degree and work with you to overcome the challenges you might face as an online student. Academic counseling refers to the creation and execution of academic plans maintained through the counseling relationship.

Counseling has little in common with a “transactional” approach, such as going to the DMV to get your driver's license renewed. A transactional approach to counseling, for example through a “ticket system” that associates a specific problem to be solved with every interaction between student and advisor, is unlikely to help create long-term academic plans and a stable counseling relationship. We firmly believe that the academic counseling relationship must be a true partnership between academic success coaches and the student to achieve comprehensive student success. In the following excerpt, Bob Jacobsen, interim dean of undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Arts %26 of Science, helps define the role of the advisor by examining not only what advisors do but what they don't do.

New, first and second year students receive support through the Academic Success Center, which advises staff and receive mentoring from teachers through their core departments. We spoke with Shery Crater, Senior Academic Advisor II at the College of SBS-Arizona Online and senior advisor to the SBS online counseling team, to help us answer some of the most pressing questions about the role of academic advisors. The right approach is to have counselors and students work together to develop prospective plans that work, to help students understand the possible outcomes and consequences of their decisions, and then to monitor academic work and results to evaluate improvements in the plan. Academic advisors work actively with students to identify goals and together create a plan from the first semester until graduation.

Counseling emphasizes timely academic requirements; helps schedule courses; provides connection to campus resources; and helps students achieve their personal educational goals. Academic advisors must also act quickly to help the student resolve a challenge or answer questions in a timely manner. Academic success coaches act as coaches and mentors by helping students with academic planning, class selection, and college experience. The academic records specialists at the Graduate and Professional Center are available to help you with credit transfer evaluation, grade point average (GPA) information, grade changes, and the granting of degrees and diplomas.

If a student wants to explore and define their academic, professional and life goals, as well as resources, a counseling appointment will help them analyze these types of questions. It is a continuous and coherent process based on frequent and cumulative personal contacts between the advisor and the advisor.

Tabatha Vietor
Tabatha Vietor

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