|Best Practices for Academic Advisors at the University of the Fraser Valley
Consistent with the mission of the University, academic advisors who use best practices help develop students who are academically prepared and able to take their positions as citizens contributing to the common good. Moreover, excellent academic advising helps provide a positive student experience and enhances the University’s retention efforts.
The bullet points below each of the numbered “best practices” are examples of how advisors might carry out that practice.
1. Maintain regular contact with all advisees including:
- Email advisees or selected groups
- Post advising information on a web site
- Encourage regular meetings with all advisees
- Encourage frequent meetings with advisees who are having academic difficulties
2. Establish positive relationships with all advisees to include:
- Educate students about advisor and student roles and responsibilities
- Maintain up-to-date advising records
- Address the needs of diverse students (e.g., nontraditional, international)
3. Provide accurate and timely information about the University and its programs.
- Know program and University requirements and deadlines
- Communicate pertinent information to students
- Know and be able to refer students to appropriate University resources as appropriate to students’ needs
- Know about and be able to refer students to appropriate web sites for specialized information
- Know about and be able to recommend to students appropriate organizations for their professional development (e.g., departmental student professional organizations, etc.)
4. Assist all prospective or transfer students
- Know how to use the BC transfer guide
- Develop and maintain relationships with appropriate individuals both internally and externally
- Be willing to work with prospective high school and transfer students prior to UFV enrollment
5. Adopt a developmental approach to help advisees become independent learners and self-reliant problem solvers.
- Foster development of advisees’ decision making skills
- Coach students on appropriate ways to advocate for themselves
6. Enhance advisees’ understanding of and support for the University’s mission/learning outcomes
- Encourage appreciation for diversity within the University environment
- Promote study abroad opportunities
- Promote civic engagement through involvement in internships and cooperative learning
- Email advisees regularly about relevant events, guest speakers, and activities that promote the mission
7. Maintain a high degree of professionalism.
- Maintain posted office hours
- Keep advising appointments
- Prepare for advising appointments and document advising sessions
- Support University requirements and programs
- Maintain confidentiality as possible
- Take advantage of opportunities for professional growth through the Global Community For Academic Advising (NACADA) and the British Columbia Academic Advising Council (BCADA)
- Keep up-to-date on current advising techniques and strategies
- Attend appropriate discipline-specific professional development opportunities related to student advising, retention, and success