University of Vermont

Understanding Advisee/Advisor Roles

How do I find out the name of my academic advisor?

You can find out the name of your academic advisor by going to the Registrar's Web page and logging into your student account.

What is the best way to contact my academic advisor?

Send an e-mail or call your program/department office and ask the best way to schedule an appointment. Academic advisors use a variety of approaches. If you have an advising class with your faculty advisor, s/he may tell you in class or indicate on the syllabus how to get in touch with him/her. Other advisors will post information on their office doors or send a mailing. Keep in mind that many of the faculty in the College of Education and Social Services often spend quite a bit of time in schools and agencies with their classes so you may need to make an appointment to meet with them rather than expect to meet during posted office hours. Sometimes they have a Staff person who schedules their appointments and other times they do it themselves. If you call and get phone-mail or if you send an e-mail be sure to identify yourself, leave a clear message concerning your reason for the call and leave a clear statement about how you can be reached. If you leave a phone number or e-mail address be sure to speak very slowly and clearly.

Many students contact their faculty advisor by e-mail. Be very clear about your questions/issues and if the issue is quite complex, simply use e-mail to schedule an appointment.

How can my advisor help me if I receive an "academic warning letter" from the faculty teaching one of my courses?

UVM faculty have an option of sending "Warning" letters to students enrolled in their classes who are in danger of failing the course. Faculty who choose to send these letters generally do so prior to the end of the withdrawal period and copies are sent to the faculty advisor. You should contact your advisor and discuss your options. For example, it may not be possible for you to significantly improve your grade in the course and your advisor may recommend that you consider withdrawing from the course. Or, it may be clear that if you use the appropriate resources you will improve your grade. Your advisor can discuss this with you within the context of your program requirements.

We are also available in CESS Student Services to assist students who have received these letters, but we do not receive copies of the letters.

Why do I need an advisor when I have friends who can help me select my courses and make decisions?

Your faculty advisor understands the intricacies of your program and likely will be instrumental in recommending you as being qualified for the professional portion of your program. Therefore it is important to develop a positive relationship with him/her. That doesn't mean you shouldn't speak to your friends, but be certain you make informed decisions. For example, one of your friends might recommend a course to you as fulfilling one of your requirements. After enrolling you discover the friend is actually in a different college and the course doesn't meet the requirement in the College of Education and Social Services. Or perhaps a friend tells you not to take a course because s/he didn't do well or didn't get along well with the professor. So you don't take the course, but if you had, you may have discovered that the course fit your learning style and you would have enjoyed the faculty.

What can I expect from my advisor?

Faculty Advisor responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • making academic advising a priority
  • establishing on-going connections with advisees
  • posting their system (e.g. on the door, on the web, etc.) for meeting with students (eg. open office hours, appointments scheduled via e-mail, or via staff etc) and responding to questions (e.g. phone, e-mail, etc.)
  • being well informed about program, college and university requirements
  • providing students with accurate program information
  • guiding and encouraging students to utilize appropriate resources
  • helping students understand academic consequences of their decision-making
  • assisting students in evaluating their academic performance and helping them determine if they are satisfactorily progressing toward degree completion
  • exploring alternative options with students who are unable to meet the established academic standards or whose interests have changed
  • working cooperatively with the CESS Student Services Office to meet the needs of CESS students

What are my responsibilities as an advisee?

Your advisor expects that you will come to meetings with a solid understanding of your program requirements and working knowledge of your CATS report. Be sure you are prepared with your questions before the meeting and do not have the expectation that your advisor will tell you what to do. A wealth of information is available and it is expected that you will make informed decisions.

Student advisee responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • establishing an on-going connection with your faculty advisor
  • knowing and understanding your program requirements
  • preparing for your meetings by reviewing your CATS report online and taking a copy of your transcript with you
  • determining your course schedule cooperatively with your academic advisor
  • implementing strategies for achieving academic success
  • utilizing appropriate CESS and University resources
  • understanding academic consequences of your decision-making
  • discussing your academic performance with your advisor and determining if you are satisfactorily progressing toward degree completion
  • knowing College and University policies and understanding implications for you as a student
  • determining and implementing strategies for success

What should I do to prepare for my meetings with my advisor?

Prepare for your meetings with your faculty advisor by reviewing your CATS report and taking your transcript with you as a reference. Seniors should also take their Graduation Status Notice, and all others should take a copy of your checksheet which you have been using to record your completed coursework and the Typical Four Year Plan. Every student should understand his/her program requirements and be prepared for a discussion about the course requirements and how to meet them.

How do I change to a different advisor?

Contact the program faculty you wish to have as your advisor.

If the faculty is willing to be your new advisor, s/he should contact Gillian Homsted preferably by e-mail and state that s/he will now be your advisor.

Michael Orlandi will then make the change through the university system.

If you want a new advisor, but you aren't certain who to ask, speak with your Program Coordinator for a recommendation.

Also note that some Program Coordinators require their students to tell their current advisor they are requesting someone else!

Last modified December 28 2012 12:06 PM