Advisers have the following responsibilities:

  • to assist students in designing their educational trajectory;
  • to help students reflect upon, develop, and implement a strategy for achieving their academic, career, and personal goals;
  • to connect students with other resources on campus that can help them to address specific academic, career, and personal concerns;
  • to make all reasonable efforts to be able to meet with students when they request an appointment;
  • to support and stimulate students’ capacity to make informed decisions, to negotiate difficulties, and to take responsibility for and learn from the consequences of their actions and choices.

Advising Guidelines

  1. A student’s file is confidential, open only to the student and you. It is illegal to discuss a student’s record with other students.
  2. Provide adequate meeting times with students. Each term, during advising days, you may want to provide 50% more time slots than advisees to accommodate schedule conflicts. For the first meeting of the year, or anytime that you are meeting an advisee for the first time, it is recommended that you set aside between 20 and 30 minutes to ensure that you have the time to establish a solid relationship with the student.  Subsequent meetings are typically about 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Familiarize yourself with Academic Regulations and Graduation Requirements: distribution, writing, graduation requirements, and Scrunch” policy. 
  4. Make sure your advisee knows about the school’s policy regarding academic integrity.  Review with them the “Understanding Plagiarism” website.
  5. Encourage students to devise a balanced course of study, which will help them to make a more informed choice of major.
  6. Encourage students to start thinking about Off Campus Studies programs. 
  7. If you receive notification that an advisee has received a “warning” notice from the Dean of Students Office, expect the student to contact you to discuss the matter. Many advisers will drop an advisee a note to come see them. You may want to remind students of the College’s Academic Support Services: tutoring, Math Skills Center, The Writing Center, English as a Second Language (ESL), and the Language Center.
  8. Let students know that advice is available outside the context of Advising Days, and encourage them to take the initiative.
  9. Ask periodically about future (post-Carleton) plans, encouraging career exploration and flexibility.
    • Alert students to the Career Center and its functions. Make sure that your students are aware of the Student Profiles (where they can provide information about their interests, extra-curricular activities, internships and employment experience, etc.) as well as the Career Pathways (where they can find a wealth of resources about a wide range of potential careers and opportunities for exploring their interests).
  10. Advisers should make it clear to students that they are welcome to talk about non-academic aspects of their lives, especially insofar as they may be affecting their academic work. 
    • Refer to the section of this handbook devoted to First- and Second-Year advisees for ideas about how to communicate to your advisees that you care about them personally, as well as academically. You should also be on the lookout for any signs of a student who might be in distress and in need of further help from the professional staff, either in the Dean of Students office or in the Student Health and Counseling center.
  11. Let students know of opportunities (internships, new courses they might be interested in, off-campus study, fellowships, etc.) as notices of these opportunities circulate.
  12. Your signature on forms, petitions, etc. acknowledges that you have had a chance to discuss the issues with your advisee, but not necessarily that you approve. Where the form gives you an opportunity to provide comments on the student’s petition, you are encouraged to be candid if you have any reservations or concerns, as well as to offer comments of support, as appropriate.
  13. One of your main responsibilities as an adviser is to help your advisees chart their academic course through Carleton and beyond. You should encourage your advisees to make the most of the educational opportunities, both curricular and extra-curricular, that are available to them, and also to think about the ways in which they are integrating what they have learned. Think of yourself as a resource, a coach, a liberal arts guide, a listener, and a member of a large team of other advisers and staff members who collectively want to insure that each student receives all the benefits of a “Carleton experience.”