Isothermal Community College

Learning Support and Retention

Advising Center

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What is Academic Advising?

"We can give advice but we can’t give the wisdom to profit by it"

Isothermal expects each employee in his/her commitment to the achievement of a true learning-centered college to:

  • Meet student needs by demonstrating professional, friendly, and courteous service in all aspects of student life
  • Maintain high professional and academic standards
  • Serve as role models in the development of leadership skills
  • Respect diversity and treat all students fairly
  • Be available to students and helpful with student problems
  • Communicate clear learning objectives and expected outcomes
  • Provide timely feedback in the assessment of learning outcomes
  • Stay current in subject matter
  • Practice effective teaching/learning strategies that promote critical thinking.

These expectations are realized in part through the academic advising process.

Academic Advising Responsibility: What It Is

Advising is a responsibility shared by faculty and students. To be effective this process requires a collaborative relationship between the advisor and the student advisee based on a sharing of responsibilities for making the relationship a productive one. It is not, however, the advisor's responsibility to set goals, choose courses, or make decisions for students. Neither is it solely the advisor's responsibility to see that students fulfill all requirements and completes all necessary paperwork. The advisor's task is to guide the student toward accepting responsibility for mature academic decision-making.

Advisors introduce and assist students with their transitions to the academic world by helping them see value in the learning process, gain perspective on the college experience, become more responsible and accountable, set priorities and evaluate their progress, and uphold honesty with themselves and others about their successes and limitations.

Advisors encourage self-reliance and support students as they strive to make informed and responsible decisions, set realistic goals, and develop lifelong learning and self-management skills.

Academic Advising Responsibility: What It Isn't

Rather than the joint process described above, advising sometimes is mistaken for an isolated task performed for students by advisors prior to the registration period. Advising is not something advisors do to or for students, but it is something advisors and students do together over a period of time. Advisors should avoid advising situations that resemble the following:

  • Just obtaining a signature to register
  • A conference held once a term
  • Focused only on a student's academic experience
  • Telling students what to do
  • A judgmental process
  • Personal counseling
  • Supplementary to the educational mission of the institution
  • A paper relationship

Why Advise?

Advising gives the advisor the opportunity to challenge students to:

  • Make informed decisions
  • Set short- and long-range educational goals
  • Accept responsibility for their educational development
  • Grow personally and academically


Advising is an opportunity to talk to students about:

  • Life and career goals
  • Lifestyles
  • Values, interests, and abilities
  • Learning styles, strengths, and limitations
  • Decision-making skills
  • Campus resources
  • Your academic area