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Academic Advising - Resources for Advisors

Responsibilities and Expectations of Advisors

All advisors at Saint Xavier University are expected to review and complete the Academic Advisor Training which covers the foundations of academic advising, student development theory, advising diverse student populations, making referrals, and advising and retention tools.

Advising does not equal registration: although registration is an integral part of academic advising, it is not the only component. Advisors are champions of student success and should aim to build meaningful relationships with students to guide them along their academic and career pathways. As part of their role, advisors should:

  • Introduce themselves and provide contact information, office hours, and appointment scheduling instructions
  • Check in with their students throughout the semester to see how they are doing
  • Stay knowledgeable of current rules, policies and program requirements
  • Assist students with course planning, program information and degree requirements, and provide resources and information to help encourage and promote academic progress
  • Provide an interactive, collaborative and encouraging environment based on mutual trust, respect and open communication
  • Foster an environment of shared responsibility and encourage students to be active partners in the advising relationship
  • Make appropriate referrals when needed and collaborate with student support services to ensure that the individual needs of students are identified and addressed
  • Familiarize themselves with the general practice of advising supported by theory
  • Be consistent with procedures and tools when working with their respective students, e.g., Student Planning

Theory to Practice

Astin's theory of involvement states that students who interact with advisors, particularly early-on in their education feel a stronger sense of college satisfaction and connection to the University than any other type of involvement. This is likely to have a positive effect on retention. For many students, relationships with advisors will be some of the first adult relationships they develop outside of those with their parents, and through these interactions, they will cultivate confidence and comfort with their advisor to come forward when issues arise in the future.

Through working with advisors, students get one on one support customized to their strengths and weaknesses which is advantageous when planning courses within the curriculum and or identifying areas where the student might benefit from tutoring. Advisors can identify strengths to compose letters of recommendation to support pre-professional endeavors or help students plan for long-term goals which may include professional or graduate school, e.g., which courses to take based on potential research interests as well as introduce students to the standards of the field and provide students an opportunity to learn about potential internships, research opportunities, field-specific scholarships, internships, conferences, and or graduate and professional school program preparation.

Advisors can also integrate components of career development into their work and assist students with navigating job searches, preparing for industry interviews, and exploring various career pathways tied to their major. For career development resources, please visit the Center for SUCCESS website.

NACADA, the National Academic Advising Association, emphasizes seven core values1 that should guide the work of all advisors:


In addition to the seven core values above, effective advisors have a general familiarity with three content areas that makeup the core competencies of Academic Advising 2. These are:

  1. The Conceptual Component (concepts academic advisors must understand): history of academic advising, NACADA's core values, theory, strategies, expected outcomes of advising, and creating equitable and inclusive environments
  2. The Informational Component (knowledge academic advisors must master): institution mission, history, and values, general familiarity with curriculum, degree programs, and academic requirements, institutional and federal policies (FERPA), familiarity with the needs of current populations specifically our own, and knowledge of relevant advising technology
  3. The Relational Component (skills academic advisors must demonstrate): articulate a personal advising philosophy, build meaningful connections, be respectful, plan successful advising interactions, promote student understanding of curriculum, foster problem solving, decision making, and goal setting, and engage in assessment of advising practice and continued self-development.

In addition to the resources above, NACADA also provides a variety of Resources for New Advisors which individuals may find helpful when navigating the field of advising for the first time or if they need a refresher on best practices.

1NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA core values of academic advising. Retrieved from
2NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA academic advising core competencies model.

Advising Transfer Students

Saint Xavier University accepts 70 college credits from two-year institutions and up to 90 hours from four-year institutions. As a result, an incoming transfer student to SXU could be as close as one year away from graduation when entering the institution.

The path to completion is much shorter for transfer students and advisors will need to conduct intentional outreach as soon as possible for the student to reap the benefits of the student-faculty relationship, including field-specific scholarship information, career guidance within the discipline, graduate and professional school preparation, and advice on internship exploration.

Tools for Advisors

Please review the Advisor Training through Canvas for detailed information regarding the various tools available for Academic Advising.

Student Planning is the official University advising tool which gives advisors and students an overview of progress and course completion. This tool gives students more control over their academic planning process. If you have any questions about Student Planning, please contact the Office of Records and Registration at registrarFREESXU.

Canvas can be used as an advising tool in addition to course instruction. Each academic advisor has a course shell that consists of their academic advisees which can be used to share helpful content and information with students and make genuine connections.

Retention Alert is the University case management system that is used to alert others of the first signs of academic trouble. For assistance with Retention Alert, please contact Student Support at studentsupportFREESXU.

Not sure who to contact? For a list of campus resources and services, along with their contact information, please use the link below: