The University’s primary academic goal is to provide each student with the best possible opportunity for a personal and individualized educational experience. The primary mission of academic advising, then, is to assist students, through a mentoring relationship, to develop and pursue academic programs which maximize their abilities and interests. The academic adviser encourages self-discovery, exploration, academic breadth and depth. The adviser wants the student to develop personal, professional and career goals that are challenging, worthwhile, and realistic, and to plan a program that helps to achieve those goals. Additionally, advisers may serve in the multi-faceted roles of teacher, counselor and administrator.
Advisers accomplish their mission by complementing classroom and co-curricular opportunities at the University. Advisers must understand university, college and departmental policies as well as institutional protocol. Advisers are empathetic and available to their advisees. They often serve as advocates for both students and the institution.
Advising goals mirror those of the University. Quality advising assists students to develop decision-making and problem-solving skills; it reinforces the University’s goal to promote life-long inquiry; it encourages humane and global perspectives; it facilitates independent thought and understanding; it often involves referrals to other appropriate campus and community resources.
Advising is a professionally-recognized activity. It is part of the teaching component for faculty when they are considered for promotion and tenure; it is the primary, if not sole, responsibility for some Professional and Scientific Personnel.
ISU has been nationally recognized for its commitment and delivery of advising services, and it recognizes the critical link advising provides between the institution and the student.
Advising at ISU is successful because students share the responsibility to maximize the mentoring relationships between advisee and adviser. Students are responsible for learning the policies and protocol for the university, the college and their individual departmental major, minor or program, and for seeking their adviser’s assistance.
ISU’s reputation for excellence in academic advising depends directly upon the administration’s commitment to provide an appropriate environment for the advising process. That environment should include reasonable guidelines for adviser-advisee ratios; electronic access to student records; resources such as handbooks, etc.; an on-going training program; an evaluation system for improvement; and a reward structure.