As an advisor, you should be aware of the following limitations on your responsibilities:
- An advisor cannot make decisions for an advisee, but he/she can be a sympathetic listener and offer various alternatives to assist the student in becoming a problem solver.
- An advisor cannot increase the native ability of his/her advisee, but can encourage the maximum use of that ability and the use of support services, such as tutoring or the writing lab.
- An advisor cannot reduce the academic or employment load of a student, but he/she can make recommendations if it appears desirable.
- An advisor should not criticize a fellow faculty member to a student, but he/she can make a friendly approach to an instructor who is involved in a student's problem.
- An advisor cannot be a good counselor and betray a student's confidence in matters of a confidential nature, but this should not necessarily preclude the exchange of helpful information with the instructor, the deans, or the director of academic advisement. This exchange should be conducted in a professional and discreet manner.
- An advisor should not attempt to handle cases of emotional disturbances, which fall outside the behavioral pattern of students adjudged reasonably normal. When complex problems arise concerning mental or physical health, or personal counseling, faculty should refer students to health services or the counseling center.
Adapted from Limits on Advising Responsibilities, Millikin University, as found in Crockett, D.S. (Ed.). Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. p 171.