The way in which the advisor conveys an attitude of openness, caring, and concern can vary with each advising situation. You, as an advisor, may want to review the following list of guidelines and select those which can help you to build effective, meaningful advising relationships.
- Care about advisees by showing empathy, understanding, and respect.
- Evidence interest, helpful intent, and involvement.
- Establish rapport by remembering personal information about advisees. Know each advisee's name.
- Assist each advisee in developing an educational program adapted to personal abilities, talents, interests, and objectives.
- Encourage advisees to talk by asking open-ended questions.
- Follow up on commitments made to advisees.
- Make certain all students know they are welcome to stop by.
- Be available: post regular office hours and notify advisees and classes of these hours.
- Keep in frequent contact with advisees; take the initiative; don't always wait for students to come to you.
- Send advisees invitations to talk at times other than preregistration.
- Be available, especially at times like registration, during add/drop, after mid-term grades.
- When possible, find answers to students' questions on the spot.
- Invite students to attend some function (e.g., a lecture) being offered by your department.
- Allow for "get acquainted time" in the original conference.
- Keep an anecdotal record of significant conversations for future reference. (The Office of Academic Advisement provides forms for this purpose.)
- Focus on advisee's strengths and potentials rather than limitations. Let students know you are a person outside your role as a teacher. Share some interests, hobbies, etc.
Adapted from "Thirty Reminders for Effective Advising," as found in Crockett, D.S. (Ed.). Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. p 311.