Excellence in advising is based on two components: the personality of the person serving as advisor and his or her concrete knowledge of the University's programs, policies, and services along with knowledge of the advisor's specific field.
Someone who serves as an advisor should, above all, have a positive outlook on advising, like people in general, and like students in particular. The ideal advisor is a supportive, giving, caring, patient person who is available to the student during posted office hours and mutually agreed upon times. The advisor should be trustworthy, honest, and open with the student and be willing to discuss the student's performance, short-term goals (for example, specific courses for a particular semester or on-time graduation), and long-term goals (career and life plans).
The advisor must also be knowledgeable about and willing to help with the following:
- the specific programs in which he/she advises (the major or minor)
- General Education requirements and University policies
- determining the way to access various resources and facilities for information about things he/she does not know (other majors, for example)
- advocating students' interests when reviewing student records and University policies
- determining the way to access services within and outside the University which may be helpful to the student and assisting with necessary referrals to such services or people.