Academic Policy  1550.20

Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students

Academic advising is an active, ongoing exchange between the advisers and students, grounded in teaching and learning. Advising is based on students gaining accurate and appropriate information and direction to help make their educational experience relevant, coherent and meaningful. It is a process that assists students in connecting with the University of Arkansas, making thoughtful decisions related to their academic experiences and maximizing their educational and career opportunities. Quality academic advising is essential to achieving the university’s vision for a “student-centered research university serving Arkansas and the world.” 

While procedures may vary among schools and colleges, all successful academic advising should include the following:

  • A mutual respect between adviser and student with the student possessing final responsibility for successful completion of a degree.
  • A developmental and educational process that occurs over time.
  • Consideration of individual students’ interests, abilities and needs.
  • A collaborative effort to connect students to campus resources and services.
  • Reasonable availability and accessibility to advisers.
  • Interpretation of University of Arkansas, college and departmental rules and courses.
  • Achievement of student understanding of the purpose and nature of the university core courses.
  • Recommendation of appropriate courses.
  • Achievement of student understanding of and progress toward meeting academic requirements.
  • General information regarding career options and opportunities, with appropriate referrals as necessary.
  • Respect for students’ ethnic and racial heritage, age, gender, culture, national origin, sexual orientation and religion, as well as their physical, learning and psychological abilities.
  • An understanding of and adherence to laws and regulations that relate to academic advising.
  • Adherence to the highest principles of ethical behavior.

The university is committed to developing each student to his or her fullest potential. To this end, programs in each college have been established to improve the academic achievement and persistence of students on academic warning and of other students in need of academic assistance. Such assistance is provided through a variety of instructional and informational services.

Academic Advising Council

The Academic Advising Council (AAC) serves as the advisory group for undergraduate academic advising and reports to the provost regarding all matters related to its charge. The council advises the provost and the deans regarding student advising. Each school and college has two representatives on the council, each selected by the dean to represent the college: one faculty advisor, who serves for a three-year term, and one staff advisor, who serves at the pleasure of the dean. The directors of the First Year Experience and the Office of Career Services serve as ex officio members of the council. The council elects a vice chair each spring to begin service July 1 and serve as chair the following year. In addition to other reports as desired, the council will issue an annual report in which activities are reported and evaluated and in which issues are identified and actions recommended. The AAC will develop a recommended allocation of funding for adviser training and development programs and an annual university advising award and submit it to the provost with the annual report each year for implementation the following year.

This AAC is charged with assisting the institution to increase the academic success and retention of undergraduate students by highlighting and providing additional support to the academic advising processes. It will recommend to the provost goals, procedures and standards for advising including strategies for the evaluation of advising quality and outcomes. To these ends, it will review undergraduate advising across campus with the cooperation of the schools and colleges and identify issues and problems as well as strategies for addressing them. As issues, problems, and possible solutions are identified in the institution or colleges and schools, the council will provide information and recommend action. The AAC will recommend university-supported advisor development programs to provide training to both professional and faculty advisors and mentors. This training will supplement training in the schools and colleges by focusing on universitywide services for students such as those involving admissions, enrollment services, financial aid, tutoring and academic support, personal counseling, career planning, and disability services. The committee will design and implement advisor development programs and maintain liaison with services for students across the campus.

The AAC will monitor a selection process for an annual university advising award of $1,000, including previous award winners in the selection process. Following the selection of the award winners, the AAC will send a list of recipients to the provost. The provost will notify the deans, copy other deans, and the deans of the recipients will in turn notify the recipient(s) and confirm the notification with the provost. Once the provost has been notified, the provost’s office will work with the Office of University Relations on a press release and see that an announcement is placed in Newswire. The university will announce the award along with the Baum faculty award at commencement. The AAC will nominate the honoree for national recognition from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and other appropriate regional and national recognitions.

Reformatted for the Web June 20, 2014