Student Advising

In the past year, I have gained an interest in academic advising and thus have read a great amount about the skill and philosophy behind what it means to be an advisor. To sum up my school of thought, I must say it is to “be there for the student”. In turn, this means forming a relationship with the student, meeting them where they are in their life, listening to them, and not just showing them what classes to take. To be an advisor is to do more than just see that the student graduates, it means to ensure that the student is ready for their career—and life beyond the university campus.
Of course, forming a relationship with the student can take on many modes. While it is true that some students just want an advisor to ensure that they take the correct classes; others (a great many others, I believe), would like someone that is able to coach them through the challenging times and congratulate them on their achievements.
An important part of my philosophy of academic advisement lies within the realm of communication. I want to know my students, to help them solve challenges before they become larger problems and to assist them with finding resources that they need to live a more fulfilling life.
In this day of rapid technological advancement, advisors are no longer limited to the constraints of face to face interactions. They have access to students through email, instant messaging, social networking sites, and telephone/text messaging--which can often make advisement feel less threatening to the student, and help both advisor and student connect on a time schedule that is much more accommodating to busy lives. For me, I believe that achieving this line of communication begins with being available to my students, whether that means being in my office, or simply checking my email several times throughout the day and giving a timely response.
In my career as a social worker, I have learned that each experience we have shapes our future expectations and...