The Diary Of A Graduate Academic Advisor: Part One
Written By: Robyn Shulman
If you want to know how to best meet the needs of graduate students, increase enrollment, and provide an overall incredible academic and social experience for your students, take the time to speak with the academic advisors within your institution.
If you don’t have academic advisors to ask, I would suggest creating this office in due time. These roles should be filled with caring, understanding and highly competent employees. They should be highly valued and treated as such; as their diary is full of secrets for indirectly building enrollment.
Academic advisors have a wide range of college experience, hold vast amounts of student information, and can truly help increase enrollment within your institution. Why? Academic advisors are on the ground every day, listening to the students, hearing their needs, holding hands, and providing tissue when necessary. Strong advisors can create bonds with students that can lead to ever-lasting friendships. They connect the student with the university for years, as they become an entrusted person on many levels.
Many academic advisors observe how the university operates from every angle, and can potentially be involved in any of the following processes:
- The logistics of the university from a holistic perspective (all offices)
- The logistics of obtaining degrees, certifications, transfer credits, etc.
- Working with professors in supporting students
- Working with student affairs to assure smooth transitions, avoiding problems, putting out potential fires, etc.
- Class Schedules and registration
- Financial aid, scholarship information
- Basic class information, meeting times, and textbook requirements
- Providing state certification requirements
Most importantly, (great) academic advisors can be the lifelines to the university. Why?
- The sounding board for the student
- The reliable person who has the accurate answers (or will do everything to find the answer)
- The very one person the student knows they can count on
- Those who go above and beyond (such as providing career tips, referrals for jobs, etc.)
- Someone who understands
- Someone who listens and truly cares about their success
- The person who is with them from the beginning of their program until the end
- The one who can share in the celebration of their successes from the day they walk in (or cyber walk) until the day they graduate
Academic advisors (again, I emphasize the ‘great’ ones) really know student needs from various lenses.
Do you know your student needs?
I will continue shortly with the beginning of meeting your student needs. Stay tuned!