Student Advising

The advising of students is an important responsibility of every full-time faculty member. Therefore, the College has adopted the following Institutional Statement on Academic Advising:

The Berea College Statement on Academic Advising

Academic advising is central to the educational mission of Berea College.  Such advising is a deliberate activity grounded in teaching and learning, foundational in fostering student engagement in Berea's continuous learning environment, and provides each student with guidance for developing and achieving meaningful educational, professional, and personal goals.  Advisors engage students in learning, labor, and service; promote students' academic success; and foster students' personal, ethical, and intellectual growth.  Academic advising is a shared responsibility between students and their faculty advisors.

The Student's Role in Academic Advising

Seeking quality advice is an important responsibility of students in making decisions about their own academic and professional futures. Within the context of a comprehensive advising program at Berea College, students are responsible for: understanding the importance of their relationships with advisors; seeking out advisors and making contact on a regular basis; knowing the requirements of the Labor Program, General Education, and their individual degree programs when admitted; providing constructive feedback for advisors; and taking final responsibility for making their own decisions based on the best information and advice available.

The Academic Advisor's Role

To achieve the goals of academic advising at Berea College, advisors, with support from the Advising Program, are responsible for: being knowledgeable of and communicating College policy and the requirements of the curriculum, General Education, and academic and labor departments; monitoring students' progress towards successful degree completion; being available to meet with students on a regular basis; assisting students in finding appropriate institutional resources to promote success and engagement; involving students in academic and career planning processes and in exploring of options and resources; and engaging in developmental activities to stay informed of issues that impact student success.

Student Advising Information

In departments where the number of student majors is large, most of one’s advisees are concentrating in the field. In departments where student majors are few, most advisees are likely to be freshmen and sophomores undecided about a major. In both instances the obligation of the advisor is the same—to provide each student the guidance necessary to plan a suitable course of study and to facilitate personal growth. To be effective, such advice must be conscientious, timely, and accurate. Thus, all advisors are expected to be well-informed about College-wide requirements and course sequences, as well as the offerings in one’s own department, and to be regularly available for consultation with students. More than one contact per term with one’s advisees is desirable, so that the advisor may keep informed of each student’s progress and the student may have a ready source of help if needed. If the student is on academic probation, the advisor is informed by the Office of Academic Affairs of the conditions to be met. The Office of Academic Affairs provides resources to promote effective advising.

As highlighted in the Institutional Statement on Academic Advising, the relationship with the advisor may become one of the most valuable connections the student makes on the campus. In many cases the relationship may extend beyond academic matters to include discussion of career options, exploration of ethical issues, or counsel on personal problems. The advisor should use one's own good judgment in such matters, and provide assistance and support to the extent that is comfortable for both parties. When circumstances warrant, the advisor should consult with, or refer the student to, other appropriate persons on campus, such as the professional staff in the offices of Student Life, Counseling Services, and the Campus Christian Center.