Your AdvisEr's Role in First Year Advising

Every Ursinus student will have a faculty adviser. In the first year, this adviser’s role includes assisting students with:

  • The transition and integration to College
  • Development and clarification of personal, academic and career goals
  • Course selection and registration for classes
  • Referrals to appropriate campus resources (if needed)
  • Exploration and selection of major (and possibly minors)
  • Development of problem-solving and decision-making skills

First-Year Advisers will:

  • Be accessible. Students are advised to make sure they are aware of the best way to reach his/her adviser (email, phone, posted office hours, etc.).
  • Be resourceful and knowledgeable about College policies and procedures, requirements, campus resources, etc.
  • Empower students to explore options and make thoughtful decisions regarding academic and career goals.

Some misconceptions first-year students may have about advising:

My adviser is going to set goals for me.

In college, it is up to the student to identify and set goals for college and beyond. An adviser is available to guide, mentor, and support a student in the process. However, the initiative needs to come from the student. The decisions are the student’s to make.

My adviser is going to decide what courses should be taken.

Decisions about courses to take in high school are relatively fixed and structured – there often is little choice. This is not the case in college where students encounter a rich and diverse curriculum. Decisions about what courses to take must be made by the student with as much information as possible gathered from appropriate sources. An adviser can help a student to identify and define interests, including the suggestion of courses/areas of study that the student may not have thought about previously. However, in the end it is vital that both adviser and advisee recognize that it is the student’s decision. The content and direction of one’s education is in the student's hands, and a major part of the move from high school to college comes in realizing and acting upon that essential fact.

My adviser is going to meet all my advising needs.

Making academic decisions in college is a complex process. No single adviser will meet all a student's needs. Students should be encouraged to seek advice from many sources in addition to their adviser, especially professors and department and program chairs. Good advising relationships depend on many factors, including personalities and the student's evolving goals and interests. Everyone at Ursinus (faculty, Deans, and staff) is here to help students make thoughtful decisions that will help them to reach their goals.

The First Year Adviser's Role in pdf form.