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Advising Appointments

Advising may take place in a classroom, hallway, cafeteria or outside among the campus trees. What may seem like casual conversation to an advisor may be interpreted differently a student. Advisors are cautioned to watch their demeanor (e.g. hurried, unpleasant, impatient) anytime they are interacting with a student. Some advising topics are best reserved for an advisor’s office. Advisors may casually address student inquiries while at the same time suggest that the student make an appointment during their office hours.  

Creating an Inviting Atmosphere
  • Get up, greet student and call her by name.  
  • Demonstrate a friendly and courteous atmosphere through demeanor and language. Students are sensitive to advisors’ moods and may react accordingly.  
  • Students generally want to be heard. Take a few minutes at the beginning of a session just to listen to the student.  
  • Remember advisee’s name, make eye contact, and jot down a few notes.  
  • Use humor with students to illustrate points.  
  • Share personal experiences. Students respond to useful information that is shared in a professional context.  
Before a Meeting
  • If an appointment is scheduled in advance, take the time to review notes and transcript. Students will notice and appreciate this effort.  
  • If a student arrives unannounced, it is appropriate to have him wait a minute while you review his if necessary.  
During First‐time Meeting (Build a positive relationship)
  • Take the time with each new advisee to discuss the advising relationship, benefits and expectations.  
  • Explore student’s sense of academia. Is she involved on campus? Is she goal‐oriented? Motivated? What are her prevailing strengths/weaknesses? What is her view of the role of faculty and attendance?  
During Subsequent Meetings
  • Have students fill out an information sheet at each appointment to update important contact information.  
  • Offer insight regarding a student’s academic plan. Advisors should also feel free to challenge students to meet their academic potential.
  • Take a few minutes to acknowledge a strength. ("I see you have done well in your World Civ. and American Government classes. Do you enjoy history?")  
  • In general, try not to take a student's word on his academic performance. Sometimes students are reluctant to share their entire academic history. Students are not always privy to all the ASU policies that govern their academic choices. If you do not have access to a student’s transcript, use Banner Self Service. – (See transcript Analysis)  
At Close of a Meeting
  • Question student as to her sense of the objectives of the meeting.  
  • Invite students to return for future appointments should any academic quandary arise. You may want to establish an appointment time.  
  • Be alert to signals in student’s demeanor and nonverbal cues as to her emotional state throughout the session. If necessary inquire about the student’s current state and offer appropriate referral information if needed. – (see referral information).  
  • Suggest that a student complete a certain task and make a return visit to discuss the outcome or plan the next step. (i.e. assign a student who is struggling in a class the task of talking to a faculty member).  
  • Make sure that you have answered all questions.  
After a Meeting
  • Follow through on any commitments you made and inform advisee.  
  • Follow up an appointment with a brief phone call or email to the student.  
  • Speak to the student before class or send a note.  
  • See View Holds to determine who owns a hold and contact information for assistance.  
Advisor Note

Advisees may appear timid or frightened. Though not apparent, sometimes students show apprehension through hostility or apathy. If you remain courteous and respectful, student demeanor should change over time.

Suggested Activity
  • Evaluate your demeanor directly following an appointment. Establish two areas you would like to enhance. (verbal or nonverbal signals, your physical environment, preparedness…)  
  • Establish a few meaningful open‐ended questions to ask advisees.  
  • Suggest department have postcards made up, so advisors can send quick follow up notes to students when concerned.