Academic Advising

academic advising

Handbook – Limitations of Advisors/Advising

Advisors cannot be all things to all advisees because of the vast differences among students. Advisors must recognize their limitations as counselors. Some of the restrictions impeding the effectiveness of advisors are:

  • An advisor cannot make decisions for an advisee but can be a sympathetic listener and even offer various possible solutions to the student's problem.
  • An advisor cannot increase the native ability of an advisee, but can encourage the maximum use of the ability that the student has.
  • An advisor cannot reduce the academic or employment load of a floundering advisee, but can make recommendations that such adjustments be made.
  • An advisor should not criticize a fellow faculty member to a student, but can make a friendly approach to any teacher if that teacher is involved in the student's problem.
  • An advisor should not tell an advisee raw scores alone on various tests, but should indicate areas in which the student seems weak or strong by discussing centiles derived from local or national norms.
  • An advisor should not betray a student's confidence on matters of a personal nature, but can seek appropriate professional assistance in helping a student with minor personal or social adjustment problems.
  • An advisor should not attempt to handle cases of emotional disturbances which fall outside the behavioral pattern of students adjudged reasonably normal.  when complex problems arise concerning financial aid, mental or physical health, or personal social counseling, advisors should refer students to professional personnel in appropriate offices.

Even though advisors recognize their limitations as counselors, some advisors may have to add a basic competence in counseling and advising to their professional skills. Such competence may be gained in much the same way as other skills: by learning through study or instruction or practice. Little skill is gained unless advisors accept the responsibility, give attention to its details, and intelligently engage in doing it.