The Academic Advising Toolbox

In practice, advising is a fluid and dynamic exchange requiring significant flexibility on the part of the advisor. To effectively meet individual student needs and tailor advising to individual interests and goals, the advisor must often blend and synthesize a variety of advising approaches and methods in a single appointment. Both “active” and “passive” forms of advising are often used in the same advising interaction. For example, advisors may use a passive “show and tell” approach to describe degree requirements (the advisor talks more than they listen) but use an active “call and response” approach to encourage exploration, identify strengths, and support discovery (the advisor listens more than they talk). At the heart of all academic advising is a focus on learning, progress, growth, and the important personalizing and meaning-making activities that define an exceptional educational experience. A learning-centered approach, therefore provides the foundation for all interactions since the purpose of all academic advising is to support and facilitate learning, performance, progress and engagement. Advisors are encouraged both as “learners” themselves and as educators to develop learning and advising strategies that blend passive and active forms into their daily work and to incorporate learning focused open-ended questions into their daily interactions. This is, in practice, as easy as asking a student what their favorite class has been and linking this positive experience to their future choices, direction, goals and priorities. Read more about Berkeley's approach to learning-centered, progress-oriented advising here 

An End to Checklist Thinking: Learning-Centered Advising in Practice