Effective advising programs rely on clear, documented and widely publicized policies and procedures. Relevant and timely advising policies and procedures comprise the foundation of all sound advising programs and will address legal and ethical issues in higher education and advising. The policies must reflect and maintain compliance with federal and state laws, such as FERPA, and local regulations and policies specific to the university, college, school or unit. The procedures need to support the students’ progress through academic milestones and/or social learning development.
Guiding questions when evaluating the policies and procedures within an advising program..
- Who writes the policies, procedures, and regulations for your unit? (Committee, Director/Manager, Team Leaders?)
- What are the policies, procedures, and regulations applicable to your unit?
- How do you disseminate policies and procedures to students and other stakeholders, e.g., faculty, peer advisors, parents, cross-campus colleagues?
- How do you communicate internal policies amongst the advising staff?
- How do you document changes to policies and notify your stakeholders?
- Do your advisors understand the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other relevant laws?
- When do you update your policies and procedures documents, e.g. handbooks, policy and case logs, websites, checklists, worksheets, social media sites, etc.?