Foundations of Practice: Informational



The knowledge of institution-specific programs, requirements, policies, procedures, resources, and tools.

A strong informational foundation includes an understanding of:

  • Advising and student support in an institution-specific context, e.g., institutional history, mission, values, models, and culture.

  • The structure and purposes of the academic curriculum, pedagogical practices, and desired learning outcomes.

  • Advising and student service tools such as transcripts, degree audits, note-taking strategies, student information systems, and other progress and performance tracking tools.

  • Legal and ethical dimensions of practice, reporting responsibilities, and privacy regulations pertaining to student records.

  • Programs, policies, rules, regulations, procedures, resources, and the ability to apply these as appropriate.

  • Campus resources that promote holistic student success, and how best to connect students with these resources.

The Foundation, Applied

  • Develop and maintain connections with campus partners in support of student success:Case Managers from the Center for Support & Intervention (CSI) support students in crisis and require a working knowledge of policies and procedures that extend across the university. Additionally, Case Managers often need to coordinate between multiple units--e.g. College/major advising, Financial Aid & Scholarships Office, Counseling & Psychological Services, Basic Needs Center, and the Disabled Students' Program--to help students (and the university) respond to and resolve complex concerns. CSI also hosts regular workshops to help campus staff and faculty prepare to help students in distress. These workshops include information about how to identify student concerns, how the referral process works, and data about the types of concerns the campus is reporting.
  • Ability to know and apply regulations and procedures, campus resources, collaborate across units, and work effectively with students in special status: The Berkeley International Office (BIO) faces a tall order as the one stop shop for most international student needs; from visa and travel to financial aid, these students’ transition to and experience in the Berkeley campus is riddled with policies of a foreign country in addition to the normal transitions all students experience. The BIO website makes necessary information readily available, organized based on relevance, topic, and audience. Through the use of available tools on the Open Berkeley site, such as carousels, they cover a breadth of information without causing scrolling fatigue.

Suggested Learning Activities

Consider engaging with the following suggested learning activities to integrate your understanding of this Foundation of Practice into your own work:

Reflect on the ways you or your unit share information, particularly with students. What information remains available to them via the campus website? Is it easy to navigate and find? What are key moments you do or could make contact with them? What methods and platforms do you use to reach them throughout the year (newsletters, social media, CalCentral)? Try using this Communication Plan when considering how you communicate what, to whom, and when!

For further exploration of this Foundation of Practice, check out the following Advancing Practice workshop recordings from past semesters:

All things transfer credit! August 11, 2021
Overcoming Barriers to College
Shared Advising Notes Announcement

"Great advisors love students and they work to help every student succeed. They meet students where they’re at by understanding and responding to their unique needs. They think outside the box in suggesting options, opportunities, and resources."

Dolann M. Adams, Admissions Outreach Coordinator, Haas School of Business UG Program