A student advisor assists an institution’s students in accomplishing academic goals. This might be through teaching classes, scheduling courses, and advising students on appropriate coursework. Many institutions employ a system of advisors to help direct the student body toward success, both academically and personally.
Student Advisors often focus on directing students toward their degree requirements. However, advisors also provide career counseling and other services that might contribute to a student’s development outside of academics. In this way, advisors function as mentors for the whole student body.
In addition to guiding academic pursuits at an institution, some Student Advisors are involved with alumni relations and fundraising activities. They may work closely with these groups to secure future funding for educational programs within their school or college.
Each Student Advisor has a unique perspective on his or her involvement within the realm of higher education. Some Advisors take on more active roles, such as holding meetings, interacting with students, and ensuring the students are enrolled in the right classes for their major. Others have a more distant relationship with students. A student advisor is responsible for providing direction to students to ensure they are successful from orientation to graduation.
Student Advisor Career Path
Career paths for student advisors can vary in higher education, depending on the institution. student advisors can assist students by:
- Guiding course choices to ensure that students meet the requirements of their major or minor.
- Providing information on future career opportunities.
- Interacting with students to create a record of achievements and accomplishments.
- Providing career counseling for students who are undecided on a major or seeking to re-enter the job market.
- Offering support and counseling in cases of academic or emotional challenges.
Throughout the preceding decades, research has demonstrated that the number and quality of connections with peers, instructors, and staff have a significant influence on student retention rates. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the US Department of Education, the institutions with the highest completion rates for Pell-eligible students also have excellent student support systems such as academic advising.
Can student advisors benefit from automated intervention?
Automated student advising is the process of utilizing an automated system, such as a computer program or website, to help structure interactions between advisors and students. These systems are capable of storing information on each student’s academic progress, including grades, major/minor selections, class schedule, and academic plans.
Advisors can then access this information through an online platform that might include automated reports. The system can also allow for electronic communication between advisors and students or among students themselves to facilitate better in-person interactions in scheduled appointments or in emergency situations when immediate feedback is necessary. With that being said, there are still significant advantages to having one on one interactions between students and advisors.
However, with increasing budget cuts and greater enrollment, it may be hard to maintain an academic advising service that provides one-on-one assistance to every student. As you would expect, overseeing hundreds of students without the use of technology would be a difficult task for a single advisor. As a result, developing strategies to use technology to assist a larger number of students while continuing to improve academic advising practices and assistance is critical.
Almost every college now uses technology in some manner to assist with their academic advising program. Through streamlining operations and automating micro tasks for the academic advising program, the use of technology proves to be very valuable.
Here are a few examples of how Capacity’s support automation platform automates intervention to help with student advising:
- Capacity alerts advisors to contact “high risk” students who have not attended orientation or studied their material. Capacity invites “low risk” learners to log in and investigate the information.
- Missing assignments, failure to meet grade criteria, and failure to log in to the LMS: Capacity notifies the student and also notifies the student advisor so they can reach out to the student.
- When a student excels in a course, Capacity expresses gratitude and rewards the student while also informing the student advisor.
- Student has not been in a classroom for several weeks and does not meet the “minimum participation criterion.” Capacity will send the student paperwork with instructions on how to discontinue their course registration, as well as a confirmation email.