Advice for Academic Advisors

Advice for Academic Advisors
Anna Goatman
Manchester Business School
Academic advising is intended to
stimulate a learning culture that enables
students to achieve their full potential
and result in graduates who will be highly
competitive in the knowledge economy.
Faculty of Humanities,
University of Manchester
Academic Advisor
Personal Tutor
What academic advisors are not
• Personal counsellors
• A replacement for course coordinators
• A proof reading service
• A 24/7 emergency service
What academic advising covers
Submission of coursework
University and programme degree
Guidance on academic choice
Availability of options
“I didn’t know which courses
to choose, so I looked online
at the course coordinators
pictures to see who looked
the most friendly.” (Second
year student)
Deadlines for option
Sources of information
Implications of choice
Target setting
Aims for university
Academic achievement
Identification of opportunities
Gaining experience
Monitoring performance and
Reviewing exam performance
Reviewing coursework performance
Discussing attendance, preparation and participation
Explaining the academic marking system
“I cried all night, I don’t know how I’m going to tell my parents, I only
got an average of 68%” (First year student)
Encourage reflection
Personal development plan (PDP)/ Portfolio
Encourages students to take responsibility
for their own development
Helps identify strengths, weakness and
Good preparation for job applications
“I feel like an alien on a
foreign planet” (First
year student)
“I went to the library and there was, like, LOADS of books”
(First year student)
“I’m not very good at
accounting and finance, but
my Dad really wants me to do
it.” (Second year student)
“I need to leave. This course really isn’t for me. The careers
teacher at school told me to do it. I wanted to do an art
degree, but she said I’d never get a job in art, so I should do
management instead”. (First year student)
Academic advising
is a two-way
Some students
(and staff)
engage more
It’s not about knowing everything, it’s
about knowing who to ask.
Useful resources
• Academic Advisor Toolkit
• Faculty of humanities study skills website
• University language centre
• Counselling service
• Disability Support Office (DSO)
• Students’ Union
• Careers service
• My Manchester (the student system can be accessed here)
Benefits of being and Academic Advisor
 The opportunity to work with individuals and small
 A chance to get to know the students and build a
relationship that will last for the duration of their
degree programme
 A reminder about what it is like to be a student.
Being an academic advisor may formally end at graduation.
However, some students need you most once they have left.
Success is the ability to go
from one failure to another
with no loss of enthusiasm

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