Academic Advising is one of the most important services Southern Miss offers students.
It is concerned with the basic reason you are in school – not only to earn a degree
but to become an educated person, a lifelong learner, and a contributing member of
the workforce. Academic advising process establishes a collaborative relationship
between student and advisor in which the student feels a sense of connection, support,
Objectives of Academic Advising
To facilitate your ability to meet Southern Miss requirements and make informed decisions
about your academic future.
- To support your efforts in reaching your academic degree or objectives.
- To encourage your involvement with on-campus, co-curricular experiences that will
increase the value of your college experience and develop your interpersonal skills
and leadership abilities.
- To promote your involvement in off-campus, experiential learning (i.e., volunteer
services and internships) to help you explore and clarify your career options.
- To help you connect your college experience with your plans and goals for life after
- To be a mentor to you by providing you with support and advocacy.
- To assist you in finding the campus professionals who can best help you succeed academically
Your role as Advisee
In order for the advising relationship to be successful, you must do your part and
assume responsibility for the decisions you make. The time you spend preparing before
your advisement appointment will enable your advisor to be more effective in focusing
on important issues and answering your questions. In particular, you can help by
doing the following:
- Give thoughtful consideration to your academic and career goals.
- Be prepared for your appointments. You may need to do some homework by preparing a
list of questions before each meeting with your advisor. Your adviser cannot do everything
for you. A true advisor is someone who gives useful advice to you -- which you, in
turn, use to make final decisions for yourself.
- Keep the advising appointment you have scheduled.
- Be an active participant in your advising session.
- Be honest and open. If you are unhappy about something in your academic advising experience,
or if you are having a personal problem that is interfering with your studies, please
do not be afraid to share this with your advisor. If you do not understand a policy
or procedure, ask questions until you do understand. By remaining honest and open
with one another, and by working as a team, you and your advisor can build a close
relationship that will help you succeed.
Advisor's Role in Advisement
Your advisor provides a personal relationship that is essential and ongoing throughout
the student's college career.
Academic advisors provide academic assistance and individualized attention to promote
each student's success. An academic advisor can share knowledge, experience and insight
that is beneficial to the student. The advisor's role is to help the student evaluate
and realize educational and career options. This requires the advisor to:
- approve the student's academic program of study
- provide accurate and consistent information
- clarify program requirements, policies and procedures
- assist the student in identifying appropriate institutional resources
- facilitate relationships between the student and other individuals on campus who may
- uphold the academic standards of the institution.
How to Make Advising Work
- Determine the name and location of your academic advisor or advising center.
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor during your first semester.
- Prepare a list of questions and topics of discussion for your advisor.
- Read advising emails sent to you throughout the semester.
- Become familiar with the academic calendar and USM policies and procedures regarding
- Know how to calculate your grade point average.
- Review your next semester schedule and develop an academic plan for the next registration
- Learn how to read your Degree Progress Report and be able to use the "what if" option
via your SOAR account.
- Become familiar with your learning style and study skills.