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What Is Academic Advising?

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Academic Advising?

Student's Role and Responsibilities in Advising

Advisor's Role and Responsibilities in Advising

How to Make Advising Work


Academic Advising?

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, and guidance.

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 college.
  • 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 and personally.


Your role as Advisee    to top of page

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    to top of page

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 provide assistance
  • uphold the academic standards of the institution.


How to Make Advising Work    to top of page

  • 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 academics.
  • Know how to calculate your grade point average.
  • Review your next semester schedule and develop an academic plan for the next registration window.
  • 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.


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