What is an Academic Advisor?

Your academic advisor is the person whom you will consult regarding course selection and the overall planning of your degree. Listed below are some examples of general reasons for which you might consult with an advisor. You are encouraged to meet with your academic advisor as frequently as needed and for whatever reason you see fit. Advisors come to Ohio State with at least a master's degree and diverse experiences (some, for example, were previous social workers, teachers in the K-12 system, university faculty, residence hall directors, program coordinators in non-profit organizations, and private industry). You may have multiple advisors assigned to you - read details about the role each advisor will have in your success.

Making the most of your advising relationship

Academic advisors are here to help you make the best choices. They, cannot, however, do that alone. The level of your participation is directly related to the type of relationship you have with your advisor. For a successful relationship,both advisors and students need to fullfill their responsibilities.

You should:

  • Read details about your responsibilties as a student.
  • Prepare a list of questions before your advising meeting. Need help with this?
  • Observe academic deadlines.
  • Schedule regular advising appointments in order to monitor your academic progress. You should check-in at least once a year via appointment; more often via e-mail.
  • Accept a decision you made. An advisor will present options — along with pros and cons. The decision is ultimately yours.
  • Inform you advisor, immediately, whenever you have a serious problem (e.g., medical, personal, financial) that disrupts your ability to attend classes and/or succeed.
  • Know how to use the online system to schedule your classes. An advisor will assist when you are having problems. Check out the online assistance guide.
  • Create a folder just for your advising materials. Advisors will often write notes on your degree audit or other documents — it is important to keep these notes.
  • Ask to be added to an advising listserv if your college maintains one to receive important updates.
  • Always ask questions and repeat the answer to make sure you understand. Take notes when appropriate.
  • Log into AdvisingConnect and check your advising notes often as a reminder of important referrals, recommendations, and to-do items.
  • Get to know your advisor.
  • Ignore your mobile device during appointments unless you are seeking information pertinent to your conversation.
  • Talk with your advisor about your concerns if you do not see eye-to-eye. If you both agree that your relationship will not work, you might want to contact your college advising office and request a new advisor (if that is an option).

Your advisor will:

  • Be non-judgmental.
  • Listen to you and make appropriate referrals.
  • Respond to you in a timely fashion on your inquiries (typically 1-2 business days, M-F, 8am-5pm).
  • Teach your University Survey course which introduces you to academic life at the university and reviews your curriculum requirements.
  • Explain university policies and procedures.
  • Take notes after your advising appointment for later reference and enhanced service to you. You can review these when you log into AdvisingConnect.
  • Advise you on course selection and assist you with developing an academic plan that supports timely graduation.
  • Talk with you about your plans after graduation.
  • Discuss your academic performance, possible reasons for your academic performance, and a possible plan of action.
  • Help you explore your interests, abilities, and goals.
  • Your advisor may send you periodic updates on events/workshops happening in their college; others may have items posted on their web site.
  • Notify you if they leave their job and/or need to re-assign you to another advisor.
  • Get to know the real you!