(Complete policy in Section VII--Academic Advising in the current Undergraduate Calendar.)
Academic Advising is the process of helping students match the university's resources to their needs and goals so that they get the maximum benefit from their university experience and, at graduation, are prepared for life after college. At Guelph the academic advising team (identified in Section I. Introduction) assists students in planning their academic careers through the creation of partnerships. This includes preparing for registration, resolving academic issues, and offering academic / educational advice.
A university education is a complex and multi-faceted experience, which is best undertaken in a supportive and encouraging environment. As part of its dedication to student success, the University of Guelph is committed to providing high-quality academic advising, in order to assist students in the development and pursuit of academic objectives consistent with their life goals and the available opportunities at the University. The responsibility for developing educational plans and setting goals rests with the student. Academic advising contributes to this process by identifying alternatives, exploring likely outcomes, and referring students to appropriate resources. Academic advising at Guelph is delivered by a team, which includes faculty advisors, program counsellors, the Academic Information Centre, the Associate Vice-President Academic and others. Coordinating all activity is the University Council on Undergraduate Academic Advising, which has responsibility for overall advising systems direction and policy. An Undergraduate Academic Information Centre provides general walk-in assistance to students and, as appropriate, directs students to specialized advising resources. Each student has direct access to Faculty Advisors, who focus on subject-related issues and advice, and a Program Counsellor, who assists with degree program requirements and expectations. These components of the academic advising system work together to achieve goals and objectives that include:
- Helping students develop an educational plan and choose an appropriate course of studies to meet their academic and life objectives.
- Ensuring that students are aware of opportunities and resources that can assist students in achieving their educational goals.
- Assisting students in interpreting university policies and procedures, and applying general rules to their specific cases.
- Facilitating resolution of academic problems, conflicts and concerns, as appropriate.
- Referring students as necessary to other resource units.
- Collecting and disseminating information on student needs, wants, perceptions, and trends in order to enhance institutional effectiveness and adaptability.
Roles and Responsibilities
Within the academic advising system, specific roles and responsibilities are distributed as follows:
The Council on Undergraduate Academic Advising
The role of the Council on Undergraduate Academic Advising (CUAA) is to develop, review, discuss, and recommend to senior administration on an ongoing basis any and all advising-related strategies, policies, and processes. The CUAA is responsible for managing and directing academic advising policies at the university. The CUAA reports to, and is chaired by the Associate Vice-President Academic.
The Undergraduate Academic Information Centre (UAIC)
The role of the UAIC is to provide general academic advising information to undergraduate students. This includes appropriate referral to the program counsellor, or faculty advisor, as well as other support services on campus. For some students, the Centre may function as a first point of contact for information or advice about academic program issues. Centre staff operate on an assessment and referral system - first helping the student to identify the problem or issue, and then, as necessary, referring her/ him to the appropriate resource. If you have a concern about the Centre and/or its Peer Helpers you should contact its Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guelph students are responsible for understanding and meeting certain responsibilities regarding Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures, degree requirements, course requirements, Schedule of Dates, rules of conduct and accessing the University of Guelph email account. There responsibilities are outlined in Section I--Statement of Students, Academic Responsibilities of the current Undergraduate Calendar. Student responsibilities related to academic advising are in Section VII--Academic Advising of the current Undergraduate Calendar.
The Program Counsellor (PC) has particular expertise in the degree program requirements and regulations, as well as the various specializations and their fit within the degree program. The PC is also familiar with the policies and procedures that govern university practice. Roles and responsibilities for this group are available in Section VII--Academic Advising of the current Undergraduate Calendar. A current list of Program Counsellors is available on the UAIC website.
If you feel that you cannot speak with your program counsellor you should contact the Associate Dean for your college or degree program. If you have a concern about your program counsellor you should ask him/her for the name and contact information for his/her supervisor and contact that person. Otherwise you may directly contact the Associate Dean for your college or degree program. A current list of College Deans is available on the UAIC website.
The faculty advisor has particular expertise in the program specialization (major, minor, area of concentration, area of emphasis) and the fit of that specialization within the degree program. Roles and responsibilities for this group are available in Section VII--Academic Advising of the current Undergraduate Calendar. A current list of Faculty Advisors is available on the UAIC website.
If you feel that you cannot speak with your faculty advisor you should contact your Program Counsellor. If you have a concern about your Faculty Advisor his/her supervisor is the Chair of their department (or the Director of their school). A current list of College Deans and Department Chairs/School Directors is available on the UAIC website.