AA/PPS 02.02.30 - Undergraduate Academic Advising Policies
Undergraduate Academic Advising Policies
AA/PPS No. 02.02.30 (3.01)
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 11/18/2019
Next Review Date: 6/01/2021 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Dean, University College
- The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA) has supervisory responsibility for academic advising at Texas State University. PACE Academic Advising primarily serves first-time-in-college students with 15 or fewer earned college credit hours, with each undergraduate college advising center serving its own majors with more than 16 college credit hours. Routine administrative responsibility for coordinating advising services at Texas State is delegated to the dean of the University College.
ADVISING AT TEXAS STATE
Academic Advising Mission Statement:
As an integral part of teaching and learning at Texas State, advising is a student-centered, collaborative process that engages students in educational planning to promote academic, personal, and professional development, while considering diverse interests, abilities, and goals.
Texas State embraces the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) concept of advising as a “multidimensional and intentional process grounded in teaching and learning, with its own purpose, content and specified outcomes” (NACADA 2004). Advisors and students meet individually or in small groups, assisted when and where appropriate by technology. Both have responsibilities and rights in a learning environment that fosters the retention and graduation of students. This interaction is best understood as a special opportunity for teaching, learning, and mentoring where each individual student’s aspirations and skills are the focus of the conversations or communications. Serving as a guide and mentor to the students, the advisor helps students establish or refine academic and career goals, while learning the value and responsibilities of higher education. The advisors’ responsibilities include the transmission and translation of policies that affect students’ completion of their undergraduate degrees.
PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC ADVISORS
Professional academic advisors are hired by the undergraduate colleges. Professional academic advisors, functioning as teachers and mentors, must hold at least a baccalaureate degree and preferably an advanced degree or coursework toward such a degree. Their primary responsibilities are:
to advise and interact daily with undergraduate students;
to process the information derived from these interactions; and
to provide communication and information for others with supporting advising responsibilities.
There are three primary professional academic advisor classifications, supervisor, College Advising Center, academic advisor II, and academic advisor I, with advising roles as follows:
Supervisor, College Advising Center – directs advising services for the college and manages all daily operations of the Academic Advising Center; is selected and hired by the college dean or representative. The supervisor may also advise undergraduate students. The supervisor is the lead personnel manager. All persons paid for, in whole or part by the Student Success Fee, will report to the supervisor, College Advising Center.
Academic Advisor II – has primary contact with undergraduate students; encompasses all the responsibilities of the academic advisor I, but also performs specific project responsibilities assigned by the supervisor, College Advising Center; and is selected and hired in consultation with the college dean.
Academic Advisor I – has primary contact with the undergraduate students but may provide indirect supervision of administrative assistant and student workers in the College Advising Center; is selected and hired by supervisor, College Advising Center.
In addition, staff holding the titles of director and student development specialist I may be located in advising centers, with responsibilities as follows:
Director of the PACE Advising Center – has primary contact with undergraduate students; serves as a member of the University College Council, and represents the dean on campus-wide committees relevant to new student enrollment and matriculation, including as an ex officio member of the General Education Council; provides reports to college administration describing student achievement, persistence, and retention; and performs specific project responsibilities typically associated with compliance matters as assigned by the dean and associate dean.
Student Development Specialist I – has primary contact with undergraduate students; encompasses all the responsibilities of the academic advisor I, but also performs specific project responsibilities typically associated with compliance matters as assigned by the supervisor, College Advising Center; and is selected and hired in consultation with the college dean.
ADDITIONAL ROLES IN ADVISING
Faculty may serve as mentors to students seeking consultation about careers or graduate education. Some faculty, however, continue to serve as departmental or school advisors, functioning as teachers and mentors.
At the discretion of the dean of each respective college, administrative staff may exercise some responsibilities normally performed by professional or faculty advisors.
Texas State establishes the following guidelines for the advising interactions described above:
academic advisors will see each new student who attends New Student Orientation;
academic advisors will encourage new students to meet with them during the students’ first semester following entrance into the university;
academic advisors will contact students on academic probation prior to registration;
academic advisors will meet with student athletes prior to registration. In consultation with a representative of the Athletic Academic Center, academic advisors will review the student athlete’s degree programs, guide their course selections, and verify their records (changes in majors, minors, teacher certification plans, etc.) so that certification officers can ascertain these students’ academic progress, status, and eligibility;
academic advisors will encourage students to meet with them prior to each registration period to ensure that students are engaged in planning their course selections. Students will also be encouraged to run a degree audit prior to these meetings to use as basis for course progress and to determine that other standards such as grade requirements for courses, major and minors are maintained;
professional academic advisors will develop and keep secure advising records for students, either in their advising centers, or in an official Texas State electronic database;
college deans have the final approval authority for the undergraduate catalog, but this authority is normally delegated to department chairs and school directors and through them to academic advisors. Academic advisors are responsible for affirming and updating the undergraduate catalog of record for students and monitoring application of credit to degree requirements in the degree audit;
professional academic advisors will generate degree audits and maintain program audit updates for their colleges. Advisors will encourage students to run audits for “what if” major and minor scenarios, as well as for major or minor of choice at major benchmarks such as after completing 45-60 semester hours and within the last 30 hours before projected graduation;
All professional academic advisors are expected to attend regular meetings at the college or institutional level where changes in policies and procedures will be explained and their implications discussed.
Professional academic advisors will provide students with access to an electronic assessment instrument to provide feedback on advising services.
advising services will be assessed under the direction of the dean of the University College; the results of the assessment and recommendations for change will be shared with the college deans, the provost and VPAA, and the university community; and
Texas State and its representatives will take reasonable precautions to ensure the security, retention, or appropriate destruction of all convenience copies or non-permanent student records under guidance from the person charged with oversight of records retention, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
ADVISING SUPPORT OF INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
Academic advisors provide support to administrative priorities of institutional significance, including but not limited to:
affirmation of coursework applicability to the degree for federal financial aid, NCAA, Education Abroad, and Veterans Affairs programs;
development and approval of plans designed to promote continued eligibility for Title IV financial aid according to Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines;
evaluating functionality and accuracy of technologies used within the academic advising program on campus;
new student outreach and recruitment activity, including preparation and approval of transfer planning guides;
receiving and forwarding transfer equivalency requests to the appropriate faculty;
processing of students for graduation; and
responsibilities associated with UPPS No. 03.01.13, Tuition Rebate Program and UPPS No. 03.01.17, Undergraduate Excessive Hours Fee.
STUDENT ADVISING APPEALS PROCEDURE
- Supervisors of the advising centers will investigate student allegations of inaccurate or misadvising, report their findings, and communicate their recommendation to the appropriate college dean or representative and to the student. Students will have the right to appeal such recommendations to the appropriate college dean, whose decision is final.
PROCEDURES FOR FUNDING OF ADVISING SERVICES
Texas State uses a Student Success Fee to fund professional academic advisors, to provide necessary training and professional development associated with undergraduate advising, and to purchase and maintain necessary equipment and supplies for professional academic advisors.
In consultation with the other undergraduate college deans, the dean of the University College is responsible for providing to the provost and VPAA recommendations for the allocation of the Student Success Fee, which will be apportioned to advising centers so as to provide equitable services to all students receiving advising services.
The dean of the University College will oversee allocations from the contingency and reserve Student Success Fee accounts and is expected to ensure that funds are available for pay raises, professional development, training, and non-catastrophic emergencies, such as theft or computer failure. Because professional advisors’ salaries are student-fee based, the preceding expectations are always subject to modification in the event of enrollment declines or similar financial exigencies.
REVIEWER OF THIS PPS
Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:
Position Date Dean, University College June 1 E2Y
This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Dean, University College; senior reviewer of this PPS
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs