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Academic Advising

Academic advising is a critical aspect of a student's educational experience at Saint Louis University.  Undergraduate students are assigned to an academic advisor in their school or college to provide essential information and guidance to achieve their educational goals.  Serving both an educational and coordinating function, academic advisors are often the primary contact between students and campus resources.  Students also will engage with faculty in their majors through formal and informal mentoring and experience learning.

Our Mission

At Saint Louis University, it is our expectation that all of our students will be successful.  Academic advisors provide essential academic information and connect students to appropriate campus resources.  Academic advisors at SLU promote the holistic growth of students, respectful of their individual goals.  Advisors work collaboratively with the University community in support of meaningful educational experiences and academic success for our students.

Academic Advising Process

In the definition of academic advising adopted by Saint Louis University's Council of Academic Deans in 1979, the first sentence addresses the goals and objectives of the advising process:

Academic advising is a process designed to contribute to the student's overall development and achievement of appropriate educational goals.

The goals of academic advising will be achieved through a sustained and active dialogue between the advisor and the advisee.  The goals of the academic advising process are to:

  • Assist students in their understanding of academic requirements;
  • Assist student with establishing educational goals and monitoring their progress;
  • Encourage students to take an active role in their educational experience and to make decisions for short- and long-term planning;
  • Identify academic and/or personal concerns and, when appropriate, refer the student to programs/offices within the University structure; and
  • Nurture intellectual maturation and self-advocacy.

All SLU undergraduates are assigned to a professional academic advisor in their school or college.  Students have the opportunity to schedule appointments to meet with their academic advisor each semester and participate in University-wide advising assessment.

Academic Advising Learning Outcomes

At Saint Louis University, all students are expected to be successful.  Regular and productive meetings with an academic advisor can help establish the foundation for that success.  As a result of academic advising, our students should be able to:

  • Establish an educational plan based on their major curriculum requirements, academic interests, and personal goals; 
  • Access and use information from various sources to make decisions and carry out plans to accomplish their goals;  and
  • Assume responsibility for meeting the academic expectations and requirements of the University and their degree program.
Academic Advising Roles and Responsibilities

Academic advisors will:

  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, graduation requirements, and University policies and procedures.
  • Protect and secure the integrity of the SLU degree by enforcing University and departmental policies and requirements.
  • Refer students to campus resources and services relevant to their individual needs.  Assist students in working closely with their faculty mentors and their instructors.
  • Empower students to take responsibility for their academic experience.
  • Demonstrate respect for each advisee and serve as a model of the educated person by encouraging mutual trust and open communication.
  • Maintain confidentiality by not discussing issues with parents and non-University persons without the student's permission.

Students will:

  • Meet the advisor at appropriate times and come to advising appointments prepared to assume responsibility for degree planning.
  • Become knowledgeable about academic programs, policies, and procedures and utilize available University resources and services.
  • Clarify personal values and goals and provide advisor with accurate information regarding academic interests and abilities.  Critically reflect upon academic and career goals.
  • Work with the advisor and mentor to develop an academic plan and monitor degree progress through graduation.  As questions if he or she does not understand an issue or has a specific concern.  Keep a personal record of his or her progress toward meeting academic goals.
  • Accept responsibility for decisions and actions (or inactions) that affect educational progress and goals.
  • Display respect for the advisor and have a positive attitude toward the advising process.
Academic Advising Offices

The Assistant Provost for Academic Advising and Directors of Advising are responsible for providing leadership and advocacy of academic advising activities.  Responsibilities also include coordination and support of advising assessment and technology, advisor training, development and recognition, and promoting best practices.

All undergraduate students are assigned to an academic advisor in their school or college.  Advisors provide essential information and guidance to students about policies and degree requirements.  Delivery of academic advising services is provided within advising offices located in each school and college.

Students may also work closely with advisors in specific programs, including: