Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor: How to become the best ever6 min read

Life in college can be unpleasant if you don’t have anyone to direct you. Most students regret some mistakes they made at the beginning of the academic year because they didn’t follow the instructions from their Academic Advisor.

I could remember my time in college; I was going through Interdisciplinary studies; it was my Academic Advisor that helped me select the best courses for the two majors I was combining. He advised me on the courses that could serve as electives and helped me reach out to most of my unfamiliar professors in my field.

Who is an Academic Advisor?

An Academic Advisor is a counselor that directs students in College to help them make the right decision in selecting majors and minors. He/she is like a mentor, instructing the students to explore their academic interests on the right courses to take, and the ones that could serve as electives helping them graduate at the required time.

The job requires the advisor to stay updated on all the programs of the school and keep records of each student. Also, the advisor could be a lecturer/professor who teaches a program in the school but still sets out time for the students under his/her care.

The unique thing about an Academic Advisor is that he/she knows how well you are performing in grades and also knows the courses that will boost your CGPA to help you graduate with excellent results. That’s why students are advised to stay closer to the advisers and build a strong and long-lasting relationship.

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Functions of Academic Advisor:

Academic Guidance:

The Academic Advisor is responsible for guiding the student through their semester to semester academic performance. In a case where you want to get straight A’s in College, your adviser will instruct you on the best way to study, the courses to give attention to, and how difficult some courses are.

On the other hand, you will be advised on the benefits of general education while you study in College in case you find opportunities outside your field of study.

Similar to the academic guidance is career guidance; most students come into college without full knowledge of the type of course they chose to study, making them find it difficult to study the course. The job of the Academic Advisor is to help the student figure out the best career with the help of some questions and assessment tools.

Monitor Student’s Academic Performance:

There are times that the best student in a class will be doing down academically, and you will notice the Academic Advisor seeking the presence of that student.

This is because the advisor monitors and has assess to the academic performance of each student in the class. The advisor can, however, assist this student by directing the student to a specific professor for Assitance.

Update on School Policies:

Some policies and rules might not be clear to the student. For instance, if you want to withdraw from school, there are documents you need to process and submit to the school authority before you can withdraw from school; its the job of the Academic Advisor to approve the withdrawal process and submit it to the school authority.

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Policies and rules like Change of Major require the help of your advisor to connect you to the advisor of the next major you are going to meet. The advisor will also tell you the requirements, pros, and cons of changing majors.

Update on Jobs and Internships:

An Academic Advisor provides resource updates to the students on internships and job opportunities that come as they pass through college. I could remember while I was in school, my advisor helped me to get an internship that trained and helped me to improve my technical and financial skills.

How much can you earn as an Academic Advisor?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a median salary of $56,310 a year is what an advisor makes. This is because the counselor does the job of a counselor and that of a teacher. The professor who is also an advisor in private schools earns more because of their attainment and the experience of handling students.

Career Advancement in Academic Advising:

The job of an Academic Advisor can take you places as an advisor. In a situation where you help a struggling student to excel and perform well, you can get rewarded by the student. On the other hand, with these degrees, an advisor can move to a higher rank in the university. See the table below:

DegreePosition
Master’s degreeSenior-level position
Ph.D. or Ed.Dtenured teaching position
doctoral degreesenior-level position + high school administration

Student Relationship with Academic Advisor:

As a student or advisee, you need to be straight forward and clear with your Academic Advisor, you need to inform him/her on the courses you are not doing well and be open to advise. Here are the responsibilities of an advisee:

  • Contact the advisor at the right time and keep to appointments
  • Understanding that the advisor is not always free but has other students to attend.
  • Seek the attention of the major department when an issue arises with the Academic Advisor.
  • Be open to advice and instruction from the advisor.
  • Get to reciprocate the good deeds of the advisor by helping out in any way possible.
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Academic Advisor Jobs:

Virtually every academic institution requires an academic advisor, be it a community college, state university, or a private college. Thus the job is of high demand. Here are some of the jobs for advisors:

  • Educational Planner
  • Academic life Counselor
  • Graduate Assistant
  • Academic Advising Systems Analyst
  • Admissions Counselor

States like Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, California, Delaware, pay advisors within the range of $63,000 to $78,000 per year.

How do I change my advisor?

Yes, you can change your academic advisor, stating the reasons for the dislike of your current advisor. Some of the factors that can lead to the change of an academic advisor are:

  • Lack of attention from a current advisor
  • Impatience
  • Lack of Understanding
  • Health-related issues on the side of the advisor

Final tips:

The job of an Academic Advisor is a job for professors/lecturer with a genuine interest in their students. Lecturers that can’t be patient with their students cannot do this job because Mentorship is for people who are willing to stay close to their mentees even when their mentees are struggling.

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