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Student Expectations of Advisors

There are three fundamental expectations that all students are entitled to have of their advisors:

1) To be available

Students need to be able to see their advisors as needed throughout the semester, not just at pre-registration. Advisors should publish advising office hours and stick to them. This needs to be done with student schedules in mind. It is not reasonable to expect a student to cut a class to accommodate posted office hours. Advisors should also be reachable through voice mail and electronic mail, and should respond to messages within one working day. Advisors should also set-up with their advisees a method allowing them to make appointments. Nothing is more frustrating that not being able to find an advisor or make an appointment.

2) To be knowledgable

Advisees have the right to expect their advisors to give them accurate information about University and program requirements, about procedures, about policies, and about deadlines. Few advisors can recall from memory everything needed to answer every question accurately and fully, but EVERY advisor should know where to find accurate information. This handbook seeks to make the task of finding accurate, up-to-date information easier.

3) To care

Every student has the right to be treated by his or her advisor in a respectful, caring, considerate manner. Information can be dispensed in many ways, but advice can only be given through an interactive process in which the goals, abilities, successes and shortcomings of the advisee are known and respected. Good advisors are good listeners who take the time to get to know their advisees.

The legitimate expectations students have of their advisors are many, but there ARE a few expectations that some students may have that are unreasonable. Both advisors and advisees need to be clear about these limits.

  1. Academic advisors are not personal counselors. Students should not expect their advisors to help them sort out personal problems. Advisors are not trained to help with these situations; the University has professional counselors that are and students should be encouraged to take advantage of those services through the Counseling Center or Student Affairs.
  2. Academic advisors are not tutors. Advisees should not expect their advisors to give supplemental or remedial instruction in their academic courses. Advisors can refer students to the Tutor Program.
  3. Advisors are friendly, but should not be expected to be pals. Advisees should respect the fact that advisors are busy people whose time is important; they should not plan to “drop in” on their advisor just to chat between classes, unless they have been invited to do so.

Go Blue!
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469