Statement on Institutional Advising

Within the context of the Institutional Statement on Academic Advising, the Academic Advising Program supports the mission of the College and its holistic development of students. Moreover, the Advising Program promotes the development and effective communication of accurate information about all aspects of the College with a particular emphasis on General Education, degree programs (majors and minors), numerous learning opportunities, and campus resources supporting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

The Student's Role in Academic Advising

Seeking quality advice is an important responsibility of students in making decisions about their own academic and professional futures. Within the context of a comprehensive advising program at Berea College, students are responsible for: understanding the importance of their relationships with advisors; seeking out advisors and making contact on a regular basis; knowing the requirements of the Labor Program, General Education, and their individual degree programs when admitted; providing constructive feedback for advisors; and taking final responsibility for making their own decisions based on the best information and advice available.

The Berea College Statement on Academic Advising

Academic advising is central to the educational mission of Berea College.  Such advising is a deliberate activity grounded in teaching and learning, foundational in fostering student engagement in Berea's continuous learning environment, and provides each student with guidance for developing and achieving meaningful educational, professional, and personal goals.  Advisors engage students in learning, labor, and service; promote students' academic success; and foster students' personal, ethical, and intellectual growth.  Academic advising is a shared responsibility between students and their faculty advisors.

Guidelines for Advising (for Students and Advisors)

Academic advising at Berea College is designed to provide support for students as they take on increasing responsibility for their learning and development. The advising program has three primary stages.

  • In the first year, each student’s academic advisor is their instructor in GSTR 110 Writing Seminar I. In combination with the course objectives, first-year advisors focus on helping students make the transition to fully engaged college students.  Advisors also introduce students to the various campus resources that are available to assist the transition and prepare students for academic, personal, and professional success.
  • In the second term, some students will be relatively certain regarding their area of academic and professional interest and will select an academic area for further exploration. For the second year, these students will be placed with advisors who have academic training in those areas. Students who remain uncertain regarding career and academic pursuits will be assigned a second-year advisor who will focus on helping students evaluate their skills, interests, and aspirations and help them identify an area of academic pursuit. The designation of area of academic interest will take place as part of the Labor Day event.
  • Once students have declared and been accepted into majors (often in the spring term of the second year), they will be assigned advisors who contribute extensively in the teaching for that major. These major advisors work to help students identify and take advantage of learning opportunities within the major and beyond and ensure that students continue to make progress towards graduation.

If a student wishes to change a second-year or major advisor, it is the student’s responsibility to complete the appropriate section of the Change of Advisor/Major/Minor/Concentration form, which requires the signatures of both the previous and the new advisors. The Change of Advisor/Major/Minor/Concentration form may be obtained in the Self Serve Room (101 Lincoln Hall), and completed forms are turned in at the Student Service Center.

Responsibilities of the Student

Students in the Academic Advising program are expected to:

  1. Take responsibility for continuous evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and for academic choices. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements of their chosen academic department.
  2. In consultation with advisors, students should begin to develop a comprehensive Four-Year Plan early in their undergraduate career. This plan may be changed and refined over time, but laying the preliminary groundwork in this way will make major selection and declaration easier and will provide opportunities for taking advantage of important learning opportunities that are available (internships, undergraduate research, term abroad, etc) and help you stay on track toward graduation.
  3. Formulate comprehensive goals (academic, social, leadership, etc) that will help clarify career choices and allow you to take full advantage of your Berea College education.
  4. Become acquainted with resources available to you.
  5. Familiarize yourself with academic policies, procedures, and requirements published each year in this Catalog & Student Handbook (available online at www.berea.edu/cataloghandbook).
  6. Know the graduation requirements for your degree, including the deadline to submit your Application for Degree. All degree requirements, except for regular course work, must be completed 30 days prior to the commencement at which the student will graduate.
  7. Maintain accurate and current academic records. Use the online Degree Evaluation tool on the myBerea Web portal to make sure your records and those in the Student Service Center agree with one another.
  8. Maintain regular contact and communicate with your advisor.
  9. Prepare, in advance, for every advising session with your advisor and bring with you any materials your advisor may need, including information from the Berea College Catalog & Student Handbook, Curriculum Plan(s), Curriculum Guides (the most up-to-date of which are available via a quick link from the www.berea.edu/cataloghandbook site), and tentative class and labor schedules.
  10. Follow through when there are questions regarding grades, credits (including transfer and advanced-placement), or requirements. Don’t let something slip through the cracks!
  11. Know your advisor’s office hours, campus extension, and CPO box number.

Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor

Advisors in the Academic Advising program are expected to:

  1. Become well acquainted with the advisee’s academic and educational needs.
  2. Obtain and maintain current information concerning each advisee.
  3. Provide the advisee with current information about academic procedures, policies, and requirements. (Inform advisees that it is their responsibility to be aware of these issues which are covered in this Catalog & Student Handbook, the Schedule of Classes, and other publications available to students in print and/or online.)
  4. Assist the advisee with developing course schedules and offering advice on choices of electives.
  5. Provide the advisee with accurate information concerning alternatives, limitations, and possible consequences of their choices, both academic and personal.
  6. Refer the advisee to available campus resources according to the student’s needs.
  7. Encourage the advisee to develop a Four-Year plan regarding the academic, labor, service, leadership other opportunities to take advantage of during the student’s tenure at Berea.
  8. Review advisee’s academic progress on a regular basis using the Degree Evaluation tool on the myBerea Web portal, searching for and reporting any conflicts or omissions.

    Note: An official Curriculum Plan must be filed with the Office of the Registrar located in Lincoln Hall as part of the Declaration of Primary Major process.

  9. Lead interventions with the student to help him or her reach goals and be successful in collaboration with Labor Supervisors, Collegium, Athletic Coaches, and others as appropriate in response to Performance Checks, Early Feedback, mid-term and final grade reports, and other indications of academic difficulty.
  10. Study, discuss, verify, and sign official forms with the student, as needed. Note that your signature constitutes your awareness, and often your approval, of the action being taken or proposed. If you express concerns or reservations about the action but elect to sign the form anyway, be sure to note your concerns in the student’s file, on the applicable form, and possibly on the proposal as well.
  11. Assist the advisee in taking control of his or her life. For most students, coming to College is the first experience away from home. Such an adjustment is difficult for some students. Guide them toward a life of independence and maturity, but avoid doing everything for them or making all of their decisions.
  12. Provide the advisee with your office hours, campus extension, CPO box number, and any other contact information you wish to share. Be sure to keep your posted office hours and to inform the advisee of any changes.
  13. Provide the advisee with an understanding of the importance of being thorough, prompt, and honest in completing the various evaluation tools they will receive from the Institutional Research and Assessment office concerning advising and courses/instruction, including the Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire (IEQ).

The Academic Advisor's Role

To achieve the goals of academic advising at Berea College, advisors, with support from the Advising Program, are responsible for: being knowledgeable of, and communicating, College policy and the requirements of the curriculum, General Education, and academic and labor departments; monitoring students' progress towards successful degree completion; being available to meet with students on a regular basis; assisting students in finding appropriate institutional resources to promote success and engagement; involving students in academic and career planning processes and in exploring of options and resources; and engaging in developmental activities to stay informed of issues that impact student success.