What is Academic Advising?

Defining Academic Advising

Academic advising takes place in:

Situations in which an institutional representative gives insight or direction to a college student about an academic, social, or personal matter. The nature of this direction might be to inform, suggest, counsel, discipline, coach, mentor, or even teach.

Kuhn, T. (2008). Historical Foundations of Academic Advising. In V.N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, & T. J. Grites (Eds.). Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Campus Process. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Academic Advising provides academic assistance and individualized attention to promote each student's success and graduation from Sonoma State University. Advising sessions are a collaborative process in which both the advisor and the student work together to understand the curriculum, as well as, develop personal and educational goals. Academic Advising is not telling a student what to do and what courses to take, but discussing options that can help each student achieve their goals for success. Every student is unique, so each academic advising session is tailored individually to the student. 

At Sonoma State University, students can meet with their Faculty Advisor and/or their Professional Academic Advisor.

Professional Academic Advisors

Professional Academic Advisors provide holistic and proactive academic advising to support the whole student. Our Professional Academic Advisors work with students to explore who they want to become personally, professionally and academically. Professional Academic Advisors use intensive advising techniques, appreciative advising techniques, proactive outreach and academic coaching to assist students attain their goals. Professional Academic Advisors can be found in the Advising Center, in individual schools and programs such as EOP, PUERTA or Disability Services for Students.

Faculty Advisors

Faculty Advisors help students learn which major courses and necessary prerequisites to take to persist towards on-time graduation. Faculty Advisors bring their wealth of academic and industry experience and expertise to support students in the work they do in their chosen major, discussing graduate school options, internships, etc. Finally, Faculty Advisors work with students to get them involved in undergraduate research and connected with other faculty that share their interests.  

Who is my Academic Advisor?

Students are assigned a Faculty Advisor and/or a Professional Academic Advisor. These assignments are based on various factors, such as whether a student is part of a specialized population or support program; the number of units the student has completed; and the student's declared major. Students may find their assigned advisor listed in their Student Center or by using this table.