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Academic Advising Assignments

Department chairs and program directors are encouraged to review this page and consult with your assistant dean when making academic advising assignments for faculty and/or staff advisors within your department or program.

Assigning students to academic advisors can be done in multiple ways. Assignments can be made according to the following rules:

  1. Student’s last name alpha which means an advisor is assigned students by their last name--or the first letter(s) of the last name. Assignments can be made up to the first three letters of the student’s last name. This is the most commonly used method
  2. Round robin which equally distributes advisees among the academic advisors listed
  3. Single advisor which means all advisees are assigned to a single person within that department, such as a chief departmental advisor
  4. Catalog year (not year and term) for students admitted in the fall or spring semester
  5. Class level (first-year, sophomore, etc.) which is based upon pure credit hours earned
  6. Concentration within a given degree program or major.

General Information about the Advising Assignment System & Rules

  • “Last name alpha” is the most commonly used and generally preferred method because it allows for greater continuity if an advisor goes on leave. However, it requires that the person assigning students to advisors make sure that the distribution of advisees to each advisor is appropriate so that someone is not overloaded.
  • You may enact up to two of the “rules” listed above, with the first one listed as the top priority. For example, you could assign students by class level first and those students who in that class level are distributed among the advisors listed for that class level in a round robin manner.
  • The rules set for each unit (division/department) apply to all students in that division/department. The system checks each night to be sure all assignments are aligned with the rules in place.
  • When a student changes a major or concentration, the advisor is removed, and the student is re-assigned overnight by whatever rules are in place.
  • Round robin: When an advisor goes on leave, all of their advisees will automatically be reassigned and redistributed. When the advisor returns, he or she does not get the previously assigned advisees back. He or she would be assigned whichever new students need an advisor.
  • Class level: It is important to remember that students can enter Miami with huge differences in the number of hours earned.
  • Catalog year: Students can change their catalogue year, particularly if the major is revised and they prefer the newly revised version.

Shortcomings of Particular Rules

  • Round robin: When an advisor goes on leave, all of their advisees will automatically be reassigned and redistributed. When the advisor returns, he or she does not get the previously assigned advisees back. He or she would be assigned whichever new students need an advisor.
  • Class level: It is important to remember that students can enter Miami with huge differences in the number of hours earned.
  • Catalog year: Students can change their catalogue year, particularly if the major is revised and they prefer the newly revised version.