Academic Advising for Undergraduates

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

Guided by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC), academic advisors in all academic divisions and on all campuses promote a common set of goals and outcomes. Goals and outcomes are aligned with the advising standards of the National Academic Advising Association.

Advising System Goals

Academic advisors at Miami University support students in navigating University processes and policies, and facilitating their progress toward degree completion. They also assist students in adding, changing, and registering for their courses. The following goals for academic advising support these essential functions:

Goal 1: Advisor Training & Professional Development 

Professional and faculty academic advisors receive appropriate training and ongoing development to ensure they can meet the changing needs of Miami University students.


  1. Develop comprehensive advisor training for all new Miami University advisors
  2. Revise and update Advisor Training content annually
  3. Support the ongoing professional development opportunities for advisors led by MUASAA and external organizations 
  4. Develop ongoing training for continuing advisors 
  5. Create an advising syllabus/curriculum to guide advisors’ work with students 
  6. Maintain processes for advisor advancement within Miami University

Goal 2: Student Advising Experience

The University-wide advising structure is student-focused, sustainable, and collaborative across advising units, student life, and enrollment management and student success, enhancing the student experience with academic advising.


  1. Develop an institutional advising website that serves as a common platform for information about academic advising, policies, and registration information and provides links to Divisional advising websites
  2. Encourage, support, and guide students to take responsibility for using the technology and support for meeting their educational, personal, and career goals
  3. Ensure that students receive relevant information and referrals unique to their situation
  4. Assist students in understanding the purpose of higher education and their role in adding to the intellectual community

Goal 3: Advising Assessment

Professional advising at Miami is assessed on an ongoing basis to promote continuous improvement of the advising system. Professional staff advisors and academic support personnel are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that students receive the best support possible.


  1. Assess student progress on measurable institutional advising outcomes
  2. Assess professional and faculty advisors on institutional metrics for advising effectiveness
  3. Conduct Divisional Advising Assessment as deemed necessary

Goal 4: Utilizing Data for Student Success

Professional staff advisors engage in proactive, data-informed advising to support students’ progress through key milestones in their academic experience


  1. Develop institutional practice around specific student experience milestones
  2. Create expectations for regular, data-informed, coordinated outreach to students using midterm grades, Navigate Student, and early alerts as well as new metrics that guide the deployment of advising resources.

Required Academic Advisor Training

All faculty and staff who engage in direct academic advisement of undergraduate students are required to complete academic advisor training to ensure that students receive high-quality advisement.

The Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC) has developed institutional-level academic advisor training modules. These modules cover the following topics:

  • Miami University's Academic Advising Philosophy, System & Structure
  • Miami's Curriculum & Advising Resources
  • Miami University Academic Policies & Procedures
  • Navigate and Advisor Reporting (online module and face-to-face training with academic divisions)
  • Advising Conversations (face-to-face divisional session)
  • Special Topics Related to Advising
  • Advising Special Populations of Students

Most of the modules can be completed online in less than six hours. Face-to-face components of the training are offered within the academic divisions, and will be scheduled within those divisions. 

Advising-Related Committees

Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC)

Chaired by the Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC) includes representatives from each academic division, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management & Student Success, and the student body.  UAAC responsibilities include:

  • Promote the philosophy, policies, and procedures for academic advising at Miami University with input from various University stakeholders;
  • Build support for and recognition of effective advising across the University through communication and awards for advising excellence;
  • Generate and coordinate training and professional development opportunities for faculty and professional advisors with an emphasis on best practices;
  • Develop and implement common tools for academic advising;
  • Coordinate ongoing institutional assessment of academic advising to ensure continuous improvement.

Miami University Academic Support & Advising Association (MUASAA)

MUASAA is a university-wide association for academic advisors and support personnel at all levels, including faculty, professional staff advisors, academic support personnel, and other entities engaged in advising- or academic support-related duties. MUASAA increases collaboration among advisors across academic units, coordinates professional development initiatives, hosts an annual symposium, and offers community development and networking opportunities for advisors and academic support staff. Contact Jacob Drees or see the MUASAA website for more information.

Additional Opportunities for Academic Advisors 

MUASSA coordinates additional professional development opportunities for academic advisors, including: an annual symposium, brown bag discussions, workshops, and an advising community newsletter. Monthly academic advising community meetings coordinated by the Office for Undergraduate Education. All members of the academic advising community are invited to participate in these meetings. 

Academic divisions may also offer professional development opportunities to the advising teams within those divisions. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Academic advising at Miami University assists students in navigating the University as well as its systems and processes. It also supports them as they pass through key milestones as students. The effectiveness of academic advising will be assessed on the clear and measurable student outcomes listed below. 

As a result of working with their Academic Advisor, students will be able to:

  1. Craft an educational plan based on their academic performance, aspirations, interests and values

Advising tools to support this outcome:

  • Advising syllabus identifying key milestones 
  • List of key advising questions to ask at meetings
  • One-pager/website describing technological tools that support advising (Navigate, DAR, Banner)
  1. Be self-advocates in University processes

Advising tools to support this outcome:

  • “Conversation cards” that describe how to ask common questions (financial aid, asking for an assignment extension, etc…)
  1. Utilize University policies and procedures and campus resources to facilitate their success

Advising tools to support this outcome:

  • Lists of common resources and referrals for students
  • Lists of commonly referenced policies and procedures with links for students

Outcomes for the Academic Advising Experience

Supporting undergraduate students at Miami University involves seeing them as whole people with complex needs, listening to them, and collaborating with them to find solutions to problems. To facilitate this process, the following goals have been developed for the academic advising experience. 

In the process of working with their Academic Advisor, students will:

  • Feel that the advisor listened to them
  • Feel that their identities are validated and valued
  • Receive information, resources, or referrals related to their questions