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 advising decisions and practices are grounded in a learner-centered philosophy (i.e., an approach emphasizing the importance of helping students to make their own informed decisions).
  • The roles and contributions of different types of advisors and academic support personnel are clear; appropriate training and ongoing evaluation for different advisors and academic support personnel are in place.
  • The advising system is easy to navigate, sustainable, and collaborative across advising units, enhancing the student experience.
  • Advising at Miami is assessed on an on-going basis to promote continuous improvement of the advising system.

Required Academic Advisor Training

All faculty and staff who engage in direct academic advisement of undergraduate students are expected to complete professional development through required training to ensure that students receive a consistent and high-quality approach to academic advising.

Required portions of academic advisor development have been created under the guidance of the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council:

  • Introduction to the Advising Philosophy, System & Structure
  • Module 1: Miami's Curriculum & Advising Resources
  • Module 2: Academic Policies & Procedures
  • Module 3: SSC-Campus and Note-Taking (two parts – one online and the other face-to-face)
  • Module 4: Advising Conversations (face-to-face session)
  • Module 5: Advising on Special Topics
  • Module 6: Advising Special Populations of Students

Many of the components (Introduction and Modules 1, 2, part of 3, 5 and 6) are offered online via a Canvas course site and may be completed anytime in less than six hours. 

Half of Module 3 and all of Module 4 are offered only in a face-to-face version several times each academic year. Each of these lasts 60 minutes.

Advising-Related Committees

Undergraduate Academic Advising Council (UAAC)

Chaired by an Associate Provost, the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council includes a representative from each academic division, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management & Student Success, and the student body.  The responsibilities of the UAAC include:

  • Promote the philosophy, policies, and procedures for academic advising at Miami University seeking input from various University constituencies;
  • Build support for and recognition of effective advising across the University through ongoing and clear communication efforts and an annual award for academic excellence;
  • Refine, generate, and coordinate training and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on academic advising with an emphasis on best practices;
  • Improve, coordinate, and implement common tools for academic advising;
  • Coordinate and maintain an ongoing plan for 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. This organization increases collaboration among advisors across academic units, coordinates professional development initiatives, hosts an annual symposium, and offers community development opportunities for networking of advisors and academic support staff. Contact Kristan Kanorr and Tory Lowe, or see the MUASAA website for more information.

Optional Academic Advisor Development

Additional opportunities for professional development such as an annual symposium, brown bag discussions, and workshops are offered regularly by the Miami University Academic Support & Advising Association (MUASAA) as well as divisional advising offices.

Academic advisors also receive an e-newsletter at least twice each semester that provides brief updates and advising-related information and tips.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Wanko, Associate Provost at