Academic Advising Philosophy

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

To advance the goals and outcomes articulated above, Miami University academic advisors follow a shared philosophy of holistic and developmental advising which was approved by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council in 2013. At the core of this philosophy is the concept of learner-centered advising:

In learner-centered advising, the advisor sees every opportunity for the student make a choice as a learning opportunity and assists students in steadily gaining ownership over their college experience. The learning process encompasses students’ cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal development.

Being learner-centered is different from being student-centered: "Being student-centered implies a focus on student needs. It gives rise to the idea of education as a product, with the student as the customer" (Weimer, xvi). In contrast, "Being learner-centered focuses attention squarely on learning: what the student is learning, how the student is learning, the conditions under which the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying the learning, and how current learning positions the student for future learning. The student is still an important part of the equation. When instruction is learner-centered, the action focuses on what students (not advisers) are doing" (Weimer, xvi).

In this approach, advisors and academic support professionals teach students and assist in their purposeful, holistic, and intentional growth. Through conversation and dialogue, they teach students to value the learning process, apply decision-making strategies, put the college experience into perspective, set priorities and evaluate events, develop thinking and learning skills, gain personal and intellectual maturity, and make informed choices.

To best support this learning process advisors and other academic support professionals at Miami University partner purposefully across the university.

Key Assessment Measures

Miami University embraces assessment of academic advising at both the divisional and institutional level. The following measures indicate the effectiveness of academic advising and provide data for the continuous improvement of advising processes. 


  • First-to-Second-Year Retention and Six-Year Graduation Rates

  • Student and Advisor Surveys

  • Advising-Related Questions on the National Survey of Student Engagement

  • Standard Advisor-Advisee Ratios