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 academic advisors follow a shared philosophy of holistic and developmental advising which was approved by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council in 2013 and is articulated below:

Miami University advances “learner-centered advising” (Lowenstein 2005). In learner-centered advising, the advisor sees every opportunity the student needs to make a choice as a learning opportunity and assists students in steadily gaining ownership over the whole college experience. The learning process encompasses students’ cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal development.

Being learned-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, advisers and academic support professionals teach students and help them develop purposefully, holistically, and intentionally. Through the art of 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.

Just as one faculty member cannot meet all of students’ needs, the adviser and academic support professional must partner purposefully with one another and others across the university to promote student learning and success.

Key Assessment Measures

Miami 2020 Goal: Miami will achieve a 6-year graduation rate of 85% (4-year graduation rate of 75%)


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

  • Student and Advisor Surveys, conducted in-house at least once every four years and focused on the advisor or student outcomes listed above

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

  • Success Rates as Measured by the Student Success Collaborative & Other Early Alert Systems

  • Standard Advisor-Advisee Ratios