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What is an Academic Advisor?


By: Jennifer McGuigan
APUS Senior Manager, Advising Development

An Academic Advisor is many things – a consultant, a communications expert, a cheerleader, a sounding-board, a storyteller, an empathetic listener, a university guru, and so much more!  Your academic advisor is one of your greatest resources while navigating the path from your first registrations to graduation and achieving your educational goals.   

According to the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA):

“Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their life and career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process by which students realize their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is ongoing, multifaceted and the responsibility of both student and advisor.

The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and academic progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus agencies as necessary.”

In other words, Academic Advisors:

  • Assist students with selecting a program that meets their long-term educational, personal, and professional goals and needs
  • Suggest courses for registration that enhance the academic experience and aid in degree completion
  • Promote engagement and student success
  • Offer referral to other university resources when needed
  • Help students navigate their academic programs and alert them to any twists or turns along the way
  • Advocate for students when educationally and academic ally sound and relevant
  • Communicate university policies and procedures

At APUS, Academic Advisors are committed to their students and helping them meet their educational and professional goals.  For additional information about the APUS Academic Advising department we invite you to browse the APUS Student Advising & Resource Center