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Academic Advising Policy

Academic Advising Policy
School of Science
The College of New Jersey
Approved May 2013

(Adapted from the School of Humanities and Social Science Advising Policy)

Guiding Principles

  1. Standard definition of Academic Advising, taken from David S. Crockett, Ed. (1987). Advising Skills, Techniques and Resources: A Compilation of Materials Related to the Organization and Delivery of Advising Services. Iowa City, Iowa. ACT Corporation:

“Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their life/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 courses and career planning and academic progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus agencies as necessary. ”

  1. Academic advising is important. It is a critical part of student development, and it is a responsibility of all faculty members and students.
  2. In addition to their relationship with an assigned faculty academic advisor, students frequently receive advising and mentoring from faculty and staff members in other informal and formal ways. For example, faculty and staff members develop personal relationships with individual students as research mentors, club advisors, instructors, and ad hoc mentors.
  3. Academic advising is an educational interaction between students (advisees) and faculty members (advisors) in which both have responsibility to one another. As a School, our community agrees on the following list of responsibilities for the two partners in this relationship:

The responsibilities of student advisees are:

  1. To develop a program plan with depth and liberal arts breadth that may change over time as they discover new interests and passions but still leads to graduation in a timely manner;
  2. To participate actively in planning their own education, setting and meeting goals;
  3. To take responsibility for understanding the policies and academic requirements of their program and The College;
  4. To schedule and prepare for regular academic advising appointments as instructed by their faculty advisors;
  5. To consult with their academic advisor before making any academic decisions such as dropping a class, adding a minor or changing majors;
  6. To develop resourcefulness by seeking, identifying and appropriately using resources, beyond their faculty advisor, for guidance on academic and career matters; and
  7. To develop self-ownership of their education by learning to make fully informed choices and take responsibility for their decisions.

The responsibilities of faculty advisors are:

  1. To help students plan their programs of study;
  2. To listen to students’ academic concerns and needs;
  3. To be available to students and to take an active interest in their welfare;
  4. To be knowledgeable and familiar with the curricular requirements for both their home department as well as TCNJ’s liberal learning program;
  5. When appropriate, to refer students to additional resources elsewhere on the campus or beyond for guidance on academic and career matters;
  6. To help students make informed choices, negotiate difficulties, and take ownership of their education by learning from the consequences of their actions and choices; and
  7. To keep records of advising; various methods are acceptable, including the comments section of each student’s PAWS record which is visible to the student.

Recognizing the importance of academic advising in the academic and professional development of our students, both academic advisors and students should be familiar with advising resources and tools, including program requirements for the major and for liberal learning, patterns of course availability, and the online tools in PAWS. This includes regular use of the Academic Requirements module. Additionally, in order to ensure progress toward degree completion, students should respond promptly to communication from faculty advisors and from degree audit officers from Records and Registration.


Science Complex, P105
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628