The Role of the First Year Advisor
The First Year Advisor is the first year student's first contact for questions and concerns about academic life on campus. The FYA's responsibilities fall into four basic categories:
1. Help students understand the meaning of a liberal arts education
Many students arrive at Augustana with only a vague sense of what it means to attend a liberal arts institution. The First Year Advisor should help these students to understand why they are required to take certain classes, what they can hope to gain from these classes, and how Augustana's curriculum fits into a long tradition of liberal arts education.
2. Assist students in understanding Augustana's graduation requirements
This is necessary so that the students will be able to develop their own schedules in a manner consistent with these requirements and with their educational goals.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While the advisor has an important responsibility to provide helpful and accurate information and suport, ultimately, students are responsible for being sure that they meet all requirements for graduation. Advisors need to emphasize that students need to read and understand the College Catalog and use WebAdvisor as a guide.
3. Help students adjust and adapt to college life
Healthy adjustment to college life serves as the foundation for academic success. The advisor provides counsel to students who experience difficulties in this transition.
However, students often require the assistance of specially trained professionals, and in these cases, a first year advisor will refer a student to other resources on campus (such as the Counseling Center, the Career Center, the Center for Vocational Reflection, the Reading Writing Center, etc...).
4. Help students on their journey toward discovering who it is they want to become.
First Year Advisors should work with their advisees to help those students explore the possibilities that Augustana offers them. This includes helping students to consider and investigate possible major courses of study, but need not be limited to this.