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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Advisor Development eLearning Course Descriptions

This course is designed to enhance academic advising skills and serve as a resource on specific advising topics.

Advisors have the choice to:

  • use the modules to learn more about a fundamental area of advising or
  • complete UNI's Advisor Certificate program

Each Core Knowledge or Elective area introduced is broken into four parts:

  • Introduction of subject matter
  • Lesson Plan
    • This could include watching a video, completing a reading, etc.
  • Self-Assessment
    • This is a short quiz to test what you learned.
  • Resources
    • A folder to direct you to other UNI resources.

Core Knowledge –Five Areas:

1. Advising at UNI

This core knowledge area is broken into three parts:

  • Advising as teaching and learning
    • Vision, mission, and goals of UNI Advising
    • Advising as a faculty function and advising as teaching
    • Novice to Expert model of advising
  • Ethics in academic advising
    • FERPA and Legal Issues in Advising
    • National Academic Advising Core Values and Academic Advising Responsibilities
    • Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education: Academic Advising
  • Professional development
    At UNI there are multiple avenues for ongoing professional development. These include:

2. Advisor Toolbox: Relational Skills, Making Referrals, and Forms

This core knowledge area is broken into three parts:

  • Relational skills
    • Advisors use the same relational skills they might use in teaching.
    • This section will expand on this topic and give advisors examples on how to strengthen their relational skills with students.
  • Referrals
    • Knowing how to use existing university resources is an important part of advising; it can facilitate and streamline your work as an advisor.
    • The resources in this section of the lesson plan will help you to provide more efficient and accurate advising.
  • Forms
    • Students may require assistance or approvals from their advisor in completing university forms. This section will highlight the most common forms, where to locate them, and the processes involved.

3. Undergraduate Degree Requirements & Liberal Arts Core

This core knowledge area will highlight UNI's undergraduate degree requirements and the Liberal Arts Core.

  • Liberal Arts Core Advising
  • Undergraduate Degree Requirements

4. Reading an Advisement Report

An Advisement Report is the document that shows all of the requirements for graduation. It shows what requirements have been completed and what requirements still need to be completed. This lesson illustrates how advisors can use the advisement report to confirm:

  • curriculum requirements
  • academic progress
  • student success and challenges

5. Navigating the SIS

SIS stands for Student Information System.

  • Advisors need to know how to access information about and for their advisees. Advisors are asked to remove holds, run advisement reports, access information about students to provide appropriate placement into courses. UNI's Student Information System (SIS) provides tools to enable you to accomplish these tasks. The Advisement Report is a separate module all advisors should complete.
  • This lesson highlights the functions of Advisor Center within SIS.

Elective Areas

Transfer Students
This lesson describes the intensified transition transfer students make. Learn about:

  • Five Groups of Students in Transition
  • Admissions Transfer Credit Website
  • Transfer Credit FAQs

Requirements of Teacher Education
This lesson plan will review the various aspects of the teacher education program, using the comprehensive resource of the Teacher Education website. Once familiar with this site, you will be able to find answers to the majority of your questions. Topics include:

  • Admission Requirements
  • Common Coursework
  • Coursework Specific to Programs
  • Licensure Requirements
  • The UNITED System
  • Notifications of Concern

Career Development in Advising
This lesson connects careers to majors. It includes resources to facilitate career development discussions: helping students connect knowledge of self with knowledge of majors/careers. The convergence of these two are the foundation of career decision making. It includes:

  • A downloadable career exploration discussion guide
  • Links to Major/Career Handouts
  • Assessment tools available at UNI and how to access them

Working with Special Populations
This module includes lesson plans for the following special populations:

  • Students with a Disability
  • First Generation
  • Students with Mental Health Concerns
  • Student Veterans
  • Non-Traditional Students
  • High Achieving Students
  • Student Athletes

Advising for Academic Success
This elective is broken into three parts to address the challenges of students in different academic situations:

  • New students developing strategies for the increased academic demands of college
  • Students in academic difficulty in a semester
  • Students on academic alert or probation

Advisors provide a variety pathways and ultimately students decide which strategies to pursue. Advisors will also find a number of online tools like a GPA calculator, time charts to illustrate time management, a flowchart on deciding whether or not to drop a class.

Cultural Competency for Advisors
Cultural competency is the ability to both know about other cultures and effectively engage with diverse students (NACADA, 2007). Cultural competency is important due to the dynamics of a changing population and the impact this has on education and advising. Academic advisors set the framework for student experiences. Advisors can help diverse students to take control of their own education in order to be more comfortable on UNI's campus.
This lesson will focus on:

  • Self-reflection of your own cultural competency
  • the components of gaining cultural competency
  • suggestions for culturally responsive interactions
  • incorporating cultural competency into one-on-one interactions

Working with Parents & Guardians
Advisors and parents are not adversaries. Each has an important role in the success of the student. When talking with parents and students it can be necessary to clarify how each role can be important and how roles are changing. This lesson will focus on how to handle these conversations and provide resources you can give to parents.