Advising Competencies

Here is a list of competencies we believe will help ensure success for our advisors and their students. These statements are intended to reflect a core set of competencies for advisors across colleges, schools and advising units at Purdue. They help to answer the question of what advisors need to do to be professionally prepared for the role. 

Knowledge of undergraduate students

For example:

  1. Know student development, career development and student learning theories
  2. Understand demographic characteristics of Purdue students
  3. Understand generational and cultural competencies of diverse student populations

Be aware of trends in higher education on global, national and local levels

For example:

  1. Familiar with the purpose and goals of higher education
  2. Aware of equity, access and achievement issues in higher education and at Purdue

Knowledge of academic disciplines, requirements and policies

For example:

  1. Have a fundamental understanding of the academic discipline(s) in which advising takes place
  2. Help students make connections between requirements and educational/objectives
  3. Know degree and major requirements
  4. Know program admission requirements and processes as well as academic policies, procedures and deadlines

Basic knowledge of the advising profession

For example:

  1. Understand the role of advising in undergraduate education
  2. Understand the structure of academic and career advising at Purdue
  3. Familiarize yourself with campus and national advising trends and best advising practices 

Demonstration of ethical advising practice

For example:

  1. Effectively apply FERPA guidelines and confidentiality protocol
  2. Understand professional liability and legal issues in advising
  3. Exhibit appropriate boundaries with students

Effective use of campus resources

For example:

  1. Utilize and collaborate with campus units such as academic deans' offices, registrar financial aid and other resources
  2. Appropriately refer students to academic and learning support resources
  3. Be familiar with leadership and cocurricular options for students
  4. Appropriately refer students to mental and physical health resources

Effective use of career resources

For example:

  1. Understand the career development process
  2. Initiate career conversations with students
  3. Appropriately refer students to career advising resources on campus
  4. Help students make the connection between their educational experience and post-graduation options

Cultural competency

For example:

  1. Engage in self-reflection
  2. Be aware that cultural identities (nationality, race, social class, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc.) influence thinking and behavior
  3. Exhibit the relational skills to advise effectively across differences

Communication skills

For example:

  1. Employ active listening techniques
  2. Ask effective questions
  3. Encourage student reflection
  4. Demonstrate effective presentation skills
  5. Exhibit effective written and email communication
  6. Communicate effectively across cultural differences

Interpersonal skills

For example:

  1. Exhibit multicultural competence
  2. Establish rapport
  3. Balance challenge and support with students
  4. Make appropriate and effective referrals
  5. Collaborate effectively with colleagues
  6. Empower students to develop educational and career planning skills

Effective use of advising technologies and tools

Including the following systems/tools:

  1. Purdue-specific systems and tools: Banner, myPurduePlan, Cognos, Unitime
  2. Effective documentation

Knowledge of self

For example:  

  1. Practice self-reflection and exhibit self-awareness
  2. Articulate a personal advising philosophy
  3. Recognize his/her own professional strengths and limitations
  4. Engage in ongoing professional development

Adapted from the University of Wisconsin.