Information for New Advisors
New academic advisors are faced with the challenge of learning many policies and procedures, exploring dozens of resources, and understanding the academic structure of the university -- all within a short period of time. Processing all of this information can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to even know where to start.
Almost all offices offer some training to their new advisors. Although training needs do vary according to department, college, and particular job responsibilities, all new advisors need to follow specific procedures and understand certain policies to function as an advisor.
The information in this section outlines some of the important steps that a new advisor must take to become established as an advisor at the UA. The New Advisor Checklist, which summarizes these steps, is provided for your convenience. Links with additional information about each of the four training areas are included below.
Use this information in conjunction with training materials provided by your department to become prepared for life as an advisor at the University of Arizona.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is the federal law that governs the rights of students and institutional responsibilities with respect to student records. Advisors must complete an online FERPA training prior to gaining access to UAccess Student, the University's student records system. The training takes about 20 minutes. Users will be instructed to fill out a form at the end of the training to verify completion for the purpose of requesting access to UAccess.
FERPA restricts the amount of student information that advisors can share with outside parties, including parents. Some student data is considered to be directory information and can be shared with any outside party, unless the student restricts access to this information via UAccess. All non-directory information is confidential and cannot be shared with an outside party unless the student waives his or her FERPA rights by signing an Authorization for Release of Information (PDF).
The University uses a system called UAccess to manage student records, course information, admission data, and countless other sets of information. Access to this system is essential in the daily work of an advisor.
Email is an essential method of communication on the UA campus. To receive important information and stay connected to students and colleagues, all advisors should establish a university email address and join relevant email listservs. You'll learn how to get connected.
A summary of critical links for getting connected to campus.
One of the important roles of an academic advisor is to provide accurate and timely information to students about applicable academic policies and procedures. This list is intended to provide advisors with a "first step" to understanding the basics. The advisor's supervisor provides additional training on policies and procedures.