WPI’s advising program is based on a cooperative and understanding relationship between the students and advisors. Under the WPI Plan, students have the final responsibility for designing their own educational experience at WPI which includes understanding all their degree requirements and making sure all those requirements have been satisfied for graduation. Your role as a faculty advisor is to help your advisees design a program of study which reflects the students’ interests and professional goals.
As an advisor, you may suggest specific programs of study, but not insist that students follow a particular path. You may also help students choose among academic alternatives, help them interpret catalog requirements, and review degree audits and grade reports with them. Students are expected to understand these documents and their implications for academic progress and act accordingly.
Advising, however, is more than course selection and review of degree requirements. In fact, research published by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has demonstrated that one of the most powerful influences on student persistence in college is individual attention from faculty members. As such, it is recommended that you develop relationships with your advisees on an individual basis to cultivate their academic interests and career prospects. For strategies to create effective advising relationships, and for more information about your role, please view the Faculty Advisor handbook.