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Academic Advising is a process in which students seek and receive guidance with academic program planning, usually from a faculty advisor or professional advisor. Meaningful educational planning is compatible with a student's life goals; therefore, academic advising encompasses discussion of life goals and assistance with the developmental process of life goals clarification. The ultimate responsibility for making decisions about educational plans and life goals rests with the individual student. Assistance with the clarification of life goals is not limited to the academic advising relationship, and may include staff in areas such as career development, residential life, and counseling. For academic advisors, assisting students in the clarification of life goals means helping students explore and define their educational and career goals in an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning.

Advising, while non-prescriptive, encourages students to think critically, seek out resources, and develop action steps. The desired result is that students will feel a sense of connection with the advisor and a sense of guidance, while realizing personal responsibility for exploring options and making decisions.