Role of Faculty Advisors

Role of the faculty in pre-major advising.

Goals of pre-major advising

The aim of Pre-Major Advising is to facilitate a productive advising relationship between faculty and students who are in their first and second years and have not yet declared a major.  Entering students are assigned academic advisors from the faculty who will help guide students in electing courses for the first and second years.

The nature of the advice students need changes dramatically over the four years of college.  The advising system is therefore decentralized by design and consists of a host of different resources and people that students will access at different points during their academic careers. Faculty advisors are an important component of every student’s advising network, but students also have access to many other types of advisors and advising resources. Students are responsible for taking the initiative to seek the advice they need from other people and resources on campus.

Eligibility to advise

Members of the faculty serve as pre-major advisors if they are in residence (either teaching or on an “R” term) during the Fall term of the academic year. Faculty not assigned advisees in the Fall term may be asked to fill in as advisors during other terms when assigned faculty are off campus. Advisors will be placed in contact with five or six others who are advising students from the same house community in order to accommodate a flexible advising organization.

Expectations for faculty advisors

Your role as a faculty advisor is to offer your perspective and expertise to your advisees. You are not expected to know about the entire curriculum, about every course of study, or the answer to every question. We hope, however, that you will be familiar with the general curriculum requirements. We also expect that when an advisee asks you a question that you cannot answer, you will model how to find answers. This may mean that you look on the Dartmouth website or you contact the Undergraduate Deans Office, the Registrar, the relevant departmental administrator, etc. while the student is with you. In this sense, advising is like teaching.