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griffin Center for Excellence in Academic Advising

Overview of the Center


The Center for Excellence in Academic Advising is an electronic resource for academic advising and provides links to other websites that are useful to faculty and staff advisers. The mission of the Center is to support advisers in their work with students.

The Center has seven main sections:

  • Overview of the Center describes why we advise students, the nature of advising at the University and its relation to our teaching.
  • The Importance of Advising contains a statement from Eric White about his view of the importance of advising.
  • The Role of the Adviser discusses the ways in which we function when we advise as well as the specific responsibilities that the University states for advisers.
  • Advisers' Tools and Techniques contains practical advice about how to advise students, structured around a set of questions that advisers frequently ask.
  • Advising Resources gives links to online resources and a bibliography of print resources that are helpful to advisers at the University.
  • FAQ (frequently asked questions) that involve how you would come to know your students and how to help them solve problems and meet the challenges of being successful Penn State students.
  • The Site Index lists all the topics available on the Center's Web pages.

The Center and Advising

Many individuals at Penn State offer academic advising, including faculty who advise at the departmental and premajor levels, and staff professionals who work primarily with students in an advising capacity.

Penn State faculty who advise will find both practical information and discussions of issues in academic advising at this site. It is structured to introduce new advisers to concepts of advising and to update experienced advisers as Penn State changes. The Center is intended as a way to help faculty to learn about advising at Penn State. It cannot, however, replace conversation with colleagues or experience with students.

Penn State students believe advising to be one of the most important activities in their academic lives. Good relationships established during the advising process benefit all: student, adviser, and University. Students come to know Penn State better and learn to explore all possible options, becoming accomplished learners. Advisers take satisfaction in the intellectual and personal growth of their advisees. The University fosters students who participate in our teaching, learning, advising, and research activities and who will become productive, loyal graduates.

If you find that the Center does not provide some information that would help you as an adviser at Penn State, please contact Dr. David R. Smith, Associate Dean for Advising and Executive Director, Division of Undergraduate Studies, at

While much of the Center is online, adviser development programs are also available. Contact the DUS Programs Coordinator at University Park or at the Commonwealth Campuses if you would like to discuss an advising development activity.

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