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Advisor Resouces

Purpose of Advisors

Student involvement in campus organizations allows students the opportunity to develop organizational and leadership skills. In addition, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a related field of interest. In support of these objectives, it is important that an experienced individual is available to assist students in their organizational endeavors. While the range of student activities and group purposes is diverse, advisors can be a valuable resource to an organization in terms of help and procedural matters, Academy regulations and policies, and financial concerns.  Defining your role as a student organization advisor is the first step in understanding what the Office of Student Activities expects from your involvement with student leaders and their groups. Please watch the video produced by the University of Florida which gives a good idea of what it means to be an advisor.


Advisor Guidelines

  • Advisors must be on-campus faculty or staff member.
  • Students within the organization should select their advisor.
  • Before accepting the position, advisors should be aware of the responsibilities and commitments involved and be willing to perform these functions with enthusiasm. 
  • Advisors must understand the Cleary Act.
  • Advisors must understand and abide by FERPA Regulations.

Advisor Responsibilities

  • Assist officers in understanding their duties, administrating programs and plans, organizing projects and making appropriate transitions.
  • See that continuity of the organization is preserved through a constitution, minutes, files and traditions.
  • Encourage the use of parliamentary procedures so that meetings are run in an orderly, efficient manner.
  • Encourage students to understand and apply democratic principles, including recognition of minority opinions and rights.
  • Meet, as needed, with the organization's president.
  • Meet, as needed, with the executive board.
  • Advise on campus policies and procedures.
  • Be a facilitator both among officers and between officers and members.
  • Be familiar with national structure and services, if relevant.
  • Consult on the program and with individual students as necessary.
  • Be generally available to assist the organization.

Organization's Responsibilities to the advisor

  • Notify the advisor of all meetings and events.
  • Consult the advisor, when needed, in the planning of projects and events.
  • Talk about any problems or concerns with the advisor.
  • Remember that the responsibility for the success or failure of the group's projects rests ultimately with the group and not with the advisor.
  • Be clear and open about your expectations for you advisor's role.
  • Periodically evaluate your advisor and give appropriate feedback.

Working with our Students - produced by the University of Florida

Dig deeper into what it means to set expectations with your student groups by viewing the Advisor Role Checklist handout. This handout can serve as a guide for your conversation with your student organization's leaders expectations for the year.

Goal Setting Worksheet: Use this goal-setting worksheet to help establish and work toward meaningful goals for the organization you are advising. This worksheet is ideal for retreats or executive board meetings in the beginning of the year.

Finally, review the Advisor Manual from the ACPA Commission for Student Involvement.

Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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