I. General Policy
This Undergraduate Academic Advising Policy affirms Rice University’s continued commitment to providing undergraduate students with an unparalleled environment to explore opportunities, identify goals, and implement academic plans to reach those goals. Undergraduate academic advising at Rice University is a university-wide effort that is faculty-led but supported and supplemented by professional and student advisors. This policy applies to any individual, organization, or office actively engaging in undergraduate academic advising at Rice University and provides the framework for the administration of undergraduate academic advising at the university. The goals that undergraduate academic advising at Rice University strives to meet are the following:
- Provide assistance with and accurate information about academic policies, procedures, resources, and programs and how to be successful within them.
- Help students match their personal goals to their educational experiences, develop an academic plan consistent with their goals, and evaluate progress toward those goals.
- Help students develop strategies to succeed both in and out of the classroom.
- Provide assistance with co-curricular opportunities at Rice, including discussion of how to achieve school/life balance.
- Help students explore career options and how to achieve them.
- Help students develop a sense of self (e.g., clarify their values, understand their abilities, interests, and limitations).
- Help students develop decision-making skills.
- Refer students to appropriate support resources and university entities.
II. Roles and Responsibilities
The faculty as a whole is responsible for providing undergraduate students with both formal and informal academic advising. As part of university service, faculty members at all ranks are expected to participate in appropriate academic advising activities at Rice.
The Dean of Undergraduates is responsible for overseeing academic advising related to undergraduate students. The Dean of Undergraduates is also responsible for ensuring that undergraduate academic advising positions are filled with qualified and high-quality candidates.
The School Deans are responsible for ensuring that their departments, schools, and other academic units fill relevant undergraduate academic advising positions with qualified and high-quality candidates and submit necessary notifications to the Office of Academic Advising in a timely and complete manner.
The Office of Academic Advising (OAA) is the primary coordinating office for academic advising at Rice. The office works with faculty, professional, and student advising units on campus to coordinate academic advising. Additionally, the office is primarily responsible for maintaining and implementing appropriate training and procedures for academic advising.
III. Elaboration of Policy
The faculty as a whole is primarily responsible for providing academic advising for undergraduate students but their work is supported and supplemented by professional and student advisors. All of these academic advisors on campus are part of the Rice “community of advising” that is coordinated by the Office of Academic Advising working in conjunction with the Dean of Undergraduates. Communication across the community of advising is critical to the success of academic advising at Rice.
A. Faculty Advisors
Undergraduate academic advising at Rice University is faculty-led. Faculty occupy a primary role in the planning and delivery of undergraduate academic advising for all Rice students. As part of university service, faculty at all ranks are expected to participate in academic advising on campus. Formal faculty academic advising positions available to faculty (but not required of all faculty) include college magisters, divisional advisors, major/minor/transfer credit advisors, and faculty associates. Faculty advisors should be active, available, knowledgeable, and committed to their roles and responsibilities and must be selected, trained, and evaluated for academic advising. Lists of faculty advisors should be current and communicated annually to Office of Academic Advising in accordance with applicable procedures. Participation in academic advising should be evaluated as part of faculty service in promotion, tenure, and contract renewal/reappointment decisions.
B. Professional Advisors
Professional advisors are staff members in the Office of Academic Advising or collaborative offices who participate in academic (or academic-adjacent) advising activities. Professional advisors should be active, available, knowledgeable, and committed to their roles and responsibilities. Professional advisors must also be selected, trained, evaluated, and recognized/rewarded for their work.
C. Student Advisors
Student advisors are active Rice students who have been selected by the Office of Academic Advising to participate in formal student advising programs. Student advisors should be active, available, knowledgeable, and committed to their roles and responsibilities and must be selected, trained, evaluated, and recognized/rewarded for their work.
IV. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding Policy and its Implementation
Responsible Official: Provost
Other Key Offices: Dean of Undergraduates and Office of Academic Advising
VII. Procedures and Forms
Reginald DesRoches, President
October 24, 2023