A Faculty-based Advising System

The Franklin & Marshall academic advising system has as its guiding principle the belief that academic advising is a natural component and extension of classroom teaching and, as such, is integral to student learning.

At F&M, it is our belief that:

  • Academic advising has the potential to promote critical thinking in students about their academic program and planning.
  • Academic advising has the potential to instill in students a love of learning and a spirit of exploration.
  • Academic advising has the potential to promote student learning and impact upon the educational experience of F&M students.

Given these premises, faculty are central to the academic advising system at Franklin & Marshall. All tenure-track faculty with one year of service at the College assume academic advising responsibilities.

Reflecting the importance and centrality of advising at F&M, the faculty receive extensive support in serving students. The faculty's role in the advising system is supplemented and supported by the Dean's Office and the Registrar's Office, particularly in the areas of advisee assignments, new adviser orientation, Beginnings and the development of first-year schedules, new student academic orientation, interventions with students in academic difficulty, and serving as an advising resource for faculty.


	British exchange students John Scott Fitzpatrick (right) and Ian McEvatt, from the University of Chichester, work with their F&M academic adviser, Louise Stevenson, professor of history and American studies, on their dissertations. (Photo by Melissa Hess)

Mission of Academic Advising at F&M

Academic advising at Franklin & Marshall is focused on promoting learning and successful transitions of students.  Through the advising relationship, the adviser attempts to inspire in students an awareness of skills and competencies associated with academic success, the ability for meaningful self-reflection, and the use of sound decision-making skills.  Academic advising facilitates this learning by engaging students in an advising dialogue that promotes the expression and justification of individual goals and objectives and where the adviser guides the learner through the decision-making process.

Academic Advising as Learning 

Students actively construct their understandings and meanings of their education.  At Franklin & Marshall, the advising process is primarily concerned with student learning.  It is thus recognized that advisers play a key role in inspiring students with an awareness of "skills and competencies associated with academic success, the ability for meaningful self-reflection, and the use of sound decision-making skills."  Furthermore, the adviser helps to:

  • Facilitate student learning about the ideas and values in the College's mission statement
  • Connect the formal concepts reflected in the institution's mission statement and other related documents with the learner's preexisting knowledge and values
  • Create a dialogue in which the learner has the opportunity to express, justify, and discuss individual goals and ideas and in which the adviser guides the learner
  • Guide students so that they recognize and benefit from anomalies, disturbances, errors, and contradictions
  • Guide students toward becoming responsible citizens, liberally educated persons, and critical thinkers

Professions Advising 

(in the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development)