A university education is a complex and multi-faceted experience, which is best undertaken in a supportive and encouraging environment. As part of its dedication to student success, the University of Guelph-Humber is committed to providing high-quality academic advising, in order to assist students in the development and pursuit of academic objectives consistent with their life goals and the available opportunities at the University. The responsibility for developing educational plans and setting goals rests with the student. Academic advising contributes to this process by identifying alternatives, exploring likely outcomes, and referring students to appropriate resources.
Academic advising at University of Guelph-Humber is delivered by a team which includes Academic Advisors, the Program Heads (academic leaders of each of the University's programs), the Vice-Provost and others. The Academic Advisors are the primary source of advising for students and should be the student’s first contact to discuss any issue, question or concern about their academic program. Student Services (GH108) provides general walk-in assistance to students and, as appropriate, Academic Advisors may direct students to specialized advising resources available on the campus. Each student has direct access to their Academic Advisor who focuses on program-related issues and advice, and can assist with degree program requirements and expectations.
These components of the academic advising system work together to achieve goals and objectives that include:
- helping students develop an educational plan and choose an appropriate course of study to meet their academic and life objectives;
- ensuring that students are aware of opportunities and resources that can assist students in achieving their educational goals
- assisting students in interpreting University policies and procedures, and applying general rules to their specific cases
- facilitating resolution of academic problems, conflicts and concerns, as appropriate
- referring students as necessary to other resource units
- collecting and disseminating information on student needs, wants, perceptions, and trends in order to enhance institutional effectiveness and adaptability
Within the system, specific roles and responsibilities are distributed as indicated below:
Responsibilities of the Student
Students admitted to the University are responsible for being aware of, and understanding and meeting certain obligations related to, Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures, degree requirements, course requirements, Schedule of Dates, rules of conduct and accessing their University of Guelph-Humber email account. These responsibilities are described in Section I - Statement of Students' Academic Responsibilities.
The responsibilities of students regarding academic advising are:
- to seek advice from their Academic Advisor regarding any aspect of their academic program, schedule of study, or University regulation or procedure for which they require clarification or interpretation;
- to communicate with their Academic Advisor if they are failing to meet academic obligations or feel that they require additional support or assistance.
Role of the Academic Advisor
The Academic Advisor has particular expertise in the program requirements and regulations, as well as the various areas of emphasis or specializations and their fit within the program. The Academic Advisor is also familiar with the policies and procedures that govern University practice. The role of the Academic Advisor is:
- to provide information about the academic requirements of the program, including eligibility to declare an area of emphasis or specializations and graduation requirements;
- to refer to other campus services, as necessary
- to communicate information about the program to the Program Head, faculty members, curriculum committees, program committees (and their sub-committees); and to bring forward any concerns or issues as students progress through the Schedule of Studies for the program;
- to liaise with the student, in order to provide information about the degree program and the fit of various areas of emphasis or specializations within the degree program.
Students are advised to consult their Academic Advisor if they are experiencing personal problems or situations that require counselling. The Academic Advisors are well informed of the information on the types and locations of non-academic counselling offered by the University.
Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor
The responsibilities of the Academic Advisor are:
- to be familiar with the academic requirements of the program(s), including admission requirements, the Schedule of Studies and Continuation of Study requirements, and graduation requirements for the degree program;
- to assist the student to make academic decisions and understand the implications of those decisions;
- to assist with course selection and enrolment management issues as related to the degree program;
- to explain appeal procedures;
- to facilitate graduation checks;
- to sign program approvals, as appropriate;
- to change student type, as appropriate;
- to meet with students as requested, or required;
- to refer students and situations to the Program Head, as appropriate;
- to uphold the academic policies of the University;
- to help interpret the academic policies and procedures to students, staff, and faculty;
- to act as a source of referral to other campus services;
- to be generally aware of career and graduate study opportunities related to the field of study, or refer appropriately;
- to work closely with the faculty and Program Head on any changes to the Schedule of Studies;
- to consult, as necessary, with other campus services.
Name & Location of Academic Advisors
Contact information for Academic Advisors can be found here: https://www.guelphhumber.ca/advising/advisors/.
Role of the Program Head
The Program Head plays a leadership role for a particular program in facilitating, in collaboration with the supporting deans from each institution, the quality of the students' learning experience. The Program Head ensures the program is current and coherent in its design, planning, delivery and assessment, and that both the professional and academic components of a program are respected and promoted among all those teaching and learning in the program. The Program Head acts as the primary arbitrator for student disputes, instructor issues and parent concerns. In addition, the Program Head represents the program in recruitment, promotional and community activities, contributes to the growth of Guelph-Humber as a learning community and the development and implementation of Guelph-Humber's mission, goals and objectives.