About the Advising Center

At GCC we believe the relationships between students and their advisors are crucial to student’s success. We hope you find the resources here useful. If you’d  like to know more, we encourage you to stop by and see us when you’re on campus.

INSTITUTIONAL STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC ADVISING

Academic advising is a collaborative teaching and learning relationship crucial to student success. Advising embodies the Principles of Education by engaging the student and the advisor in a consistent and enduring relationship; helping the student to recognize that teaching and learning occur in many activities, services and interactions, as well as in the classroom; and fostering an understanding of the connection between the student’s education and the student’s life.

Staff in the Advising Center assist new students in their initial course registration process and enrolled students when their assigned advisors are not available. Help may include advice on the selection of appropriate courses to fulfill program requirements, information about college policies and procedures, guidance in the admission and transfer process, and referral to other services on campus.

What is academic advising?

Academic advising is a collaborative process in which the academic advisor and the student form a partnership to assist the student in:

  • exploring educational, career and transfer opportunities
  • developing a plan to accomplish one’s goals
  • building the capacity to achieve academic and career objectives
  • thinking critically and making informed decisions about available options
  • accepting responsibility for one’s actions and decisions

Academic advising is characterized by a multidimensional relationship between the academic advisor and the student in which the academic advisor seeks to:

  • communicate clearly, honestly and respectfully
  • expand the student’s knowledge of college policies, procedures, practices, requirements and resources
  • promote an understanding of a college’s expectations of students in higher education
  • encourage the student to devote one’s best efforts to achieving one’s academic and career objectives
Where does academic advising occur?

Academic advising occurs formally between a student and his or her assigned primary academic advisor and between a student and an advisor in the Academic Advising Center. Academic advising occurs informally between a student and numerous other contacts with faculty, staff and others across the campus.

The student’s primary academic advisor is

  • assigned to the student by the Academic Advising Center or the appropriate Academic Affairs office
  • a faculty or professional staff member of the Greenfield Community College Professional Association
  • a faculty member teaching within the student’s major program of study, whenever possible
  • a faculty member who has taught the student in class, whenever possible
  • the same faculty or professional staff member throughout the student’s time at the college (unless the student changes his or her major program of study, the student requests a new academic advisor or the advisor’s status with the college changes)

The Academic Advising Center

  • provides the primary initial registration advising for new, transfer, and readmitted students (except for selected programs)
  • assigns students to their primary academic advisors (except for selected programs) and coordinates changes of advisor assignments
  • encourages and strengthens the relationship between the student and the student’s primary academic advisor
  • supports the student’s primary academic advisor by providing professional development opportunities to maintain current knowledge and enhance advising skills
  • supplements the student’s primary academic advisor by responding to the student’s needs when the student’s primary academic advisor is not available

Informal academic advising occurs

  • between the student and a faculty member who is not the student’s assigned primary academic advisor
  • between the student and staff members in offices and elsewhere across the campus
  • between the student and classmates, friends, family members, and others
What are the responsibilities of academic advising?

Effective academic advising requires the primary academic advisor and the Academic Advising Center advisor to:

  • recognize that college is only one part of a student’s life, which also may include many responsibilities that affect a student’s educational experience
  • know the college’s current policies, procedures and practices, including the graduation requirements for the student’s major program of study
  • be appropriately available to the student by appointment, telephone or email
  • maintain thorough and accurate records of all significant interactions with the student
  • know the availability of services and resources and refer the student appropriately when his or her needs exceed the academic advisor’s capacity to assist
  • comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and maintain appropriate confidentiality of information regarding the student
  • participate in advisor development opportunities to maintain current knowledge and enhance advising skills

Effective academic advising requires the student to:

  • know who one’s primary academic advisor is, where one’s advisor’s office is located and how to contact one’s advisor by telephone and email
  • meet with one’s primary academic advisor each semester and consult with one’s advisor whenever uncertain about the college’s policies, procedures, practices or requirements
  • become knowledgeable about the college’s current policies, procedures and practices, including the graduation requirements for one’s major program of study
  • maintain thorough and accurate records of all significant interactions with an academic advisor
  • prepare for scheduled meetings with an academic advisor by reviewing appropriate materials in advance
  • use appropriate services and resources when referred by an academic advisor
How do students benefit from their academic advising experience?

As a result of an effective academic advising experience, students will:

  • demonstrate their knowledge of the college’s policies, procedures and practices, including the graduation requirements for their major programs of study
  • demonstrate their knowledge of the educational and career opportunities available to them
  • think critically and make informed decisions about their available options
  • establish academic and career objectives and develop plans for accomplishing them
  • accept responsibility for their actions and decisions
  • enhance their own academic advising skills
  • persist to the achievement of their academic and career objectives