Why Advising?

What can academic advising do for me?

Advisors are here to help you achieve your academic and personal goals by successfully guiding you through Hampden-Sydney's academic curriculum and helping you build connections with community resources and campus & peer support services.

Few experiences in students' postsecondary career have as much potential for influencing their development as academic advising. Through regular contact with students - whether face-to-face, through the mail, on the telephone, or through computer mediated systems - advisors gain meaningful insights into student's academic, social, and personal experiences and needs.  Advisors use these insights to help students feel a part of the academic community, develop sound academic and career goals, and ultimately be successful learners. Because of the nature of academic advising, advisors often develop a broad vision of the institution. Advisors can therefore play an important interpretive role with administrators, faculty, and staff, helping them further understand students' academic and personal development needs. Advisors can teach others to identify students who, with additional attention from academic support staff, may achieve their goals to succeed academically and personally.
Taken from: NACADA Statement of Core Values of Academic Advising

At Hampden-Sydney, all incoming students are assigned an academic advisor. The freshman/transfer student advising program is made up of faculty and administrative staff who are carefully selected and trained to advise students through their sophomore year. During the second semester of the sophomore year, students declare their major and move to a new advisor within their major. The major advisor will work with the student through graduation.

The objectives of the freshman/transfer student advising program are:

  • To provide information about Hampden-Sydney College’s academic curriculum.
  • To assist in the transition from high school to college life.
  • To help students become knowledgeable about and connected to campus support resources.
  • To build community and peer support.

The responsibilities of freshman/transfer student advisors include:

  • Assisting advisees in pre-enrollment and orientation related activities.
  • Advising students on courses for fall, spring, and summer registration.
  • Making students aware of important academic policies and deadlines/dates.
  • Educating students on the role and importance of the core curriculum.
  • Counseling all advisees who receive any academic warnings.
  • Advising students on the use of academic support services.
  • Connecting students with other resources on campus as problems or questions arise.
  • Working to establish a mentoring relationship beyond course advisement.  
  • Encouraging students to make informed connections to the institution outside of the classroom.
  • Fostering academic ideals in group or individual discussion on topics to include academic integrity, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and connecting college to larger life goals or calling.