Responsibilities of Advisers


Advising is an extension of teaching, a conscious concern for the questions that students have about the importance of their studies, the direction of their intellectual development and educational objectives, and the future of their lives. Grinnell's approach to advising relies on strong mentoring relationships between faculty members and students initiated during the tutorial, developed further when students declare a major and begin working with their major advisers, and deepened in upper-level research and coursework, where students often find new mentors among their professors. The student and his or her adviser work together to develop a program of study recognizably liberal in both breadth and depth and adapted to the particular interests and long-term goals of the student. Because the College articulates a set of ideals rather than requirements that characterize liberal arts education, the advising relationship is crucial in shaping the academic plans and aspirations of our students. Conversations about curricular planning at Grinnell should begin with the assertions presented in "The Elements of a Liberal Education" of the Grinnell College Academic Catalog. The responsibilities of the faculty adviser are:

  • to help the student plan his or her program of study;
  • to provide a sympathetic hearing and, as needed, advice or referral on academic and career concerns;
  • to be readily available to the student, giving each an opportunity to know a faculty member well and a sense that someone is personally interested in his or her welfare; and
  • to encourage each student to develop the ability to make responsible decisions.