About Academic Advising

The Academic Advising staff collaborate with students who want to improve their learning, remove a temporary barrier, or navigate a personal difficulty affecting their academics, so they can flourish at Grinnell. The staff do many things to benefit students also, such as creating programming for students and supporting the development of faculty in their advising and teaching. See a full list below in the Primary Functions section.

Learn about our staff members and connect with us.


With a focus on holistic student development, the Academic Advising office partners with students to develop the skills and strategies they need to be effective, self-directed learners so they can succeed in their academic endeavors and persist to graduation.

Ethos of Practice

The Academic Advising staff commits to being student centered, evidence based, and collaborative in all of our work.

  1. Student centered. Staff start from the belief that every student is well-qualified to be at Grinnell, deserves to be here, and is equipped to do the hard work to be successful. We strive to create a welcoming place for students of all identities to be their authentic selves. Our work is empathy-driven and begins with a positive regard for each student we interact with. In the work we do across campus — especially related to campus policy — we situate ourselves as advocates for students, striving to shape campus practices and norms to be as inclusive and equitable as possible.
  2. Evidence based. In our practices, in the resources we provide, and in the advice we offer, we draw from scientific research and professional knowledge, often stemming from the fields of education, psychology, and social work. We also learn from our students based on their experiences, continuously growing in our professional practice.
  3. Collaborative. We believe that the best outcomes emerge from collaboration with others. We let the student set the agenda, honoring students’ individual backgrounds and experiences. We collaborate not only with students but also faculty and other offices (such as SHAW, Student Support and Advocacy, the learning centers, International Student Affairs, the Registrar and the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, to name a few) to integrate a variety of resources and services.

Primary Functions

  • Individual and group instruction to facilitate learning development:
    • Academic skills
      • evidence-based learning strategies
      • setting and reaching academic goals
      • time management, organization, and planning
      • understanding course syllabi and course expectations
      • identifying effective study spaces
      • overcoming procrastination
      • class participation
      • problem-solving skills
      • resources and techniques to minimize the impact of personal challenges on academics
    • Academic planning
      • interpreting and utilizing academic policies
      • interacting effectively with faculty advisers
      • choosing a major
      • determining academic plan or credits to graduation
  • Partners Learning Center — offers two learning development and academic support programs:
    • Partners, a structured, semester-long program for first- and second-year students
    • Pals, for any student at any point in the semester
  • Peer tutoring and mentoring for all subjects within the humanities and social studies divisions except languages
  • Management of academic alerts from faculty reporting academic progress concerns and midterm assessments for first-year students; follow up with students and advisers
  • Success coaching for students in the academic probation process
  • Cooperative, inter-departmental student success programs including:
    • faculty advising
    • the First-Year Tutorial
    • The Second Grinnell Year
    • the Grinnell Science Project
    • transfer student orientation
  • Student requests for exceptional course withdrawals and leaves of absence from the College

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