What is an advisor or advising?

College employee who helps you choose a major and complete a degree. There are two common models of academic advising, staff advising and faculty advising.

  1. Staff advisors are not full-time faculty members. They may teach some classes, but most of their job is advising students. Staff advisors usually advise students from a range of academic majors.
  2. Faculty advisors are full-time faculty members. Their main job is teaching and research, but they also advise some students. Faculty advisors typically advise only students who are majoring in the field in which the faculty member teaches — so English faculty advise English majors, Sociology faculty advise sociology majors, etc.

Some colleges blend advising models. For example, first- and second-year students may receive staff advising until they choose a major, and then receive faculty advising in their major after that point. Or a college may offer students separate advisors for their majors and for general requirements.