What is Academic Advising?


What is Academic Advising?

By: Laura Forsythe | Indigenous Program Researcher
  17497 reads

Benefits of Academic Advising

  • Get assistance in selecting courses to meet your academic and career goals
  • Learn about various majors and minors
  • Get assistance in goal setting and exploration
  • Make sure you are on track to graduate
  • Receive help with developing strategies to improve academic performance
  • Get questions answered about policies and procedures
  • Obtain referrals for campus resources and services

How Often to See an Academic Advisor

You should see an academic advisor whenever you have a question about your academic goals and choices at SFU. There may be times when you are feeling confused or overwhelmed or unclear about what you are supposed to be doing. They are happy to help!

What to Do When You Meet with an Advisor

Preparing for an appointment:

  • Bring a list of questions or concerns – This is your chance to take a lead with your appointment and use the time effectively
  • Notify them at least 24 hours in advance if you cannot attend a scheduled appointment—they want to be able to help as many students as possible.
  • Be ON TIME! – We love seeing students, but if you are late your appointment may be shortened or you may have to rebook.

During the appointment:

  • Share your goals and educational priorities i.e. do you eventually want to go to Med School? Are you curious about how to this goal?
  • Provide your advisor with accurate information about your interests and abilities
  • Ask questions if you don't understand something or need clarification – There is a lot of information to navigate through at SFU. We are more than happy to help you learn and understand the information to engage with the programs, resources and services on campus.

After the appointment:

  • Follow up on recommendations
  • Organize and retain all records and documents – Always obtain a written hard copy or electronic copy (e-copy) of your appointments.

Sample Questions to Ask an Academic Advisor

  • Can you help me plan possible majors or minors that will complement my interests?
  • Where do I stand in meeting my degree requirements?
  • What’s the difference between a major and a minor?
  • What do you think about this tentative course schedule?
  • Can you help me decide how many units I should take?
  • Can you direct me to resources and opportunities that can fit with my long-term goals?
  • Questions regarding academic difficulty, or advice regarding a course is more challenging than you had anticipated.
  • - To repeat or not to repeat a course?
  • What do I do if I am going through a difficult situation and I cannot attend my classes?

First Nations, Métis, or Inuit student?

To book an appointment please call 778-782-4143

Who are the SFU Indigenous Student Advisors?


Bernard Ryu                              Carley Dyer


Deborah Ho                          Natasha Kwan

Beyond the Article


Posted on June 11, 2013