Steps to Take Before Asking for an Advising Change

Advice for Working With Your Advisor

  • Talk with your advisor as soon as there is a problem. Meet in person whenever possible or talk by phone. It’s better to schedule a meeting instead of stopping by drop-in hours.
  • Go to your advising session well prepared. Bring questions and course ideas.
  • Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Do not assume the worst about their intentions. Be an active listener and try to have an open and positive attitude.
  • Avoid judgmental language. For example, instead of saying: “You could have told me two months ago, but you didn’t,” try something like: “This advice comes at a time in the semester when I have no real options to change my schedule.”
  • Do your part by understanding and acknowledging your role in the conflict. Check out the list of expectations for students.
  • Come prepared to share some ideas for resolution and identify next steps before ending the conversation. Acknowledge that your relationship may feel awkward initially, but that you want to work on this with them.
  • Give the relationship time to grow. Send an occasional email with questions about your classes or an update about completing tasks the two of you discussed.