“Why Do I Have Two (or Three) Advisors?”

by UMaineCLASAdvisingCenter

A question I hear often in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) Advising Center is “Why do I have two (or three) advisors?”  This is a completely legitimate question, considering most students on campus have merely one advisor (or two, if they are doing a double major/double degree).  The University of Maine, generally speaking, uses the faculty advisor model, where students are provided an advisor from their major department.  There are, however, two distinct populations in CLAS that are provided with an additional advisor: students on academic probation and new transfer students in their first year here on campus.  And this post goes out to them.

Under this dual advising model, these two populations benefit from having both a faculty advisor from their major and an academic advisor from the CLAS Advising Center.  The faculty advisor works with students on academic major requirements, while the academic advisor provides students with information ranging from general education requirements to strategies for academic success to engagement with the university community.  Each advisor serves a specific and necessary purpose.

Your faculty advisor is very important and will mentor you throughout your experience here on campus.  Many students first meet their faculty advisor during departmental orientation, where the advisor goes over many generalities about the major.  Then, over the next several semesters, your faculty advisor will monitor your progress towards your degree, helping you choose appropriate courses, and eventually help you plan a capstone project.  They should also be providing career mentoring, helping you understand how you can use your major to transition from the college environment to the work environment after graduation, and hopefully guide you towards internships and other forms of career development.

Now students in those two previously mentioned populations, transfer students and students on academic probation, are also assigned a second advisor from the CLAS Advising Center.  John Mascetta, the coordinator of the Advising Center, will appear on their MaineStreet list of advisors.  While any student is more than welcome to meet with John, in practice transfer students work with Robert Hodges and students on academic probation work with Amy Smith.  And each of these populations receive a different type of advising, tailored to their needs.

Transfer students will meet with Robert throughout their first year here at UMaine.  While your faculty advisor works with you on your major, Robert will take a more holistic approach.  The goal of the CLAS Advising Center is to help you develop an understanding of both general education requirements and academic policies and procedures on campus.  We want to help you understand the new requirements that are expected of you here at UMaine.  While you are not new to college, you are new to our college.  And we want to help you adjust to life here in Orono and become part of the campus community, taking part in college life.  After all, it has been proven time and again that students that are involved in campus activities do better in their courses.  And finally, we want to help you receive the personal and individual guidance and care the you deserve.  We want to make sure that you don’t feel like just one of almost 11,000 students, but rather that you are a valued member of the university community.

Students on academic probation will meet with Amy multiple times each semester that they are on academic probation.  The purpose of this is to help you regain good academic standing through partnership with an academic advisor.  During advising meetings, you can address personal or academic concerns that are directly impacting your academic performance.  We will also refer you to academic and/or health care resources here on campus, such as the Tutor Program or the Counseling Center.  We want to help you develop strategies for academic success, to help you get your academic career back on track.

So all of this is why you have a second (or third) advisor.  We here at the CLAS Advising Center are assigned to you as a resource to help you through a transition period, to help set you up for success.