Campus Org Advisor Handbook

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advisor Handbook



Volume 1 U P D AT E D O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5


Campus Leadership & Involvement Center 310 Slayter Union Granville, OH 43023 Phone 740.587.6394 Fax 740.587.8250

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Table of Contents

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Chapter 1

The Role of the Student Organization Advisor a. b. c.

Eight Roles of an Advisor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Advising vs Supervising. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Benefit of Being an Advisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Chapter 2

Advising Styles a.

The Dos and Don’ts of Advising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Chapter 3

The Expectations of the Advisor a. b. c. d.

Responsibility to the Individual Student . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Responsibility to the Student Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Responsibility to Denison University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Monthly Time Commitment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Chapter 4

Group Development a. b.

Successful & Healthy Groups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Getting & Keeping Groups Productive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Chapter 5

Individual Development a. b. c. d. e.

Integrating Denison Student Learning Domains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 11 Skills Advisors Can Teach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Motivating Your Advisees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Grape Theory of Motivation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Officer Transitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Chapter 6

Strategies for Working with Millennial Students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Chapter 7

Appendix : Advisor Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

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hank you for your commitment to supporting the Denison campus organization community! The time and energy you give to advising and mentoring student leaders is a critical resource to maintain the outstanding level of opportunities for students at Denison. The Campus Leadership & Involvement Center (CLIC) is a resource for you in your role as a campus organization advisor. To best serve our campus organization community, CLIC created this Campus Organization Advisor Handbook. The handbook contains important information related to roles, expectations, and tips for advising campus organizations at Denison University. The Campus Organization Advisor Handbook includes seven chapters to help guide you in navigating the relationship between advisor and students. We hope these sections will answer your questions of, “What are the expectations for an advisor?”, “Why should I agree to be an advisor?”, “Am I qualified to be an advisor?”, and “How much time will this take?” The second half of the handbook includes resources and tips for working with student leaders. We hope these sections will answer your questions of, “How can I best support the student leaders in my organization?” and “How involved should I be in organization decisions?” Please share this handbook with other advisors, keeping in mind this is a great resource for training and transition. For more information on policies, procedures, and day-to-day operations of campus organizations, please refer to the Campus Organization Handbook. Best wishes for a great year! Your Campus Leadership & Involvement Center

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The Role of the Student Organization Advisor


he student organization advisor plays a vital role in the success and development of a student organization. But what are the actual duties of the advisor? Each advisor perceives his/her relation to a student organization differently. Some advisors play very active roles, attending meetings, working with student officers, and assisting in program planning and development. Others maintain a more distant relationship to the organization. It is expected that each advisor will maintain regular contact with his/her organization. An advisor accepts responsibility for keeping informed about activities of the organization and for advising officers of the organization on the appropriateness and general merits of policies and activities. The following are just a few of the roles that an advisor may play in the mentorship and consultation of the student organization. Mentor Mentoring can be defined as a one-on-one relationship based on a modeling behavior and on an extended shared dialogue. A mentor is both a formal and informal relationship in which the advisor assists in the development and leadership skills of a student. Supervisor The supervisory role of advisors involves six components: team building, performance planning, communication, awareness, self-assessment, and formal evaluation. These components are all integral to an organization’s success. There is, however, an important distinction that needs to be made with this role. The advisor should be familiar with the various aspects of this role, not solely responsible for team building, performance planning, etc., with you being a resource or idea sounding board. Teacher Research suggests that it is not the number of hours teaching or advising students that is most crucial to student development, but rather the quality of the contact. Students learn a tremendous amount from advisors through informal interaction, and through organizational activities outside of regular meetings.

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The Role of the Student Organization Advisor

Facilitator Students become involved in organizations to develop leadership skills, and advisors should take stock in assisting and directing that development. To reiterate, the advisor should not be responsible for the organizational leadership. The president and other executive officers should claim this role. Student leaders should lead and advisors should advise within the framework of the organizational hierarchy. The student will develop and grow through grappling with the issues of leadership; the advisor should assist this development Follower An effective advisor knows when to lead and when to follow. This is not to suggest a passive role in the activities of the organization. One of the issues of leadership is dealing with those who he or she leads. If the followers refuse to follow, there is no leadership. The advisor can prove to be a strong resource in developing a student’s leadership abilities in this capacity.

Adapted from the ACUI Bulletin “Student organization advisor involvement and retention” and the Ohio State Role of the Advisor

Eight Roles of an Advisor Mentor








Adapted from Advising Student Groups and Organizations (Dunkel & Schuh, 1998)

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The Role of the Student Organization Advisor

Advising vs. Supervising Advisor


Individuals you are advising are independent and your role is to offer advice and be a resource person

Individuals you are supervising report to you and you are ultimately responsible for their work

Develops clear expectations with the group

Sets expectations for supervisees

Helps students make their own decisions

Makes decisions for the group

Assists students to reflect on their decisions

Formally evaluates supervisees, perhaps affecting job placement

Primary goal is to provide an educational experience for students

Primary goal is to further the work of the company or unit

Allows students to fail

Prevents failure when possible

Students lead themselves

Acts as a leader

Stays as involved as the students would like

Stays as involved as necessary to get the job done well

Checks in as necessary

Checks in regularly (e.g. weekly 1:1s)

Adapts role as the organization members grow and develop

Maintains authority and leadership role in decision-making

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The Role of the Student Organization Advisor

The Benefit of Being an Advisor Serving as an advisor may be an additional duty outside of one’s normal work responsibilities, but it is no doubt a rewarding experience. This section will share several thoughts by advisors who have had the chance to interact with students on a daily basis, as well as gain a better sense of community on campus. • • • • •

The satisfaction of helping students learn and develop new skills Watching a group come together to share common interests and work toward common goals and an understanding of differences Developing a personal relationship with students Furthering personal goals or interests by choosing to work with an organization that reflects your interests Sharing your knowledge with others

Adapted from Mitchell College’s “The Wonderful World of Advising Student Group”

“The favorite part of my job as adviser/coach to the fencing club is taking the team to local tournaments in Columbus. Rarely, do we as faculty get a chance to spend a day with our students in a situation outside an academic setting. I love watching students challenge themselves by doing something new, something they are not yet comfortable with, and for most of them, going to a fencing tournament is just such a challenge. From the short mini lessons I give to each student before the tournament, to the on strip coaching and the cheering and consoling that goes on after each bout, the tournaments give me a chance to know each student personally, to learn what motivates them and how they react under pressure, to learn who they are as human beings, not simply students. Last fall, one of our fencers, Isabel Randolph, took 3rd place in a big sabre tournament in Columbus. I watched how Isabel started out timidly. I watched as she gained confidence with each victory. I watched how she reached into another part of herself, a part I'm not sure she realized she had, to beat a pretty tough fencer to get into the semi-finals. I watched the pride on her face, and the faces of her teammates, as she stood on the medal stand. To be present as our students push themselves to excel, as they face their own fears and work through their own emotions, that's the best part about being the adviser of the fencing club.” Pe ter Grandbois , Fe nc i ng C l u b A dv i s or

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The Role of the Student Organization Advisor

“As the adviser for Sustained Dialogue, I have the opportunity to meet many incredible students committed to positive change in the world. This year, in particular, I’ve enjoyed my weekly lunch meetings with the current SD President, Michaela Grenier. I believe mentorship is a dialogue, an equal exchange of teaching and learning, and in our ongoing dialogue Michaela and I range from best practices for community organization, to dealing with challenging situations and people, to brainstorming ways to generate a little more empathy and kindness in the world. Michaela has taught me about balance, gratitude, and commitment, and I am changed for the better by knowing her. I hope that every adviser has the same opportunity for a mentoring dialogue with a student such as Michaela and I have enjoyed. I believe it’s made a world of difference in what our organization was able to accomplish this year and shaped our leadership team’s ability to dream big next year.” Ma r l a i ne B r ow n in g , Susta in ed D ia lo g ue A dv iso r

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Advising Styles


ituational advising allows you to change your advising style to match the development needs of the student organization. You may need to adapt your advising style throughout the semester or year as the group matures and develops.


When to Use It

How to Use It


Low level of group readiness

Provide specific instruction and closely supervise task accomplishments Advisor is looked to for help in leading the organization


Few leaders at a high level of readiness

Direct and closely supervise task accomplishments while explaining decisions, soliciting suggestions and supporting progress


Group is starting to “get it”

Facilitate and support the efforts toward task accomplishments Responsibility for decision making moves to students Encourage and provide information


High level of group readiness

Empower students to conduct their own decision making and delegating Facilitate problem solving if needed Students have full ownership over the organization including failures and successes

Adapted from Nazareth College’s Advisor Handbook and University of San Francisco’s Student Leadership and Engagement based on the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership© Model

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Advising Styles

Photo Source:

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Advising Styles

The Do’s and Don’ts of Advising What to Do

What NOT to Do

Allow students to fail

Control the group

Allow students to succeed

Manipulate the group

Know your limits

Take ownership over the group

Be visible

Ignore requests to meet

Be consistent with your actions

Be afraid to try new ideas

Trust yourself within the group

Know it all

Provide advice and guidance

Take everything super seriously

Learn when to speak and when not to

Be the leader

Direct the group to resources to find answers

Miss group meetings and events (if expected to attend)

Teach leadership and other critical skills

Stop students from failing, even if you can see it coming

Be accessible and available

Close communication

Motivate students to accomplish their goals

Give up if students have setbacks or failures

Provide constructive feedback

Provide purely negative or destructive criticism

Familiarize yourself with the group’s Constitution

Ask questions answered in the Constitution

Be available for emergencies

Micromanage and check in on things too often

Help members balance academics and involvements

Suggest students neglect academics

Represent the group in staff/faculty meetings

Badmouth the group and its efforts to peers

Get to know members as individuals

Treat students as simply leaders in the organization

Adapted from Bellarmine University’s “Advising Residence Hall Councils”

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Expectations of the Advisor


hile the experience of the advisor can be an extremely rewarding one, as evidenced by the reflections of the advisors in the previous section, the role is accompanied by several important responsibilities. This chapter will outline the responsibilities the advisor has to individual students, the student organization, and the university. It will also include a breakdown of the average monthly hours worked by an advisor in their role. Look in the appendix for more resources to assist you in your role as an organization advisor. You will find an Advisor Expectations Worksheet, Sample Advisor Agreement, and Advisor Roles and Responsibilities Survey.

Responsibility to the individual student he advisor should help the students find balance between T their academics and their co-curricular activities. Student leaders often have the tendency to burn the candle at both ends and may overextend themselves. The advisor has a unique opportunity to remind students of their academic obligations and personal needs. See the Time Management Analysis for additional guidance on this topic. The advisor should encourage each individual to participate in and plan group events. Some students fade into the background if not effectively encouraged. Being a member of a student group can provide students with valuable interpersonal and/or leadership skills, but these will not develop if the student is not involved. The advisor should encourage students to accept responsibility for specific roles within the group. The advisor should help students realize the importance of these roles. From officer positions to committee members, each student should feel invested in and accountable for their specific role. The advisor may need to refer students to counseling. Invariably, during interaction with the group’s members, the advisor will encounter students with personal problems. The counseling role might require individual consultation on a personal level or referral to the student counseling service.

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Expectations of the Advisor

Responsibility to the student organization Communicating personal plans (sabbatical). he advisor should assist the group in developing realistic goals, T strategic planning, and training for the academic year. This will contribute to the education and personal development of the students involved. The advisor must take an active role, rendering advice and counsel as circumstances dictate. Consider using the August Checklist to get started. The advisor should be aware of all plans and activities of the group and inform the group of institutional policies that may affect these plans. The advisor should see that the group and its officers know where policies are listed, what the policies are, why they exist, and the channels to be followed for changes, revisions, or exceptions to policies. Advisors should also participate in the planning/review of each activity. See the Campus Organization Handbook or the Student Handbook for more information about policies. The advisor should be available to organization officers/ members and regularly meet with the organization. Being visible is one key aspect of being an advisor. When members feel like they can talk to their advisor about issues within the organization or other things that are bothering them, an organization will be better off. The advisor should discourage dominance of the group by any one individual and should encourage less involved students to take initiative. Eager leaders often provide strong leadership more often than necessary. This can lead to resentment by some or pressure others into silencing themselves. The advisor can help provide a balance by pointing out such concerns in a one-on-one setting with the students or the organization leadership. The advisor should provide continuity within the group and should be familiar with the group’s history and constitution. Membership turnover in student organizations is high and often the only link with the immediate past is the advisor. The advisor can steer group members clear of mistakes and help them avoid the proverbial reinventing of the wheel. Serving as the group’s memory and continuity link, the advisor can help new officers build on history and develop long-term plans for the future of the organization.

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Expectations of the Advisor

The advisor should assist the group in evaluation. This includes evaluating individual programs as well as doing a complete evaluation at the end of the academic year. The advisor must be willing to give constructive criticism when necessary and offer words of praise for work well done. This should include self-evaluation using the Advisor Self-Evaluation worksheet and the Evaluation and Feedback Tool.

Responsibility to Denison University The advisor should attend Organization Advisor meetings and sponsored training activities. Although some advisors have been an advisor before, it’s important that advisors attend training sessions hosted by the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center. It is important that you stay up to date as policies and procedures continually change. The advisor should work with the group, but not direct its activities. Although the advisor’s role is not regulatory or disciplinary, the advisor has a responsibility to both the institution and the organization to keep their interests in mind. At times, the advisor may need to remind the organization of institutional policies so that violations do not occur. The advisor may also work with the organization’s officers to establish and maintain internal group standards and regulations for conduct. Occasionally, an advisor can help an organization during an emergency. Although this type of intervention is rarely necessary, the advisor’s good judgment can be the saving grace in the event of mishaps, internal conflict, or personal crisis. Assisting the group’s president as a spokesperson or serving as a main contact for the University can help in these cases.

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Expectations of the Advisor

Monthly Time Commitment Meet with president/ officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 hrs Attend organization meeting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 hrs Attend advisor professional development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 hr Attend organization program(s). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 hrs Total Hours per Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 hrs Adapted from the University of South Florida Student Organization Advisor Handbook

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Group Development


f you have been an advisor for an extended period of time, you may have realized that your advising style will vary over time – even within the same organization. This is due in part to the changing dynamics of the different students involved. Your advising style may also change depending on the dynamics of the group and the developmental level of the organization.

Successful and Healthy Groups Emblems of Excellence The Campus Leadership & Involvement Center encourages campus organizations to develop in four key areas: C o m p e t e n cy

Efficiently and effectively get work done I n d iv idua l G ro w t h

Equip and develop the next generation of leaders S yn erg y

Connect and empower your membership C o m m un it y

Engage in the issues that affect the organization

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Group Development

Symptoms of Healthy and Unhealthy Groups Tuckman developed a sequential model with the foundation being that groups develop through an orderly, invariant sequence of stages or phases. In 1965, Tuckman reviewed approximately fifty developmental models and research studies and developed his own model of group development. Tuckman’s model categorized group development in five identifiable sequential stages: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. A group is healthy when...

A group is unhealthy when...

All members feel comfortable saying what they think.

A few members do all the talking.

Decisions are worked through until a general consensus is reached.

Members mumble agreement.

Well-informed members contribute their ideas in their area of expertise.

Competent people sit by silently.

The whole group handles questions that concern the whole group.

Decision-making is quickly referred to committees or subgroups. New people with good ideas are not listened to.

Major issues get major time.

Minor issues consume the majority of the group’s time.

Major issues invoke mature approaches to change.

Minor and simple issues make people angry and resentful.

Minor issues are settled with the attention they deserve.

Major issues are passed over.

Decisions reached through participation are final and satisfactory.

The same subjects, supposedly settled, keep coming up again. Quick judgments are passed on issues people do not understand.

Members really understand one another’s ideas, plans, and goals.

Members subjectively talk about people in the scapegoat manner.

The group carries forward in performing tasks and achieving goals.

The group accomplishes little in absence of the leader.

The group is solution-oriented.

The group avoids change.

Rewards and feedback are shared among the entire group.

Rewards and criticism are concentrated on a few people.

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Adapted from University of Illinois, Chicago Campus Programs Department


Group Development

Achieve effective and satisfying results Members find solutions to problems using appropriate controls


Members agree about roles and processes for problem solving

Performing Identifying power and control issues

Members work collaboratively

Gaining skills in communication

Members care about each other


Identifying resources Establish base level expectations

Decisions are made through negotiation and consensus building

Identify similarities Agreeing on common goals

The group establishes a unique identity Members are interdependent

Storming Expressing differences of ideas, feeling, and opinions Reacting to leadership


Members independent or counterdependent

Making contact and bonding


Developing trust Members dependent

Tuckman’s Linear Model of Group Development (Tuckman, Bruce. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.)

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Group Development

Getting and Keeping Groups Productive Gaining an understanding of your group’s dynamic is only part of the skill used in advising the organization. Once a perception of the group’s dynamic is formed, several strategies can be employed to get the group to work productively. Below are several of these strategies. 1.

Know and understand the students with whom you are working. Different groups require different approaches.



Have the goals or objectives of the group firmly in mind. Know the purposes of the group and what needs to be accomplished to meet the goals.

10. Assist the group in developing a system by which they can evaluate their progress. Balance task orientation with social needs of the members.


Know what the students expect of you as an advisor.



Let the group and individual members know what you expect of them.


Express a sincere interest in the group and its mission. Stress the importance of each individual's contribution to the whole.

Assist each member in meeting his/her needs while helping the group achieve its goals. Know why people become involved. Learn strengths and emphasize them. Help each person grow and learn through his or her involvement by providing opportunities.


Assist the members in understanding the group dynamics and human interactions. Recognize that at times the process is more important than the content.


Realize the importance of the peer group and its effect on each member's participation or lack thereof. Acknowledge and communicate that each individual's efforts are needed and appreciated.


Express a sincere interest in each individual in the group. Encourage each member to be responsible.


Use a reward and recognition system for work well done.


Assist the group in determining the needs of the persons the group is serving.

Assist the group in setting realistic, attainable goals. Ensure everyone to be responsible for the success of the organization.

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Group Development

14. Do not allow yourself to be placed in the position of the chairperson.



19. Challenge the group to grow and develop. Encourage independent thinking and decision-making.

Develop a style that balances active and passive group membership.

16. Be aware of the various roles you will have: consultant, information source, clarifier, counselor, facilitator, educator 17.

20. Be creative and innovative. Maintain a sense of humor!

Be aware of the institutional power structure-both formal and informal. Discuss institutional developments and policies with members.

Adapted from UIC Student Organization Advisor’s Handbook and University of South Florida Student Organization Advisor’s Handbook

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Provide continuity for the group from semester to semester.




Individual Development Integrating Denison Student Learning Domains Denison University promotes our students’ growth and self-awareness as individuals and as co-creators of our living–learning environment. Advisors can play the unique role as facilitator of these growth experiences. Advisors challenge students to both act and reflect, to respect self and others, and to apply their education and talents for the good of local and global communities. Advisors cultivate collaboration and engagement on campus and beyond in support of Denison’s mission of educating students to live, work and lead in a complex world. The student outcomes mentioned in this section provide a standard for the learning that happens across our campus. An organization advisor can take intentional steps to ensure this learning is happening in their group. The Learning Outcomes situated on the “Outcomes Wheel” are achieved through different programs, such as the student organization you advise. Addressing the “whole human being” is a very intentional process at Denison. We purposefully plan for all elements of that education, with co-curricular learning, residential hall programming, service-learning initiatives, and opportunities for personal growth in leadership, sustainability, entrepreneurship, as well as social and other activities that are just plain fun. A student organization advisor can have a meaningful impact on student’s development. Intentional planning and purposeful advising can help student to develop in many of these areas. Consider having students or student leaders complete the Outcomes Wheel for themselves. It may be helpful to pinpoint learning outcomes that have not been completely developed yet. More information can be found at http://

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Individual Development

11 Skills Advisors Can Teach Accomplishing Tasks Pr ob l e m S olv i ng

Ability to solve problems creatively including identifying the problem, assessing all factors, determining what is relevant, investigating alternatives, and identifying the best solution. Example: Correcting problems after a failed event Pl a nni ng a nd Or g a n izat io n

Ability to set SMART goals and coordinate effectively to accomplish them Example: Using vision/SMART goal activity throughout the year D e l e g at i ng

Ability to identify or develop a task and then share responsibility for its completion Example: Assigning aspects of event planning to organization members D e c i s i on-Ma ki ng

Ability to evaluate existing information and make a confident decision about what to do Example: Deciding how much money to request for signature events Fi na nc i a l Ma na g e m en t

Ability to plan, develop, and implement a budget Example: Sticking to the predetermined budget for each event

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Individual Development

Improving Relationships Co n sensus Building

Process of solving a problem by reaching a solution that is mutually agreeable to all parties Example: Discussing who to invite for an on-campus lecture until the group reaches general agreement Relat ionship - Buil ding

Process of creating, developing, and sustaining connections between groups or individuals Example: Scheduling casual meetings with new organization members Adapta bil ity

Ability to cope with a variety of situations and people Example: Working with people from different cultures

Self-Improvement St ress Management

Ability to cope with taxing situations Example: Continuing to lead effectively while managing difficult classes I n i t iative

Ability to take responsibility for starting new projects, to think and act without being asked, and to develop new ideas Example: Changing the elections process when it has been ineffective Ri sk-Tak ing

Willingness to try something new or make a decision without the guarantee of success Example: Planning a new, never-before-attempted event

Adapted from University of South Florida’s Student Organization Advisor Handbook

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Individual Development

Motivating Your Advisees As the academic year progresses and students’ lives become busier, it’s important that you work with your officers to maintain morale and motivation for the group. Give praise • Reinforce continuous achievement • Get in the habit of being “praise-minded” • Give public recognition when it’s due Give people status • Build prestige into organizational positions • Create a “Member of the Week/Month” Communicate • Keep members informed of problems, objectives, “inside information” • Create mutual understanding Give security • Make sure members know you respect them and accept them • Let students know you’re there for them and concerned about their development Develop purpose • Always explain why • Share reasons why participation encourages personal growth Encourage participation in group goal development • Include all members when planning goals • Solicit and utilize member suggestions • Revisit goals regularly to assess progress and relevance Develop a sense of belonging • Reinforce the sense of team • Encourage a buddy system to match new and more senior members

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Individual Development

GRAPE Theory of Motivation Growth Being able to increase one’s skills and competencies, performing new or more complex tasks, participating in training programs.

Participation Involvement in the organizational decision making, planning and scheduling one’s own work and controlling one’s own work activities.

Recognition Promotion within the organization, praise for achievements, positive and constructive feedback, receiving an award, listening to individuals.

Enjoyment Having fun in a warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere.

Achievement The opportunity to solve a problem, to see the results of one’s efforts, to reach goals that one has established to create a “whole” tangible product.

Adapted from Nazareth College’s Advisor Handbook and Dr. Sara Boatman’s GRAPE Theory of Motivation

Officer Transition One of the most important functions of an advisor is to assist in the transition from one set of organization officers to the next. As the stability of the organization, the advisor has seen changes, knows what works and can help maintain continuity. Investing time in a good officer transition early on will mean less time spent throughout the year nursing new officers through the quarter. The key to a successful transition is making sure new officers know their jobs BEFORE they take office. Expectations should be clearly defined. There are a number of ways to conduct the officer transition. The April Transition Checklist and First Advisor/President One-on-One Meeting Agenda are great resources to begin the transition process.

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Strategies for Working with Millennial Students


illennials are the largest demographic age group represented on college campuses today. It is imperative that faculty and staff understand the traits of these students, and learn the best strategies for working with them. In their book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, authors Neil Howe and William Strauss introduce several key traits shared by the millennial generation. The chart below states the millennial trait and a corresponding strategy when seeking to maximize it. Millenial Trait



Recognition is used frequently by advisors. Recognize a member’s contributions verbally or in print, in front of the organization or alone. This is an easy and effective way to motivate someonealmost everybody appreciates a “Thank you!” or recognition of a job well done. Also note who enjoys public and private recognition.


Expect to be given many opportunities that expose them to educational and experiential situations.


Millennials are confident in their competence. Advisors should be prepared to ask the right questions to prompt students to examine their preparedness and ability. This should not include negative comments about false confidence, but rather probing questions that allow the student to examine themselves.


Millennials are extremely relational. They are more central to their parents’ lives than previous generations and are used to having the adults in their lives show great interest in them. They appreciate it when advisors show that same interest, and they seem to be more willing to pursue learning outcomes when instructors connect with them on a personal level.

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Strategies for Working with Millennial Students

Millenial Trait



Millennials have come to accept policies, expect the policies to be clearly communicated and enforced with due process, high expectation of structure.


Millennials prefer a less formal learning environment in which they can informally interact with the advisor and one another. In interviews with students, the term “laid back� was used repeatedly.


A student motivated by the need for achievement may have a tendency to overcome obstacles, to exercise power, or to strive to do something difficult as well and as quickly as possible. Achievement is often tied to positive recognition from outside sources. In a few cases, there can be an internal desire for achievement, so completing a task to the best of his/her ability would satisfy the person.

Adapted from the University of Florida Advisor Training

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Appendix: Advisor Resources

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Advisor Calendar August



Students move in and classes begin – welcome officers and members back

Reading Days and Final Exams – wish your members good luck!

See the April Checklist for a successful transition process and self evaluation

Confirm days/times for 1:1s, executive board, and general body meetings

End of semester – consider writing semester transition reports

Consider the outcomes of the budget allocation process and plan for any reallocations

Confirm your readiness for the new year by completing the August Checklist.”

January September Involvement Fair (1st Thursday of September) – support your officers First general meeting – introduce yourself to potential new members Big Red Weekend – reconnect with alumni of the organization

Students return and classes begin – welcome officers and members back Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – consider ways your organization can get involved

Students may need support reenergizing through the first round of events

November Thanksgiving Break – consider planning a service event

Plan an end-of-year recognition event for members and show your appreciation for their hard work

Plan activities to keep the momentum going for the new semester The budget process begins. Begin working on the Spring Semester Budget Checklist to make sure your organization is on track.”

May Reading Days and Final Exams – wish your members good luck! Classes end – wish all officers and members a wonderful summer!

October Midterms and Fall Break – wish your members good luck!

Complete an evaluation meeting with the president and other officers. See the Evaluation and Feedback Tool to get started

February Complete the Spring Semester Budget Checklist Discuss upcoming election/transition process with president and officers and plan for changes

March Midterms and Spring Break – wish your members good luck! Assist in facilitating new officer elections

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Commencement – say goodbye to graduating seniors

August Checklist This tool will help you to stay on top of the most critical aspects of your role. Please reach out to the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center or your executive board members for assistance. The organization I advise is registered with an updated OrgSync portal I have reviewed my organization’s updated Constitution and bylaws I have reviewed the Campus Organization Advisor Handbook and related resources and determined which resources I will use I have placed advisor trainings and other dates on my calendar I have a completed list of executive board contact information (see Executive Board Contact Information) My organization’s executive board meetings are _____________________________________________________ My organization’s general body meetings are _____________________________________________________ I have reviewed my organization’s budget for this academic year I have discussed liability and risk management procedures with my organization’s executive board I have an updated roster of my organization’s members I know the goals, events, and plans of my organization for the year I have assessed my skills and noted areas for development (see Skills Checklist) I know what my organization expects of me this year and my organization members know what I expect of them I know where the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC) is located I know where to go for help if I have questions Adapted from East Carolina University’s 2014-2015 Advisor Handbook

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Spring Semester Budget Checklist Use this with your organization’s treasurer and other executive board members to ensure a successful budget process. Ensure the organization treasurer attends a Treasurer’s Meeting hosted by the DCGA Finance Chair at the beginning of the spring semester

Send an organization representative to the CLIC Program Retreat if the organization plans to execute an event costing $5,000 or more.

Meet 1:1 with the treasurer after this meeting to go over the material. Go over the budget calendar.

Make sure an organization representative attends the council workshops to get assistance with the budget. Work with the treasurer to submit the budget on time.

Review previous years’ budgets to see how much money was requested and how much was allocated.

Review initial budget allocation once it is released for public viewing.

Review previous years’ budgets to determine which events were funded and which were not.

Meet with the treasurer and other officers to discuss whether the organization wants to file an appeal.

Brainstorm budget items with the entire executive board to adjust the amount requested for repeated events and minimally plan any new events.

Discuss any fundraising ideas to make up any gaps in funding allocation.

Work with treasurer and other officers to compile a budget for the following academic year. Ensure the organization follows DCGA funding guidelines.

If the organization intends to apply for DCGA funding in the following year, indicate so on the reregistration form via OrgSync.

If submitting an appeal… Send an organization representative to present at the Appeals Board. Review the final budget once announced.

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April Transition Checklist This list includes some items to keep in mind as you work through the transition process with your student organization members. Meet 1:1 with the new president and any other officers (see Agenda: First President/Advisor 1:1). Remind the president to expect an email from CLIC over the summer about the mandatory orientation meeting in September Schedule a time for the outgoing and incoming executive boards to meet together and be present at this meeting Consider scheduling the first executive board and/or general body meeting for the following year Schedule time to review institutional processes related to tasks such as accounting, purchasing, reserving space, ordering food, etc. Advisor should explain these processes from the institutional perspective Give new officers access to any systems or documents located online (e.g. Dropbox, OrgSync, Google Drive) if advisor has access Once updated, approve the organization’s re-registration via OrgSync Complete a self evaluation and set goals for the next year (see Advisor Self Evaluation) If transitioning to a new advisor… Meet 1:1 with the new advisor to go over important information Consider writing a transition report for the new advisor Create a transition binder including advisor expectations worksheets, president/advisor 1:1 agendas and notes, advisor agreements, advisor responsibilities sheets, and other important documents Share the information you would have wanted to know as a new advisor for this organization and reflect on your year(s)!

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Agenda: First President/Advisor 1:1 Here are some agenda topics to consider for your first meeting with the organization president. This meeting should ideally take place before students leave for summer break. I. Personal Introductions • Ask questions about organization related interests and ambitions • Complete “Working Word of [Name]” activity II. Review organization’s vision, mission, purpose, and core values • Do any of these need to be updated in the Constitution? III. Set goals for the upcoming year (should relate to vision/mission) • SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely • Related to Emblems of Excellence: Competency, Individual Growth, Synergy, and Community IV. Review expectations for the advisor/president relationship • Advisor Expectations Worksheet • Sample Advisor Agreement • Advisor Roles and Responsibilities V. Discuss strengths and weaknesses of the organization VI. Consider the following areas as you brainstorm potential changes for the next year • Meeting structure – executive board, general body, 1:1s • Events – signature annual events, new ideas • Publicity – social media, fliers, OrgSync, emails, etc. • How to keep general members engaged and involved • Delegation – who will be responsible for various tasks? • Accountability – advisor/president and executive board • Relationships with academic departments, student development offices, Campus Services, etc. • Recruitment – strategies, goals • Executive board structure – new positions? VII. Set next meeting time

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Advisor Expectations Worksheet This worksheet will help to frame a discussion with the members of the student organization you are advising related to what you each expect from each other. It is critical to have this initial discussion to ensure a productive advising relationship. We suggest providing these questions to your student organization members ahead of time so they can discuss their thoughts together before the meeting. 1. How often would you like me to attend general body meetings? (circle one)



Once per semester/year


2. How often would you like me to attend executive board meetings? (circle one)



Once per semester/year


3. Will I be a silent observer at meetings or an active participant? (mark on continuum) Silent observer Active participant 4. How often should I have a 1:1 meeting with the president? (circle one)



Once per semester/year


5. How should we stay in communication? (circle all that apply) In person Email Phone Text Social media Do not forget to provide appropriate contact information! 6. How often would you like to be in communication? Daily Weekly Monthly As needed 7. How many major events take place each semester? ___________ 8. Would you like me to attend organization events? How many and which ones? Event name: Date: Event name: Date: 9. In which areas will you need the most support? (circle all that apply)

Running meetings

Event planning Publicity



10. What tasks do you expect me to complete for the organization (e.g. fundraising)? 11. How do you prefer to receive feedback (positive or constructive)? (circle one)

Privately in person

Via email



12. How will you let me know if I am not meeting expectations? (circle one)

Privately in person

Via email

In the moment

13. What skills or knowledge can I offer you as an advisor/mentor/teacher/supervisor/facilitator? 14. How do my skills match the needs of the organization? 15. How far ahead of time should we schedule in-person meetings? (circle one)


2-3 days

1 week 2 weeks 1 month

Adapted from East Carolina University’s 2014-2015 Advisor Handbook

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Sample Advisor Agreement The members of [organization] request [name] to serve as Advisor of the organization for a period of [length of time] beginning with [semester & year]. Duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the position are as follows: [List responsibilities and expectations of the Advisor – examples below] • • • •

Attend one general body meeting per month Meet with treasurer biweekly during budget process Set aside 2 office hours per week available for organization members to consult and visit Mention upcoming events at faculty/staff meetings

Duties and responsibilities may be reconsidered at the request of the Advisor, president, or majority vote of the membership at a regular meeting. Duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the organization’s leadership and membership to the Advisor are as follows: [List responsibilities and expectations of the org – examples below] • • • •

Keep Advisor informed of upcoming event plans Set up meetings with Advisor at least 3 days in advance Write transition reports after each semester for Advisor to review Send meeting agendas to Advisor 24 hours in advance

President (or equivalent): Signature: Date: I have met with the president (or equivalent) of the above-named organization and discussed the duties and responsibilities of the Advisor as listed above. I agree to serve as Advisor and will fulfill these duties and responsibilities to the best of my abilities. Advisor: Signature: Date:

Adapted from East Carolina University’s 2014-2015 Advisor Handbook

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Advisor Roles and Responsibilities Rank the top 10 advisor roles and responsibilities in coordination with your student organization needs and wants (1=highest, 10=lowest). _____ Serve as an information resource _____ Motivate and encourage members _____ Problem solve _____ Set goals _____ Attend meetings and activities _____ Run the meetings _____ Orient new officers to their roles and responsibilities _____ Provide continuity for the organization _____ Recruit and retain members _____ Interpret university policies _____ Confront negative behavior _____ Be a financial manager _____ Understand student/group development theories and models _____ Possess knowledge of legal issues _____ Understand how diversity affects the organization _____ Meet with the executive officers of the group _____ Know the steps to develop a program _____ Advocate for additional funding _____ Publicize events and meetings _____ Keeps historical records and notes _____ Facilitate professional or personal development activities

Adapted from Bellarmine University

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Advisor Self Evaluation Rate yourself at the conclusion of the academic year on the following advisor roles and responsibilities from a scale of 1-5: 5=all the time

4=most of the time

3=part of the time


_____ I actively provide motivation and encouragement to members. _____ I know the goals of the organization. _____ I know the group’s members. _____ I attend regularly scheduled executive board meetings. _____ I attend regularly scheduled general body meetings. _____ I meet regularly with the president and/or other officers. _____ I attend the organization’s special events. _____ I assist with the orientation and training of new officers. _____ I help provide continuity for the organization. _____ I confront the negative behavior of members. _____ I understand the principles of group development. _____ I understand how students grow and learn. _____ I understand the principles that lead to orderly meetings. _____ I have read the group’s Constitution and by-laws. _____ I recommend and encourage without imposing my ideas. _____ I monitor the organization’s financial records. _____ I understand the principles of good fundraising. _____ I understand how issues of diversity affect the organization. _____ I attend conferences with the organization’s members. _____ I know the steps to follow in developing a program. _____ I can identify what members have learned by participating. _____ I know where to find assistance for problems I cannot solve. Areas for Improvement and Goals for Next Year:

Feel like you have room for improvement? Set up a meeting with CLIC to see how you can take the next step as an advisor. Adapted from ACPA Advisor Manual

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Evaluation and Feedback Tool Provide this document to your organization’s president and/or other leadership in preparation for a 1:1 evaluation meeting to discuss the students’ experience with you as an advisor. Rate answers on a scale of 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best). Write comments below and on back. 1) I am satisfied with the amount of time our advisor spends with the group.


2) I am satisfied with the quality of time our advisor spends with the group.


3) I am satisfied with the amount of information our advisor shares with us.


4) I am satisfied with the quality of information our advisor shares with us.


5) Our advisor is familiar with the goals and purpose of the group.


6) Our advisor advises the group in a way consistent with our goals.


7) Our advisor adjusts the advising style to meet our needs.


8) Our advisor is a good listener.


9) Our advisor understands the dynamics of the group.


10) Our advisor role models balance and healthy living.


11) Our advisor challenges me to think.


12) Our advisor allows us room to make and execute decisions.


Additional Comments:

Adapted from Drexel University

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Time Management Analysis Use this worksheet with any students you work with who seem to be struggling with time management. Ask that they create an Activity Log to keep track of everything they spend time doing for one week. Then schedule a meeting with the student and complete this analysis. 1.

Analyze the present situation by asking the student the following questions:

How are you presently using your time? What responsibilities require more or less time than you currently dedicate to them?

For which activities do you have control of the amount of time you spend?


Ask the student to establish and rank priorities for the following week


Ask the student to set goals for the amount of time for each activity


Keeping in mind the goals and priorities listed above, ask the student to draft an hour by hour schedule for the following week


Schedule another meeting to follow-up on progress, discuss any modifications to the weekly schedule, and develop another week’s schedule

Adapted from University of South Florida’s Student Organization Advisor Handbook

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Executive Board Contact Information Role


Email Address

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Cell #


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