Academic Advisors at MSU ensure personalized care and attention to the success of students.
Deb Dotterer, Assistant Dean for University Advising

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Mission Statement

Academic advisors will collaborate with the MSU community and stakeholders to proactively assist, support, and develop students to

  • Reduce time to degree
  • Increase graduation rates
  • Close opportunity gaps
  • Create an inclusive community 
  • Become globally engaged citizens

Core Expectations


  • Commit to supporting MSU’s vision that all undergraduate students can graduate
  • Demonstrate to students that MSU is committed to their success
  • Be responsive—listen to the individual experiences of students at MSU and begin necessary conversations to proactively engage with students
  • Engage with MSU academic advisors, the MSU community, and community partners to stay connected across campus and beyond
  • Maintain awareness related to majors in other colleges to accurately refer students to the appropriate contacts
  • Collaborate with peers to share the responsibility of helping students find their best-fit major
  • Understand the curriculum development process and participate as deemed appropriate by unit
  • Create spaces where students feel valued
  • Challenge and support students in their personal, educational, and professional growth
  • Educate students to prepare them for experiences at MSU and beyond


  • Manage work reasonably against caseload* provided (*Caseloads to be defined based on advising role, college, etc.)
  • Learn about and use case management tools
  • Leverage evidence-based decision making to identify students for targeted outreach and proactive support
  • Use the most effective and appropriate MSU communication method to reach students in a timely manner
  • Support students with finding the appropriate resources across MSU to achieve their goals

Professional Development:

  • Participate in ongoing professional development as provided by MSU, regional, and national associations
  • Engage in ongoing performance management activities, with the goal of improving advising competencies
  • Participate in continuous self-care activities to maintain personal wellness
  • Maintain accurate knowledge base of MSU policies and procedures
  • Maintain an awareness of bias when engaging with students
  • Develop cultural competency to support an inclusive community and globally engaged students.
  • Engage with MSU academic advisors, the MSU community, and community partners to develop a professional network.

Assessment & Metrics:

  • Participate in a university-wide assessment of advising core expectations
  • Identify why academic advising core expectations are important to student success


In support of student success at Michigan State University, we are participating in the following activities to move toward a Proactive Advising approach in serving our students through:

  • Ongoing professional development and training opportunities
  • Ongoing development of tools and collaborative activities that support student success
  • Ongoing assessment of academic advising from the students’ perspective that informs change throughout the campus


2018 Outstanding Advising Administrator Shannon Brecheisen

2018 Outstanding Advising Administrator Shannon Brecheisen 

2018 Outstanding New Academic Advisor, Justin St. Charles 

2018 Outstanding Established Advisor, Ariel Robbins

2018 Outstanding Established Advisor, Ariel Robbins 

2018 Outstanding Faculty Advisor, Stuart Tessmer

2018 Outstanding Faculty Advisor, Stuart Tessmer 

Peer Organizations

  • NACADA The Global Community for Academic Advising
  • ACPA College Student Educators International
  • NASPA Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education
  • CAS Standards for Academic Advising by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

For Students/Parents

If you are an MSU student or a parent looking for academic advising, please visit

Academic Orientation Program Advising FAQ-Summer 2018

Visit the Academic Advising Website »