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


2020 Outstanding Advising Administrator application

2020 Outstanding New Academic Advisor application 

2020 Outstanding Established Advisor application 

2020 Outstanding Faculty Advisor application 

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

New Academic Advisor Training Series

All academic advisors at MSU are strongly encouraged to complete this self-paced, interactive training series during their first year in an advising role. Established advisors are also welcome to use it as a resource.

To enroll in each course: 

  1. Click the corresponding course link below
  2. Sign in to D2L using your MSU NetID and password
  3. Click the “Course home page” link to access each class

For Students/Parents

If you are an MSU student or a parent looking for academic advising, please look at this presentation on academic advising and visit

2019 Award Winners

Outstanding New Advisor: Kaitlin Peterson
Outstanding Established Advisor: Talitha Wimberly

Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon 
Outstanding Advising Administrator: Michael Zaborowski  

Visit the Academic Advising Website »