Academic Advising

Academic advising at Xavier University is a developmental and personalized partnership between advisors and students aimed at discerning life and vocational goals and creating educational plans to achieve them. Academic advising contributes to student persistence and success by integrating course and career planning and monitoring academic progress.

Academic advising is more than transactional; advisors educate, facilitate communication, and coordinate learning experiences while referring students to relevant resources. Quality academic advising leads students toward taking responsibility for their academic progress, making informed decisions, and achieving their educational goals. Academic advising complements success coaching, career development, and academic support.

Academic advising aligns with Xavier's commitment to cura personalis, emphasizing the Greater Good, service, and solidarity.

Note: This statement of advising is heavily adapted from Winston, Jr. R. B., Enders, S. C., & Miller, T. K. (Eds.) (March 1982). Developmental approaches to academic advising. New Directions for Student Services, 17.

Academic advisors: learn more about using EAB Navigate.

For information about the Student Success model and Success Coaches interact with academic advising, please see this update.

To learn who your academic advisor is, please contact your success coach for undergraduate students or the graduate student success advisor for graduate students.

This site is maintained by the Associate Provost for Academic Engagement.

Academic advisors have an ethical obligation to advise in the best interest of students, including (but not limited to):

  • treating all students, staff and faculty with respect, decency, compassion, and care,
  • helping students find and choose efficient paths to graduation,
  • minimizing unnecessary cost and time spent on education,
  • assuming students have good intentions to succeed,
  • committing to having difficult conversations, and doing so with honesty and compassion,
  • assisting students in discerning majors in which those students are likely to succeed at Xavier,
  • offering sound advice based on advisors’ experience as educators, and
  • maintaining professional currency and developing advising skills.

Xavier University expects that all academic advisors will achieve high quality academic advising by doing the following:

  • Maintain appropriate levels of advising availability and communicate that availability to advisees.
    • As a general guideline, advisors should have some meeting availability each week during spring and fall semesters. Students should generally be able to schedule a meeting within the next five business days.
  • Equip students with skills for scheduling courses.
  • Meet in person or virtually with each advisee at least once per semester.
    • Group advising may be used as appropriate, with individual follow-up as needed.
    • Advising beyond course selection may occur outside of pre-registration times.
  • Respond to advisees’ emails in a timely manner (generally, within two business days during fall and spring semesters for faculty advisors).
    • Outside of contract periods, faculty advisors should refer advisees to backups (e.g., department chairs or program directors). This can be done via autoreply in emails and by voicemail greetings.
    • Department chairs, program directors or other backups should have, communicate and meet clear expectations about summer responsibilities associated with stipends, course releases, or other compensation.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of graduation requirements for their advisees (including University Core Curriculum for undergraduate advisors).
  • Confirm satisfactory academic progress:
    • For undergraduate students, document confirmation of satisfactory academic progress in EAB in the first two semesters and once the student achieves 75 credit hours.
    • For graduate students, document confirmation of satisfactory academic progress in EAB every semester according to the program requirements and students’ current educational plan.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of Xavier’s Student Success model and its various roles and responsibilities.
  • Effectively use EAB Navigate and DegreeWorks, Xavier’s academic advising and communication systems.
  • Discuss vocational discernment and formation and career planning with advisees, including relevant experiential learning opportunities.
  • Maintain competence and currency via advisor training regarding curriculum, legal guidelines, Ignatian Belonging, and other topics as appropriate.
  • Respond appropriately to students’ non-academic concerns and connect students to relevant campus and community resources as needed.
  • Demonstrate understanding of, and respect for, both professional and faculty advisors and the respective roles of each.

Xavier University expects that all academic advisors will cooperate with Success Coaches and Career Development in the following ways:

  • Recognize undergraduate success coaches and the Office of the Graduate School as primary resources to answer students’ questions.
  • Respond appropriately to outreach, alerts, and cases sent by success coaches and Graduate School staff regarding student progress, concerns, progress reports, and student successes.
  • Submit alerts when needed via EAB, Student Concern reports, and other appropriate means.
  • Refer students to the Success Coaches for academic coaching (time management, study skills, transition to college or across majors, financial hardship).
  • Refer students to Academic Support for tutoring, supplemental instruction, or study group sessions where available.
  • Refer students to Career Development for:
    • assistance with vocational assessment and discernment
    • planning for internships and full-time employment
    • assistance with potential changes of major (along with Success Coaches).

Xavier University expects that all students will:

  • Consult with their advisor at least once per semester, and also when the student is considering adding or changing majors, minors, or courses.
  • Make appointments for advising sessions during the advisor’s office hours, and keep those appointments.
  • Notify the advisor or someone in the advisor's office if it is not possible to keep an appointment.
  • Be prepared for appointments during priority registration and/or registration:
    • Review the online Schedule of Classes,
    • Review progress toward graduation on DegreeWorks
    • Make a plan of courses and alternates for the next semester.
  • Clarify some personal values and goals before meeting with their advisor, and be prepared to discuss them with their advisor.
  • Follow through with appropriate action after an advising session (e.g., contact the Dean's Office, Registrar's Office, Career Development Office, etc.)
  • Know important dates for each semester: last day to change, drop, or add classes; graduation application deadline.
  • Accept responsibility and accountability for their actions and decisions.
    • Note: While advisors are available for guidance, students are ultimately responsible for satisfying all degree requirements as spelled out in the online University catalog under which they entered.

Deciding upon a major and/or a career path can be challenging. A variety of advisors and offices are available to assist you on this journey. The following are suggestions for creating your own path to a major and/or a career.

  • Begin identifying your values, interests, and skills
    • Discussions with supervisors, faculty, success coach, academic advisors, and/or career coach.
    • Career Assessments (available through the Career Development Office).
    • Ask yourself discernment questions, such as:
      • What does the world need me to be?
      • What am I good at? What can I become good at?
      • What brings me deep joy and fulfillment?
      • What values do I hold most deeply?
    • Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner suggests that "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."
  • Explore various areas of study
    • Take a core course or an elective that interests you.
    • Explore various majors/minors and their requirements.
    • Join a student club in an area that you enjoy.
  • Look for practical experiences that help you gain the skills and confidence in a work environment, like an on campus job, internship, etc.
  • Find a professional mentor in a field of interest

For more information and resources, visit:

Career Development Office:


To make a change (switch/add/drop) to your major, please follow the instructions below:

For College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) majors and minors (and interdisciplinary majors and minors), please start the change process at the CAS website.

For College of Nursing majors, please contact Marilyn Gomez, Assistant Dean.

For College of Professional Sciences (CPS) majors and minors, please contact the new department of the major or minor. They will contact the Associate Dean's office in CPS to begin the process.

For Williams College of Business (WCB) majors and minors, please contact the office of Ms. Cindy Stockwell, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Programs in Smith Hall 120.

If you would like more information on particular majors/minors, please contact the appropriate academic department.