Academics Academic Advising

Student And Faculty Expectations

Student expectations

RISD students take responsibility for their education, familiarizing themselves with degree and graduation requirements, as well as all student academic policies and procedures related to registration outlined by the Registrar’s Office.

To make the most of your advising experience, be sure to do the following:

  • Be proactive: Request at least two appointments per semester, including before next semester registration to ensure that you are on the right path to graduate. Contact your advisor either via email or office phone number.
  • Be prepared: Come to appointments with the information and questions your advisor needs to best guide and support you.
  • Get to know your department and/or division coordinator: Coordinators offer important information about departmental timelines and program/distribution requirements.
  • Explore Registrar’s Office resources: The Registrar is an essential source of information about common student academic processes, including add/dropBrown University cross-registrationacademic policy exceptions and more.
  • Consult the Guide to Guides: This resource gives a brief overview of how to navigate your studies and work with your academic advisor. 
  • Review the abridged Guide to Liberal Arts at RISDThe guide breaks down distribution of Liberal Arts credits, first-year requirements and more.

Faculty responsibilities

For full-time faculty, advising is an important responsibility. Faculty are assigned as advisors within departments or divisions, and disciplinary expertise can certainly be important for offering students avocational guidance. However, advising should also be informed enough to move beyond the matters of one department or major in order to help students understand requirements and opportunities across the school.

As advisors you are expected to understand all relevant degree and graduation requirements, policies, and institutional services and resources that support student success. 

At least twice per semester, advisors are to contact advisees to review their programs of study, including once before each registration period. To best serve students, you are expected to:

  • Get to know your advisees and help them build on their strengths: Each student brings different perspectives and interests that can help shape an individualized path through the curriculum.
  • Articulate your expectations: Let your advisees know what you hope to accomplish through advising, and work together to establish common goals.
  • Introduce your advisees to policies, responsibilities, expectations and resources: RISD has a lot to offer students—and asks a lot from them—at every stage of their education, so make this a regular part of your advising sessions.
  • Help advisees develop a timeline for completing their academic requirements: This is one of the most important ways you can support students in completing their degree program on time.
  • Encourage students to be open about difficulties: Work with your advisees to resolve any challenges to their degree progress and, as needed, point them to relevant support resources.

To prepare for advising, please review the Guide for Guides. You're encouraged to contact the dean of faculty and/or the Teaching and Learning Lab if you need further advising support.