Academics Academic Advising

Student and faculty expectations

Student expectations

RISD students take responsibility for their education, familiarizing themselves with degree and graduation requirements. It is also important to know all student academic policies and procedures related to registration. These are 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. This helps 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. These include add/dropBrown University cross-registrationacademic policy exceptions and more.
  • Consult the Guide to Guides: This gives a brief overview for navigating your studies and working with your 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.

Disciplinary expertise is important for offering students avocational guidance. However, advising should also be informed beyond department- or major-specific matters. This helps ensure that students know about requirements and school-wide opportunities.

Advisors are expected to know all relevant degree and graduation requirements, policies, services and resources that support student success. 

Contact advisees at least twice per semester to review their programs of study. This includes 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: Students bring their own perspective and interests that can help shape a meaningful path through the curriculum.
  • Articulate your expectations: Let your advisees know what you hope to accomplish through advising. 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. Make it a regular part of your advising sessions to discuss relevant policies and responsibilities.
  • 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. As needed, point them to relevant support resources.

To prepare for advising, please review the Guide for Guides. Contact the dean of faculty and/or the Teaching and Learning Lab for further support.