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Master Adviser Program

The role of the Master Adviser is to serve as an expert on complex advising matters. The selected advisers that have earned Master Adviser status play a key role in promoting quality advising and the impact it has on student success on the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. They actively work with other advisers, lead advising related activities within their disciplines and divisions, and serve as a consultant for advanced advising issues. Advising Office personnel support the activities of the Master Advisers by providing materials and facilitating organized activities. The program began in the fall semester of 2012 and financial support is provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Academic Dean. 

The Master Adviser does not replace or intercede in the relationship with the assigned adviser and the advisee. The Master Advisers have advanced knowledge of academic and student support programs that allow them to assist students regardless of academic interest or their individual situation. The Master Adviser uses a holistic approach to student success and may provide quality advising support for other advisers or students at times when the assigned faculty adviser is away.

SELECTION PROCESS

A call for applications for the Master Adviser Program begins in February via an announcement from the Dean and division chairs. Each division (Science and Mathematics, Humanities, Education, and Social Science) is represented by one Master Adviser. Master Advisers serve three year terms.

Candidates submit application materials signed by their division chair to Academic Advising by early February where they are reviewed by the Coordinator of Advising and a representative of the Scholastic Committee. Recommendations for the five finalists are then forwarded to the Academic Dean and division chairs for selection/approval. For more information or to apply please see the Master Adviser application and expected competencies.

TRAINING

Master Adviser training begins in March with additional training throughout the year so as to accommodate advisers' busy schedules. Training and meetings are usually held in late afternoons or over the lunch hour.

Advisers who complete training and achieve Master Adviser status are acknowledged at the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony and Campus Assembly.

Basic competencies covered by training modules:

  • Informational: knowledge of institution and programs
  • Technological: online advising tools and resources
  • Conceptual: theories and philosophy
  • Relational: interpersonal and communication skills
  • Personal: self-understanding and development

MASTER ADVISERS RESPONSIBILITIES

The names and office locations of the Master Advisers are posted in the division offices and other locations to insure that both student and other advisers can make referrals as necessary. Responsibilities include:

    • Participate in new student registration process:
      • Master Advisers must participate in four of the six scheduled registration sessions throughout the spring and summer (specific dates are scheduled in consultation with the Coordinator of Advising).
      • They also assist in the registration of transfer students at times other than scheduled registration sessions.
    • Possess interdisciplinary knowledge that will assist transitioning students or deciding students
    • Act as advising mentors for new advisers in their division
    • Facilitate one meeting each semester centered on advising related topics in their division (during the Faculty Retreat or a Thursday Afternoon Faculty Seminar)
    • Serve as a divisional drop-in resource for students with academic questions
    • Serve as the backup adviser for probationary/suspended students in their division if assigned advisers are unavailable to students (summer, breaks, single semester leaves, and/or as needed)
    • Provide additional activities such as lunchtime forums, outreach, or networking events as identified by the Master Advisers cohort and/or the Coordinator of Advising

EXAMPLES OF WHEN ADVISERS SHOULD UTILIZE MASTER ADVISERS

    • Questions regarding probation or suspension policies (procedures, exceptions, etc.)
    • Clarification on academic policy or academic integrity issues
    • Consultation on situations where academic difficulty may require the student to consider changing majors (i.e. Plan B discussions)
    • Transfer credit questions as they relate to degree completion
    • Non-academic issues affecting student success
    • Proactive engagement with students in academic jeopardy
    • Making referrals to campus resources, as needed
    • Consultation on complex issues such as repeating courses, SAP procedures, and/or financial aid
    • Issues that may affect multiple areas of the student's life
    • Questions related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • "Out of the ordinary" situations that may impede timely graduation

Note: The Master Adviser does not replace the assigned faculty adviser. The Master Adviser’s role is to assist in complex cases and provide support to the faculty adviser when possible. Advisers and students may want to meet together with the Master Adviser for holistic discussions on promoting student success.

COMPENSATION AND TERM OF SERVICE

Funding for the Master Adviser Program is provided by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Deans Office. Master Advisers receive a $2,500 stipend annually and serve 3 year terms.