What does it mean to be a College Advisor?

At Duke, every incoming student is assigned a dedicated College Advisor, who supports their students from First-year Registration to Major Declaration in the Spring of a student's Sophomore year. Advising is a collaborative relationship, focused on identifying and advancing student success.

Through their College Advisors, students are welcomed into our community and encouraged to think critically about their own academic pathways. Our advisors acknowledge students’ individual values and motivations, offering personalized guidance through the curriculum and the university’s extensive co-curricular resources.

You may have a colleague who serves as an advisor and wondered what the work entails, or whether it's something you'd find rewarding. This page will help you learn more about the role 

The Network

Duke has a network model of advising, which means there are many people on campus who support students as they navigate their academic experience here. The network includes academic deans, specialized advisors (DAEsPrehealthPre-professional), peer success leaders, and major advisors, but the college advisor has a unique position in the network as the only required point of contact for students. College advisors are assigned a small roster of incoming students each year, who they help orient and welcome to Duke. Every registration period, students must meet with their college advisor to discuss their course choices for the following semester. This conversation is centered around registration but can include a broad discussion of how the student is doing, and where their experiences and coursework are leading them.

How Much Time is Involved?

Depending on the time one chooses to spend beyond required meetings, advisors can reasonably expect to spend 4-8 hours in the summer, and 30-40 hours during the academic year on advising. This time is concentrated during the weeks of registration meetings, which happen in June/ July, October/ November, and March/ April. Advisors work with their advisees until they declare a major, usually their fourth semester, but many students maintain contact with their advisors throughout their time as students.

Why Advise?

Advisors can make an important difference in their students' lives. It is a great way to connect with students and help them get the most out of their time at Duke. Many advisors find their advising experience to be one of the highlights of their work.

Some of the advising responsibilities:
  • To help students think broadly about their education and their academic and personal goals
  • To encourage students to engage fully in their classes, to establish relationships with faculty, and to take advantage of campus resources
  • To help students understand the basic curriculum requirements and the reasons for them
  • To help students think about potential majors and assist them in the major declaration process
  • To refer students to the appropriate support resources as needed

The AAC provides training and ongoing support for all advisors.

The Process

We generally recruit new advisors each year beginning in February. There's a half day training session required of all new advisors, along with online training modules to supplement your learning, and tons of resources and support from the AAC offered throughout the academic year. If you're interested in becoming an advisor, complete the form below, and we'll be in touch with you in February, with more information.