Academic Advising

Mission Statement

The academic advising system is fundamental to undergraduate education at Washington and Lee--it is, in fact, some of the most important work we do. The academic advising system should:

  1. Provide resources for students as they seek not only to meet graduation requirements, but also to become liberally educated human beings, well-developed in both intellect and character;
  2. Encourage students to take responsibility for their own educations and academic actions;
  3. Foster conversation among students and faculty beyond the classroom; and
  4. Help students to explore and serve a larger world through study abroad, community service, postgraduate education, and the commencement of productive careers.

The advising and mentoring of students is integral to all faculty members' duties as teachers and academic citizens. While good advising can occur in many contexts, through formal and informal relationships, the expertise and availability of initial advisers and major advisers are critical to the system's success. Washington and Lee teachers therefore balance moderate numbers of advisees with reasonable course, committee, and administrative responsibilities: we recognize that faculty time is one ingredient crucial to excellent advising.  (Excerpt from the 2006-2007 Task Force Report on Advising)

Holistic Advising

The six phases of our holistic advising initiative are based on the work of Dr. Jenny Bloom (Florida Atlantic University) who described the concept of Appreciative Advising, and last year (2020) we hosted Dr. Amanda Propst-Cuevas (Florida Atlantic University), Dr. Bloom's colleague, for a day-long workshop on Appreciative Advising.

Advising Links

A list of useful resources for advisers and students.

One-Page Primers

Click here for information & advice on the following subjects: fall registration for first-year students; helping students who appear to have academic or personal problems; guiding principles for academic advising; FDRs; academic distress; and study abroad.