Academic counselors work in a holistic and complementary fashion with other support offices and departments on campus. Knowing that students must be empowered to utilize all available resources, we strive to work together with our campus constituents in advising, financial aid, disability access services, career services, etc.
Our job is to respond to students’ needs and educate them regarding the overall systems within the university, while helping them navigate the variety of resources. With our understanding of their unique backgrounds, academic counselors communicate with students to guide them to “explore and define educational and career goals in an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning.”
We strive to instill in students an understanding that we do not exist as a substitute for these other resources; rather, we exist to complement and enhance the many student services Oregon State University has to offer. A helpful image in understanding our role is that other departments on campus have their core functions and sometimes they overlap with each other. The core function of academic counselors is to fill in the gaps that develop between these offices.
We accomplish this through several methods:
- We help students understand the systems within the university by accessing public information in print and online.
- We do not prescriptively answer student questions, but develop their background knowledge and their questions to assist them in utilizing these resources.
- When there are options available and decisions to make, we support students in taking their own unique abilities and needs into account in the process.
- We collaborate and keep lines of communication open with others on campus.