First Year

Undergraduate Advising at UMW – Mission Statement and Goals

Mission Statement:

The primary mission of undergraduate, academic advising is to assist students in identifying and clarifying their academic directions and educational goals, and to help them to develop meaningful and compatible plans and success strategies.

Academic advising is integral to the University, and is vital in the transition of new, continuing and non-traditional students, and in the successful completion of their undergraduate degrees. Faculty advisers provide accurate information, as well as interpret and enforce the policies of the institution. Comprehensive academic advising develops a foundation for individual and collective student achievement and institutional excellence.


  • Support the mission of the University of Mary Washington. Through collaborative relationships with administrative offices and residential and program staff, assist students in making a successful transition to the university and in building an ongoing educational community.


  • Foster respectful and meaningful adviser-advisee and institutional relationships that focus on informed decision-making and the unique development of each student, recognizing that the individual student has the ultimate responsibility for making their own educational decisions.


  • Guide students through the process of clarifying their long-term goals. Assist students with selecting appropriate general courses, choosing majors, evaluating alternate plans, and with integrating multiple academic programs and experiential opportunities into a comprehensive educational plan.


  • Provide accurate and timely information about the university’s academic programs, procedures and resources. Assist in the interpretation of academic policies and requirements. Assist students in accessing and understanding their education records.


  • Sensitively and effectively assist students who have different life experiences, class and cultural backgrounds, identities, orientations, abilities, and values and make appropriate referrals to specialized campus resources to ensure optimal integration into university culture.


  • Assess students’ needs and refer them to the appropriate university resources.


  • Regularly monitor and assess students’ academic standing, progress and achievements, as well as help students identify and overcome the factors that impede their academic performance, in order to facilitate retention and timely completion of degree.


  • Abide by the regulations of the university for making decisions on individual student programs, such as appropriate course loads, courses of study, reinstatement and academic standards.


  • Analyze available information about student needs and the changing nature of the university, and advocate for appropriate policy and procedural changes.


  • Work cooperatively with campus-wide academic and administrative units with the aim of facilitating student success and reasonable individual accommodation within university standards.


  • Ensure on-going professional development and training of advisers to maintain advising excellence.