What is an Academic Advisor?

From 2020, advising and mentoring to become an integral part of the student experience at the University of Melbourne. Leading  academic advising expert, Prof Glenn Altschuler from the US delivers insights to staff.

The Academic Advising program will connect undergraduates with an academic who will take an active interest in their wellbeing, progress and success.

Leading expert, Professor Glenn Altschuler from Cornell University in the US, delivered insights to UOM academic and teaching staff recently on how to build an academic advising culture to facilitate transformative experiences for students.

Professor Altschuler has won several awards for teaching and undergraduate advising at Cornell, recognizing his inspiring, and distinguished teaching of undergraduate students.

“Students want to be recognized – give them the confidence to tell their stories,” says Professor Altschuler, "Get to know your students, find out what they are interested in. Show that you care and listen - good Academic Advisors are good listeners."

Academic Advising

His tips for guiding Academic Advising conversations include finding out what students have found challenging and what they want to get out of their education at UOM.

“Encourage your students to realise that they are responsible for academic decisions – and they are capable of making good ones – if they leave with this confidence in themselves it’s the centre of sound Academic Advising,” Professor Altschuler says.

Advice for students

“Plan every day with one non-negotiable demand included; study between classes – don’t save it all for night time. And importantly, check back in with yourself and keep asking yourself what you think you’re interested in – not what you’re good at. It may change!” says Professor Altschuler.

About Professor Glenn Altschuler

Glenn Altschuler received his PhD in American history from Cornell in 1976 and has been an administrator and teacher at the university since 1981. He has served as Dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions since 1991.

Professor Altschuler has won several awards for teaching and undergraduate advising at Cornell. He is the recipient of the Clark Teaching Award, the Donna and Robert Paul Award for Excellence in Faculty Advising, and the 2006 Stephen H Weiss Presidential Fellowship for effective, inspiring, and distinguished teaching of undergraduate students.

Academic Advisors in SBS

In the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBS), Professor Terry Mulhern (our lead Faculty Advisor in SBS) together with around 100 Academic Advisors, will help our new Biomedicine undergraduates make the best possible use of their study and engagement opportunities.

More information on the Academic Advising program in SBS will be available soon.