Your Faculty Advisor

It is the role of the advisor to help the student implement their assigned curriculum plan. Specifically, advisors assist with the selection of elective courses, chair and coordinate the Professional Doctoral Examination and Final Document Project Committees, assist with selection of other committee members, and facilitate the student’s access to the resources of the university. Upon admission, each student is initially assigned an advisor by the Graduate Studies Committee, based on recommendations from the chairperson of the DNP Subcommittee.  The recommendations are based upon the student’s initial focus for the Final Project. At any time during the program, the student may change to another advisor whose expertise is more congruent with student needs as they evolve during doctoral study. Students should meet with the current advisor to discuss the proposed change, secure the agreement of the new proposed advisor, and notify the director of the DNP program and the Graduate Studies Committee chairperson in writing regarding the change.

Within the first semester, the student and his or her faculty advisor should review the student’s plan of study using the Curriculum Plan Database. A copy of the Plan of Study will be housed in the database, which can be accessed by the student through the Student Portal. The Plan of Study should be reviewed and updated at least annually with the faculty advisor. Unless approved by the advisor in advance, students are expected to follow their established plan of study for required coursework. Any changes to the student’s plan of study should be submitted through the Student Portal to be approved by the faculty advisor and updated by the program manager.

Academic advising is an interactive process in which the aim is to develop a plan that helps the student move smoothly through the academic endeavor s/he has chosen. This process works best when both parties (the advisor and the advisee) partner to achieve a mutually agreed upon outcome. Both parties have areas of accountability to assure that this process proceeds in a smooth and beneficial manner. Below are listed some elements of the responsibility the student has in the process:

  • Contact your advisor first
    The student must contact the advisor of record immediately after assignment to introduce themselves.
  • Contact your advisor at least once per semester or session to discuss your progress
    Additionally, the student should contact the advisor at any time during the semester or session to inform him/her of any proposed changes in the curriculum plan that the student wishes to make to assure that the overall plan is still sound and meets progression requirements.
  • Contact the advisor if there are academic or other life issues that interfere with successful completion of a course or courses
    Although dialogue with the course instructors is essential, it is also essential that the student’s advisor be informed of any problems. Often, the advisor can help to plan strategies, give suggestions about appropriate petitions, and be a sounding board to recognize consequences of actions the student might think about implementing,
  • Discuss decisions to change specialty tracks, take a leave of absence, waive a course, or other decisions that affect completion of an academic program
    Advisors recognize that goals, objectives, and commitments may change. Your advisor is the first line academic official with whom these changes should be discussed.  Procedures, consequences, and suggestions for appropriate strategies are resources that advisors may use to help. The advisee usually is the one who initiates these discussions.
  • Discuss decisions about the DNP Professional Examination and DNP Final Project procedural requirements
    The DNP professional Examination is overseen by the Graduate School and is the main qualifying examination to the final project phase of the DNP program. The advisor can often serve as the first line for recommendations for decisions about the professional examination or final project. The advisor is the person who can make initial and informed suggestions about the best people to have on the student’s committees. The advisor is the student’s committee chairperson.
  • Request, as needed, the advisor to serve as a professional reference after graduation
    The advisor is a person who, in most cases, has known the student since the beginning of the student’s program of study. Advisors are often the best persons to complete a professional reference when their advises are applying for a position or entry into a subsequent advanced or degree program.

Please also review Appendix F of the Graduate School Handbook for Graduate advising best practices.