Your Faculty Advisor

It is the role of the advisor to help the student complete their assigned curriculum plan. Specifically, advisors assist with the selection of elective courses, chair and coordinate the Professional Doctoral Examination and Final Project Presentation and Defense Procedures, assist with selection of other team (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. 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 who wish to request a change of advisor assignment are not required to identify a new advisor. The student should email the College of Nursing Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) chairperson to request an advisor reassignment, and copy the appropriate DNP program director on the email. The email should include the following:

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 requests to change to a 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 they have 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 once assignment is made
    The student must contact the advisor of record immediately after assignment to introduce themselves.
  • Contact your advisor at least once per semester to discuss your progress
    Additionally, the student should contact the advisor at any time during the semester to inform them 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 important 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 student 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 support students. 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 project team (committee). The advisor is the student’s project team (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 advisees are applying for a position or entry into a subsequent advanced or degree program.

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