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Advising Overview

See also the Advising FAQ and the Advising Blog where you can ask questions

What is Advising?

Ethical and professional conduct is a cornerstone of high-quality graduate education. As a large metropolitan university, San José State University is composed of a number of unique and distinct disciplines. Together, these disciplines form the quilt that is the University and its programs. As diverse as these disciplines may be, all must work together and follow common guidelines that are formulated in order to uphold academic standards and maintain a collegial and productive environment.

Based on the assumption of a professional academic relationship between faculty advisors and graduate students, the following guidelines form the basis for SLIS practice. The guidelines outlined here are designed to both elicit an awareness of and a commitment to behavior and relationships rooted in common sense, courtesy, and basic honesty.

What advising is

Guidance and suggestion, through problem-solving and solution-driven consultation with an assigned faculty member, concerning areas of research and learning interest and desired educational goals. Faculty play different advising roles, as instructor, as research supervisor and as assigned academic advisor. An assigned academic advisor provides advice and suggestions regarding academic planning and addresses questions and concerns in accordance with the School's and University's policies.

What advising is not

A forum for venting complaints about particular instructors or grade assignments.
A means to circumvent or usurp University policies or procedures.

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Who Advises?

The School assigns a specific full-time faculty member as academic advisor to each graduate student on admission to the program. This is your primary advisor. Each advisor has a D2L advising site. Your advisor will automatically add you to his or her site and send you a welcome notice at the beginning of each semester.

In addition:

  • a course instructor will provide academic advice to students related to the specific course and specialization;
  • a full- or part-time faculty member will provide advice in his or her area of specialization if you contact them;
  • a research supervisor for a directed study, special project, collaborative research or thesis, or a paid assistantship, will provide advice on methodology and project management.

Most procedural questions can be answered through the SLIS Web site or the Advising blog; failing that, through the SLIS Coordinator of Student Services.

Further, SLIS names a faculty member as Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising to coordinate admissions, transfer credits and appeals.

Students require varying degrees of advice and support.

As a graduate program, educating professionals and developing leaders, SLIS encourages independence of thought, decision-making and action.

Faculty advisors are available; faculty advisors will not pursue you.

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Responsibilities of an Advisor

While the roles of advisor as instructor, research supervisor and assigned advisor may overlap, these examples help to define different aspects of the faculty member's advising role.

As an instructor, the faculty member will:

  • help students develop interpretive, writing, oral, quantitative, or other relevant professional skills required by the library and information science disciplines.
  • encourage faculty-student collaborations.
  • provide students with assessment of their progress and performance in regular and informative ways.
  • encourage, by example, a dedication to high-quality teaching and scholarly and professional activity.
  • promote free inquiry and the free exchange of information, subject to the University and School's policies.

As a research supervisor, the faculty member will:

  • help students design research programs that take advantage of their individual interests and strengths and that can be completed in a timely manner.
  • acknowledge student contributions to research presented at conferences, and in professional publications.
  • encourage students to participate in professional associations and meetings, and publish the results of their research.
  • never impede a graduate student's progress toward the degree or toward employment in order to benefit from the student's proficiency as a student assistant.
  • excuse themselves from participating in committee decisions regarding any student with whom they have a relationship that could result in a conflict of interest.

As an assigned advisor, the faculty member will:

  • help students understand the requirements and timetable that each must meet and will answer questions about course work,  e-portfolio, and thesis options.
  • interact with students, staff, and faculty colleagues in a professional and civil manner, and in accordance with University and School's policies.

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Expectations of the Advisee

  • consult with an advisor when you have questions 
  • take primary responsibility for informing themselves of the regulations and policies governing their financial aid, degree and course requirements, and other activities (e.g., as made available through MySJSU, the Graduate Studies & Research pages and the School's Web site).
  • seek clarification from the Student Services Coordinator or the Coordinator of Admissions and Academic Advising when they are uncertain about the precise meaning or application of a regulation or policy.
  • exercise the highest integrity in taking examinations and in composing work. A good point from which to begin is by reading the SJSU Academic Integrity Policy, located online at: http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S07-2.pdf.
  • maintain the confidentiality of the faculty advisor's professional activities and research prior to presentation or publication, in accordance with existing practices and policies of the School.
  • interact with faculty, staff and other students in a mature, professional, and civil manner in accordance with University and School's policies.

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