Missouri State University

Limitations on Advising Responsibilities

Limitations to advising exist, and the advisor must be aware of these limitations. As a result, the integrity of advising as a profession is strengthened and sustained. Crockett (1995) again discusses some of the limitations of the advising relationship:

  • An advisor cannot make decisions for an advisee, but the advisor can be a sympathetic listener and offer various alternatives for the student to consider.
  • An advisor cannot increase the native ability of the advisee, but the advisor can encourage the maximum use of that ability.
  • An advisor cannot reduce the academic or employment load of a floundering student, but the advisor can make recommendations to the appropriate office or dean if the student has been suspended (suggesting stipulations concerning reinstatement).
  • An advisor should not in any way criticize a fellow faculty member to a student, but the advisor can make a friendly approach to any instructor who is involved in the student's problem.
  • An advisor cannot betray a student's confidence on matters of a confidential nature, but this should not necessarily preclude exchange of helpful information between advisor and instructor or dean. This exchange should be conducted in a professional and discreet manner.
  • An advisor should not attempt to handle cases of emotional disturbances that fall outside the behavioral pattern of students adjudged reasonably normal. When complex problems arise concerning financial aid, mental or physical health, or personal-social counseling, faculty should refer students to professional personnel through the Dean of Students' Office or the Counseling and Testing Center.