Professional Academic Advising – Critical to Your Students’ Success

Professional Academic Advising – Critical to Your Students’ Success

For students, building a relationship with their Academic Advisor is an important step in their academic success. Academic Advisors at UWM are professionals trained to assist your student in creating a four-year plan and mapping their road to graduation.

Students meet with an Academic Advisor at Orientation and are encouraged to contact them with any questions throughout the summer. Students will typically meet with their advisor once a semester, but are welcome to touch base more frequently whenever questions arise.

Below are some tips for parents and family members on how to help your student build a successful advising relationship.

Encourage your student …

To read email – many important messages are sent this way to UWM students. If they learn to check email daily now, it will pay off later when they are in a professional work setting.

To see their Academic Advisor earlier in the semester – the ideal time is October and March, not waiting until the registration time is posted on PAWS.

To come prepared! Students should have a list of questions and possible classes for the next semester. The schedule of classes is available online for them to review ahead of time (

To share honestly with their advisor. If they are struggling, let them know – advisors are there to help.

To share their short and long-term goals with their advisor; let them be a part of helping to achieve their goals. Advisors are knowledgeable about UWM resources, community connections and future job opportunities just to name a few.

To develop a relationship with their academic advisor. Meeting with an advisor shouldn’t be looked at as a chore. It should be looked at as an investment in their success and timely graduation.

To understand that Academic Advisors are there to help, not hinder, their success in school. Listening to suggestions and developing a plan to accomplish goals like getting involved, volunteering, studying abroad, completing an internship, visiting the Career Planning and Resource Center, meeting with professors, participating in Undergraduate Research, etc. all allow for a better UWM experience and a more marketable UWM graduate.

If your student isn’t sure who their Academic Advisor is, the name is listed in their PAWS student center. Each school or college has their own advising unit so it’s important to review individual policies and procedures which are often available on their websites. Encouraging your student to take the time to meet with their advisor may save time and money in the future.