Advisor/Advisee Roles and Responsibilities
The relationship between a freshman advisor and his/her advisees is an important one. Your advisor is one of the first people on the faculty or staff whom you will meet at MIT. S/he will guide you through your first year at the Institute and become part of the network of mentors you assemble for support throughout your MIT career. It is therefore important for both you and your advisor to be clear about your respective roles and responsibilities.
Review this page for information on:
- What You Can Expect from Your Freshman Advisor
- What Your Advisor Will Expect from You
- What Your Associate Advisor Can Do for You
Your advisor will be readily available to help you with academic issues. S/he will be knowledgeable about academics and resources, but might not know the answers to all your questions.
- S/he is primarily an academic advisor who also serves as your advocate.
- Will help you select your classes and will meet with you regularly to discuss your academic progress.
- Help you become familiar with academic and campus resources, making referrals when difficulties arise.
- Offer advice on general advising issues such as time management and learning how to learn MIT level subjects, choosing a major, and obtaining help from a teaching assistant, faculty member, or other resources.
- Help you define and achieve your educational goals.
- Organize social events for your advising group a few times a year.
You are responsible for maintaining the advising relationship as much as your advisor is responsible. S/he will be readily available to help you but will not not micromanage you.
- Give your advisor relevant information about your background and interests before your first meeting during Orientation.
- Maintain regular contact with your advisor and associate advisor(s) through emails or personal appointments.
- Respond promptly to emails and voicemails from your advisor and associate advisor.
- Be in touch with your advisor and associate advisor(s) as soon as any problems arise—they are available to help.
- As an advisee in a Freshman Advising Seminar: Attend and participate in all seminar meetings; schedule and keep individual appointments with your advisor.
- As an advisee with a Traditional Advisor: Set an agreed-upon schedule of appointments at the beginning of each term and keep your appointments.
Associate advisors are trained upperclass students who volunteer to work with freshman advisors in their advising groups.
- The associate advisor(s) assigned your advising group will help with your class selection, provide the student perspective and serve as a unique resource.
- Associate advisors living in your dorm, who are not part of your advising group, can also serve as a resource for you.
- They will be a great source of advice about time management and learning to balance your academic, social and residential commitments.
- Your associate will also know the MIT curriculum well and can steer you to -- or away from -- certain subjects.