COS advising mission statement

The College of Science academic advising program is dedicated and focused on academic success and meeting the diverse needs of all its students. Academic advisors in the College will provide quality, inclusive, and equitable academic advising services throughout a student’s education through meaningful advising interactions and relationships that foster a sense of community and belonging among all students.

COS advising goals

The College of Science academic advising program will adhere to OSU Academic Advising Vision, Mission, Values and Goals as well as the NACADA Pillars of Academic Advising to provide framework for advising in the college. In addition, as academic advisors in the College of Science we will...

  • Foster a culture that is inclusive and provides an equitable learning environment for all.
  • Ensure that students are easily able to identify and understand how to communicate with their advisors.
  • Be accessible to meet with students to meet their academic needs in a timely manner.
  • Connect students with resources on campus that address their success in and beyond the classroom.
  • Connect students with experiential learning opportunities and professional development activities and encourage engagement that will prepare them for careers and life after college.
  • Provide clear and accurate communication to students in a timely manner.
  • Engage in proactive advising strategies in order to increase student success and retention in the College and at OSU.
  • Participate in ongoing education and advising professional development opportunities including advising best practices, to help grow and improve student success in the College.

Key components of an academic advisor

  • Continually work to be well informed on university and college policy, resources and other pertinent student information
  • Interpreting and communicating information to students that is meaningful and relevant to them (based on an assessment of their goals, needs and values that is not prescriptive). Making sure to be aware of multiple options available to students, so they can make informed decisions best suited for their needs. I advise, YOU decide.
  • Stay connected to key personnel on campus.
  • Model behaviors for students to emulate and practicing empathy and compassion when interacting with all students.
  • Establish interpersonal relationships to reinforce student belonging and purpose.
  • Maintain an environment of inclusivity and equity.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to grow awareness and knowledge of current academic advising best practices and standards, as well as student population backgrounds and needs.

Advisor expectations

The College of Science advisor expectations are adopted from the university established OSU Advisor-Advisee Responsibilities (2020). COS expectations are listed below the bolded OSU expectations.

Develop a purposeful relationship with and be an advocate for their advisees.

  • In the first year, advisors have at least one 30 minute face to face interaction once per quarter with students.
    • After the first year, advisors should have at least one face to face 30 minute appointment with students in the spring term.
    • Departments should have sufficient dedicated FTE to provide a balanced 250:1 advisee/advisor ratio.
  • Treat all students with respect and care. Take time to get to know your students. This will help students feel supported and comfortable coming to their advisors with problems.
  • Work toward incorporating inclusive and equitable dialogue in to our conversations, while trying our best to be aware of and remove implicit biases and microaggressions.

Inform students of the nature of the advisor/advisee relationship.

  • Have understanding of OSU outlined Advisor/Advisee expectations.

Assist students in defining and developing expressed educational, career, and life plans.

  • Be aware and up to date on OSU and college resources that will aid students in developing these plans.
  • Be knowledgeable about experiential learning opportunities & careers in the specific discipline you advise. Advisors should keep up to date on career paths common for students in their programs and what careers graduating students are entering into up graduation.
  • Be aware of OSU’s Academic Advising mission, goals and vision.
    • Understanding of OSU’s Learning Goals for Graduates.
    • Understanding and incorporation of OSU’s First Year Advising syllabus.
    • Understand and incorporation of COS’s Advising Syllabus.

Provide timely and accurate educational information.

  • Be up to date on institutional and COS policies, procedures and requirements as they relate to their academic success and degree completion. This includes but is not limited to OSU Academic Regulations, registration procedures/policy/deadlines, inform c10 listserve, admissions requirements, COS scholarship information, and basic financial aid information.
  • Advisors should respond to student inquiries within 48 business hours.
  • Advisors should communicate with the Dean’s office about course capacity/enrollment management concerns or scheduling issues that impact their students ability to complete coursework toward graduation in a timely manner
  • Participate in on-campus professional develop opportunities
    • Year one: New Advisor Training, Canvas for Advising, COS advisor training, CORE training,
    • Year two: Social Justice Education Training, A Deeper Look at Micro-aggressions: Exploration and Practice,
    • Year three: Search Advocate training
    • Ongoing: COS Advising meetings, Advising Town Hall, Advisor Coffee Talks
    • These activities will help advisors gain important ongoing professional development trainings that will be considered for employee advancement. This schedule will help advisors with a structure to advance within the college.
  • Other recommended available trainings.
    • Looking Back in Order to Move Forward: An Often Untold History Affecting Oregon’s Past, Present, and Future.
    • Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments.

Promote learning opportunities that will help students define or meet personal goals and plans.

  • Advisors should make appropriate referrals to on and off campus resources to help students accomplish their goals. Understanding community and social services available to students to help them cope with personal issues through their college career is essential for student success and well-being.

Assist students in preparing a program that is consistent with their abilities and interests.

  • Be a good listener. Let students guide the conversation. Help students gather the tools they need to make educational, career and personal decisions that are the best for them. There is no one size fits all solution to any problem and as academic advisors we advise, they decide.

Monitor progress toward educational/career goals.

  • Communicate OSU academic regulations, degree requirements and degree progress with students in a timely manner.
  • Advisors will use the notes function in MyDegrees to track all student interactions and outcomes of advising meetings and conversations.
  • Advisors should use the MyDegrees Planner to the best of their ability to help students map out their degree, and to help alleviate some transactional advising during face to face appointments.
  • Assist students with understanding online student learning systems important for academic success including but not limited to Canvas, MyDegrees, MyOSU, Scheduler, online Schedule of Classes and the OSU Catalog.
  • Participate in department and college intervention strategies to improve student retention and graduation.

Interpret and provide rationale for institutional policies, procedures and requirements.

Inform inquiring students of campus resources and special services available to them.

  • At minimum, advisors should be aware of resources and programs offered through the Academic Success Center (ASC), Educational Opportunities Program (EOP), TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO SSS), Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (LSAMP), Undergraduate Research Office, Honor College, Science Success Center, Human Services Resource Center, CAPS, DAS.
  • Participate in informational workshops or other professional development events to stay current on campus and college student support/resource offerings.

Refer students to those resources that can enhance or supplement their academic or personal experience.

  • At minimum, advisors should be aware of resources and programs offered through the Science Success Center, Mole Hole, Worm Hole, Vole Hole, ASC Supplemental Instruction tables.
  • Be aware of department resource and contact information to be able to refer students to appropriate student services.

Excellence in advising

In addition to the NACADA Pillars of Academic Advising and in order to create an excellent and inclusive academic advising program, we recommend units refer to the NACADA Nine Conditions of Excellence in Academic Advising PDF for a frame work of advising work.

Advising by department

Science has a decentralized advising model with students being advised either by faculty or professional advisors. See the below list for how advising works for each department.

For a complete list of department advisors, see the COS advisor contact page.

Biochemistry and Biophysics

Faculty advising. Students rotate to a different advisor each academic year.

Biology and Zoology

Professional advising. Students are assigned an academic advisor based on their program concentration and career interests.

Microbiology and BioHealth Sciences

Mixed faculty and professional advising. Students are assigned an advisor by their major, then by alpha sorting.


Faculty advising. Due to the small number of majors in this degree program, there is one regular academic advisor for this department. START advising is managed by supporting faculty in the dept.


Faculty advising. Students in their first year are assigned to the dept. Lead Advisor. After the first year, students are assigned a different faculty advisor based on option and career interests.


Faculty advising. Students in their first year are assigned to department first year advisors. After theirfirst year, students are assigned to a different faculty advisor based on option.


Faculty advising. Since this department only offers an undergraduate minor, there is one faculty advisor assigned to all students minoring in statistics

COS advising and PIN requirements

The COS has mandatory quarterly advising for new first year students (traditional freshman. New transfer students are currently not included in this population), during their first year of enrollment (F, W, Sp). New students must meet each term with their academic advisor in order to receive their registration PIN for the next term.

After their first year, students are only required to meet with their advisor once every Spring to receive their new year registration PIN.

The College of Science advises departments to meet face to face with their students at least once each academic year after their first year. Face to face contact and interaction with students is an essential component of a quality academic advising program, and can help the advisor to foster a better connection and relationship with their advisee's. It is also an opportunity to connect with students on issues that many not arise in phone or email advising.

Identify your students

Student list by advisor

If you are the students primary advisor, you can pull this data from CORE using the "Advisees by Advisor" report:

  • Open CORE.
  • Enter “ADV0003” in the search bar.
  • Populate the search terms and click “view report”.
  • Click “Export by CSV” to pull the data into Excel.

Student list by major

You can review ALL students in your major from CORE using the "Students by College and Major" report ADV0460, following the same directions listed above.

Statement of purpose: advising checklist notes

OSU's academic advising community is dedicated to providing excellent service to students across the full arc of their educational programs. Encompassing a holistic approach to academic success, academic advising interactions create a critical, individualized connection between students and the University's policies, opportunities and resources.MyDegrees Checklist Notes provide important documentation of advising interactions, and the University expects advisors to record notes consistently and accurately to ensure seamless records of students' needs and plans. Timely, purposeful entries in the Checklist Notes (and the Planner) provide:

  • Documentation of student interactions (face to face or via electronic mediums).
  • Context and history allowing for expedient and productive contacts that minimize unnecessary repetition and redundancy.
  • A vehicle to enhance the advising relationship and connection with a student.
  • A secure, formal, mechanism for the sharing of information between advisor and student (ex: course planning, alts/options, activities to complete, or term PIN number).
  • Opportunities to track development and learning, progress toward established benchmarks, and/or noting patterns in behavior or actions.
  • Documentation of student navigation within the university allowing for a holistic approach as students work with and move between advisors, departments, campus services, and other institutional representatives.