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Academic Advising

UAA Mentorship

UAA Mentors fulfill an important leadership role in the Undergraduate Advising program. They help welcome new UAAs into the UAC/advising community, provide guidance in the delivery of high-quality, developmental advising, and offer additional support with individual advisor development.

More about Mentorship

UAA Mentors guide and support mentees on their roster through their first year as an advisor. Through their mentorship, UAA Mentors expand the capacity of the University Advising Center (UAC) to support and develop new staff while developing a supportive relationship with their mentees from their first days as UAC advisors.

Who Can Be a Mentor?

UAAs who have been in their role for at least one year, have achieved Level 1 certification, and have completed Level 2 modules.

What We Ask of Mentors

  • Be available to your mentee(s) in their first year of advising
  • Be available via Microsoft Teams (or other platforms) for quick communication to answer questions and provide clarification
  • Invite your mentee(s) to shadow your advising sessions
  • Try to anticipate frequently asked questions and provide best practices about upcoming commitments during the advising year 
  • Observe your mentee(s) and provide them feedback using the advisor observation form attached
  • Help your mentee(s) make connections with other UAAs in your professional social network
  • Serve as a non-judgmental sounding board for questions and ideas
  • Provide workflow suggestions as needed

UAA Mentoring Forms and Resources

The Mentee Welcome Form collects information from a mentee for mentor's use in preparing for initial conversations and goal-setting.

Complete the UAA Mentee Welcome Form

Before taking on a new mentoring role, it may be valuable to reflect on your skills relevant to mentoring. This self-reflection tool is designed to help you evaluate your comfort utilizing several skills commonly used by UAA Mentors and develop a plan to enhance skills in those areas that you want to grow. 

Download Assessment [pdf]

Before you can help another grow, you must know yourself. Drafting your advising philosophy is one way to reflect on your experiences, your beliefs, and your values relating to students, the advising profession, and your place and role within it. Advising philosophies are often one-to-two-page narratives that convey your core ideas about being an effective academic advisor.

An advising philosophy statement often includes:

  • Your concept of advising, education, learning, and/or student development
  • A description of how you advise
  • Justification for why you advise that way

There is no right or wrong way to write an advising philosophy statement. Content, format, and length should suit the context and needs of the individual advisor.

Download  the Advising Philosophy Template [pdf]  for help getting started.

A written advising philosophy is a required component of Level 3 Certification for academic advisors USC and is also commonly required for institutional, regional, and national advising award consideration.

Mentoring pairs are expected to complete a Mentoring Agreement to document mutually agreed upon goals and parameters that will serve as the foundation for your mentoring relationship. This agreement also includes a recommended meeting planning checklist to provide a framework to guide your mentoring relationship throughout the first year.

Effective mentors invite their mentees to shadow their advising sessions early in the new advisor's tenure at USC. They may also assist new UAAs in scheduling shadowing opportunities with other advisors. 

As new UAAs begin advising, mentors should also find time to shadow their mentee and provide constructive feedback.

When giving feedback on advising sessions ask yourself: 

  • Am I more interested in being liked or in giving honest feedback?
  • How will the information help the person and the organization?
  • How does the person’s current practices affect them, their students, and the organization?
  • How will this information be received by the person?

Mentors (and others) are encouraged to utilize the Shadowing Observation Form [pdf]

Reflection is an important aspect of learning and development. UAAs are asked to complete the below survey(s) to evaluate their experience in the UAA Mentoring initiative at the conclusion of their first year. 

Mentees should complete the End of Year Mentee Evaluation

Mentors should complete the End of Year Mentor Evaluation.


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