Group Advising

Group Advising

Group Advising

Group advising closely resembles classroom teaching and generally includes presentation and facilitated discussion. Group advising is a particularly efficient method for delivering information and offering general advice, e.g. advising about major requirements, preparing student for course registration, reviewing core curriculum requirements, or reminding students about deadlines.

Although commonly utilized in comprehensive advising strategy, group advising must not completely replace individual advising sessions. Group advising sessions are recommended prior to the course selection period or at the start of each academic term. The period of time alloted for group advising sessions is typically one hour but this varies depending on group size and agenda.

The group advising method has several benefits for both faculty and students. Reported benefits include:

  1. Time efficient
  2. Community building
  3. Ability to connect students with peer group
  4. Strong normative influence
  5. Establish professional and positive advising relationship
  6. Removal of intimidation factor

Group Advising Step-by-Step

Recommended Step
Before Session
1. Reserve space to handle the projected group size.
2. Notify students of group advising session and expectations.
3. Create any handouts, e.g., curriculum guides, worksheets, course selection forms.
4. Draft an agenda to guide the meeting and help with time management.
5. Invite student advisers or colleagues who may be willing to help.
6. Preview student records in SIS for academic and demographic background and try to anticipate questions that student might raise.
During Session
1. Welcome students and thank them for participating.
2. Conduct a brief introduction or icebreaker activity related to the purpose of the session and to promote identity with the group.
3. Go through the agenda, pausing frequently for questions and carefully monitoring the group for signals that further clarification is needed.
4. Ask for questions from the group. Be patient, but do not demand responses. Consider allowing time after the session for individual questions too.
5. Collect necessary forms including sign-up sheet and evaluation (if applicable).
6. Thank students for their participation and emphasis future advising expectations.
After Session
1. Make notes for your records on topics of discuss and common questions.
2. Follow-up to make individual advising appointments.
3. Collaborate with other campus departments and make referrals as necessary.


  • Donald Woolston and Rebecca Ryan (2007). “Group Advising”. In The New Advisor Guidebook: Mastering the Art of Advising Through the First Year and Beyond, ed. Pat Folsom and Ban Chamberlain (Kansas: National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), 2007), p.119-123.
  • Jayne Drake, Martha Hemwall and Kathy Stockwell (2009). A Faculty Guide to Academic Advising (National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), 2009).