Academic Advising Resources

What standards of practice exist for advisors?

The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS), provides a widely used benchmark for various academic institution's advising programs. Also useful is the NACADA Academic Advising Core Competencies Model, which provides a structure that individual advisors or institutions can use as a career ladder or professional development model.

What resources does NACADA have for advisor professional development?

To view an extensive selection of articles, resource, and other information regarding advisor professional development, please visit the Clearinghouse Professional Development Index page, or visit the NACADA Advisor Training and Development Advising Community. NACADA also offers many ways to get both in-person and online professional development:

Annual Conference

International Conference 

Regional Conferences 

State Drive-Ins

Web Events


Assessment Institute

Other Resource 

Administrators Institute  

Summer Institute

Research Symposium

What is NACADA's copyright policy for the use of NACADA materials?

For information regarding the use of NACADA materials for general use, fair use, and scholarly research please view NACADA's copyright policy. Be advised that certain materials may have additional steps to meet the Standards of Fair Use guidelines.

If there are additional steps indicated, request permission to use NACADA materials by contacting [email protected]. Please include as much about the publication as possible (title, author(s), year) and the intended use the material.

What different types of advising are there?

For information regarding advising models, please visit the Advising Approaches Clearinghouse Index. For information on professional variants of advisors, please visit the Academic Coaching, Advising Administration, Career Advising, or Faculty Advising Clearinghouse pages.

How do I become an Advisor?

There is no best answer to becoming an academic advisor, there is however, an extensive overview found on the Becoming an Advisor, and New Advisor Clearinghouse indexes. Also recommend is Adrienne McMahan's Clearinghouse article "Become an Advisor".

How can I become more involved within NACADA?

After Becoming a Member, there are many ways to involve yourself further at NACADA. It is highly encouraged that members involve themselves in NACADA Leadership roles, and one or more of the various Advising Communities that work to better NACADA, its members, and the field of advising.

How can I become an author for NACADA?

There are many opportunities to write for NACADA publications. Find a comprehensive overview of the type of publications, guidelines, and more at Writing for NACADA.


Does NACADA recommend a specific student-to-advisor ratio or advisor load?

The NACADA 2011 national survey of academic advising addressed, among other things, caseload issues.  Chapter 6 is comprised of data from US members in chart format that breaks professional advisor load data down by institutional type. 

We also have an advisor load implications article authored by Rich Robbins here: that gives some context and how best to begin assessing your own institution’s needs.

Should you still need information around current practice, then you may query the advising administrator listserv.  Find subscription information at 

If you would prefer not to subscribe to an email list, then the Advising Admin Community has a Facebook group here:  You could opt to join and then post your question.

NACADA does not have a suggested ratio since advising duties vary by institution type and the purpose(s) of the advising office. The CAS Standards of Academic Advising state that "Academic advising caseloads must be consistent with the time required for the effective performance of the activity"  Eric White, a NACADA past-president and former NACADA representative to CAS, states that in considering caseloads "an institution must take into account

  • (1) what kinds of students are to be advised and consequently what are their advising needs (e.g, athletes, honor students, undecideds, seniors in majors, underprepared students);
  • (2) Who is providing the advising (professional staff with no other responsibilities, faculty with teaching and/or research responsibilities, graduate students); and
  • (3) what other responsibilities would an advisor have that might determine an appropriate 'case load.'"

You can find the median number of advisees per advisor for a full-time advisor is 296 students (as listed in the NACADA 2011 Survey).  Also in the Clearinghouse is an overview by Rich Robbins, who discusses the issues surrounding how to determine the right advisor/advisee ratio for your institutional set up. Find this overview at

Additionally, the implications article written by Casey Self in response to these findings In the Clearinghouse section of the NACADA web you will find the Organizational Structures Index and it is here that we can provide for you articles and additional resources to best practices for Advisor Caseloads here: