Foundations of Student Advising


Foundations of Student Advising is a one-semester (11 week) academic unit offered by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, for staff of the University. In 2014, the unit will be run in Semester 2. Foundations of Student Advising can be taken as a stand-alone unit, and is recognised for advanced standing in the Graduate Certificate in University Management (for which it is also an elective from 2014).

The Foundations of Student Advising provides professional development for University staff within a sound academic environment. Participants benefit from a wide range of resources as well as the perspectives of guest lecturers. The unit provides a critical overview of theories and methods of advising, and will examine and analyse the role of student advising in supporting student engagement, retention and success.

Foundations of Student Advising explores student advising in national and international contexts, while asking how Melbourne can identify, adapt and implement practices suited to our unique environment in order to meet the University’s objectives for the quality of the student experience. The unit is relevant to the work of both academic and professional staff in student-facing roles, examining the range of roles staff play in building institutional and student capacity.

Approaches to teaching and learning in the unit support teamwork and group learning as well as self-directed learning. The unit allows participants to benefit from the experiences of their peers. Assessment tasks are designed to be relevant to participants’ particular University work environments, and will involve the creation of a portfolio that will be useful to career advancement.

Foundations of Student Advising is available to University of Melbourne staff only.
The unit involves regular, weekly classes of two hours over 11 weeks held on the Parkville campus. The timetable is designed to be integrated with the work commitments of staff holding full-time positions.

An overview of the course structure is provided below.

Course schedule (for 2014)

All classes Thurdays 4:15 – 6:15pm, Semester 2.

Week Topic (this schedule is indicative only, and may be subject to small changes)
1 Progressing student advising: The present context @Melbourne
2 & 3 The international context: Theories, methodologies and models
4 Class presentations: Academic advising in the context of participants’ work areas
5 Specialisations within academic advising: An overview
6 Focus on specialisation, 1: First year and transition
7 Focus on specialisation, 2: Careers
8 Focus on specialisation, 3: International students
9 Focus on specialisation, 4: Graduate & pre-professional advising
10 Q&A panel with guests
11 Discussion and reflection



To be eligible to take part in Foundations Of Student Advising, it is desirable for applicants to have:

· Completed a bachelors degree (in any discipline), or equivalent;
· At least six months work experience in a university or other post-secondary education institution or equivalent;
· Current employment at the University of Melbourne (full-time or part-time); and
· The support of the Head of Department / Unit supervisor for participation.


The fee for the unit if taken as a single subject (CAP) is $1,972 in assessed mode and $1,188 in non-assessed mode (see: ). It is expected that in most cases participants’ work units will cover their course costs (although negotiating such agreement will be the responsibility of participants and their managers).

Salary packaging/discounts for UoM course fees may be available subject to eligibility.  Please refer to the HR Salary Packaging/Discount Course Fees website: including the further link on that page to the relevant Policy (this should be read by all interested staff. Links to the relevant forms are also provided on the Policy page. Please note that it is the responsibility of applicants to undertake arrangements for salary packaging and that requests are considered on a case by case basis by the relevant student centre/hr specialist services.


In 2014, Melbourne Students and Learning will offer 20 sponsored places to student services staff in faculties. The sponsorship will comprise the full subject fee and will be assessed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

- Performance in current role at very good or above
- How you anticipate the learnings will enhance your current practice
- Your demonstrated commitment to a developmental approach to student advising
- A career development plan which focuses on working with students

Those applying for sponsorships will need to complete an extra application and supply a support statement from their manager. Further details are contained in the application form.


Applications should be made using the application form (PDF 3.85MB). The closing date of applications for the program in Semester 2 2014, is Thursday the 10th July 2014.

For any enquiries about the unit or the application process, please contact:

Dr Emmaline Bexley
T: +61 3 8344 8436