Undergraduate Academic Advising Handbook

The purpose of this academic advising handbook is to assist academic advisors as well as undergraduate students in promoting effective academic advising practice that assists students to enhance and enrich their educational experience and goes beyond course ion and approval of the early. The handbook highlights the academic advising mission, values, objectives, competencies, conduct, and responsibilities of both advisors and students. In addition, it provides information about the units that offer academic advising to prep-year and freshmen students. Besides, it provides a collection of various online and on-campus tools and resources for advising-related issues.

Academic advisors and students are encouraged to read the handbook to take their active role in academic advising practice.

Definition of Academic Advisor

Academic advisor is a faculty member assigned to a group of students to provide guidance for developing and achieving meaningful educational, professional, and personal goals.

Academic Advising Mission Statement

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) recognizes academic advising as a vital component of its students’ educational experience. The university strives for the personal and professional success of its students and is committed to graduating highly skilled leaders.

Core Values of Academic Advising
  • Empowerment: Academic advisors motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet their challenges, and respect individuality.

  • Caring: Academic advisors mindfully care for students by building respectful relationships through empathetic listening and compassion.

  • Commitment: Academic advisors are committed to students’ success through assessment, scholarly inquiry, and professional development.

  • Professionalism:  Academic advisors act in harmony with the university’s values and the advising profession for the benefit of students and other advisors.

  • Respect: Academic advisors show respect by recognizing the views and the rights of the students,  maintaining a student-centered approach and mindset; and treating students with fairness.

  • Integrity: Academic advisors adhere to ethical behavior, and value honesty, transparency, and accountability to the student, institution, and the advising profession.

  • Inclusivity: Academic advisors support a multi-cultural environment and help students with different backgrounds to develop and reinforce self-perception, acceptance, and equity.
Core Competencies for Academic Advising

Well-trained and knowledgeable advisors add significant value to overall students’ success. To effectively assist students to develop and achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals, academic advisors need to develop a set of professional skills and knowledge. Academic advisors are therefore strongly encouraged to participate in academic advising workshops and seminars organized by the University or Departments, and utilize the online resources and other learning opportunities to attain the competencies required for effective advising:

1.   Conceptual component:

This element includes understanding of the following:

  • The history and role of academic advising in higher education. 
  • The university core values of academic advising.
  • Related theories to academic advising and its objectives, methods, and strategies, as well as learning and students’ success.
  • Expected outcomes of academic advising.
  • The ethical issues in academic advising.

2.    Informational component:

This element includes the knowledge of:

  • KFUPM history, mission, vision, and values.
  • Academic policies, regulations, and registration procedures at KFUPM.
  • The related degree programs, structure and purposes of curricula, and other academic requirements and options. 
  • The pathways that support institutional connections within campus: faculty, admissions, registrar, financial aid, learning and ability/disability services.


3.   Relational component:

The focus of this training component is for the advisor to convey effectively the understanding and knowledge obtained from the other components by establishing a personal relationship with advisees through demonstrating appropriate advising behaviors. The academic advisor should be able to:

  • Establish relationships using core relational skills (empathy, encouraging, constructive feedback, and empowering).
  • Communicate in an inclusive, culturally attentive, and respectful manner.
  • Promote student's understanding of the academic policies and purposes of the related programs and curricula.
  • Help students to plan, set their academic goals and facilitate decision making
  • Intervene, refer, and advocate as necessary.

4.   Technology component: 

This element includes:

  • The use of Information technologies applicable to relevant advising roles. 
  • Effective use of student systems and emerging technologies to engage, inform students and track their performance and progress. 
  • Utilization of data from a variety of sources at the university be able to conduct advising analytics (i.e., evaluating and assessing students; understanding how students plan and make decisions.

5.   Personal component:

As many new advisors are burdened with questions related to their own adequacy as advisors and the personal challenges that accompany their new job, regular analysis and self-assessment are significant in relation to promoting advisor effectiveness. This includes being able to:

  • Articulate a personal philosophy of academic advising and try various approaches and regularly reflect on one’s practice. 
  • Engage in on-going assessment and development of the advising practice.
  • Seek and accept constructive feedback on advising practice from others (especially students) and use it to improve performance.
Academic Advising Conduct

Academic advisors & Students confront many ethical issues during the advisor/advisee engagements and hence there is a need for having a system of ethical principles for their benefit. Such principles should be credible and philosophically defensible. These principles should be intended to be useful in training academic advisors but should not be intended to a code of ethics for advising.

As an academic advisor:

  • Always bring about as much well-being as you can among your students, and avoid the harmful actions that may have a long-term effect on them.
  • Treat all advisees fairly or equitably in rights or privileges.
  • Grant appropriate respect to all advisees.
  • Respect the confidentiality of communication with advisees.
  • Be accurate with advisees about policies, procedures, and regulations. If you do not know, refer them properly.
  • Maintain the credibility of the academic advising program.
  • Advocate for the advisee with other centers/units/offices.
Academic advising Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Through the advising experience at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, students will be able to:

·      Make effective decisions concerning their degree and career goals.

·      Select courses towards the fulfillment of their degree plan.

·      Interpret and follow the Universitys academic policies, regulations, and procedures.

·      Monitor their academic progress and enhance their skills.

·      Identify and utilize the resources and services on campus.

·      Seek referral to appropriate supporting units.

The Advisor Expectations and/or Responsibilities

The academic advisors are assumed to meet the following expectations and responsibilities:

  • Have current knowledge of the academic programs and their curricula as well as the university policies, regulations, and registration procedures.
  • Shall attend awareness and training workshops and seminars organized by the university and/or department
  • Be able to communicate the curricula, graduation requirements, and university policies and procedures to the students to allow appropriate choices for their degree programs.  
  • Closely monitor progress and offer support toward developing and achieving realistic academic plans and career goals.
  • Promote proactive advising and help students to an appropriate response or recovery plan to address obstacles encountered in their academic life.
  • Meet frequently enough with advisees via multiple channels of communication and interaction (face one-to-one, group meeting, and email) and maintain a respectful and confidential opportunity for the students to discuss their questions and concerns.
  • Refer the students to the appropriate supporting offices or units and help them in identifying and utilizing on and off-campus resources. 
  • Assist students in acquiring planning, decision-making, self-awareness, and self-regulation skills and in assuming responsibility for their academic plans and achievements.
  • Discuss the responsibilities of the advising process with advisees.
  • Create a safe, positive environment for advisees to easily explore ideas, aspirations, concerns, and interests regarding personal, academic, and career goals.
The Student Expectations and/or Responsibilities

As an advisee, you have clear expectations and responsibilities in the advising partnership in order to be successful. So, as an advisee, you are expected to:                                     

  • Be responsible for knowing your degree requirements, rules, policies, and deadlines. Make note of important dates in the academic year (i.e.: add/ deadlines).
  • Develop an educational plan, including long-term and short-term goals, that takes into account your interests, personal and/or career goals, values and abilities while ensuring timely academic progress toward your degree.
  • Contact advisor when first experiencing difficulty (i.e. academic, personal, financial) and be courteous to attend the advising appointments you have scheduled on time or reschedule them.
  • Take an active role in your advising session by coming prepared with questions, take notes during the advising meetings, and keep written records of the sessions.
  • Become familiar with campus resources and know how to access, use and check your university e-mail on a regular basis and be aware of important dates & deadlines 
  • Accept responsibility for your decisions and actions (or inactions) which affect your educational progress and goals.
  • Demonstrate academic integrity and ethical behavior, being honest and open minded at all times.
  • Discuss academic options such as summer training, COOP, study abroad, honors program, and internships.
Freshmen Unit (FU)

FU was established under the College of Sciences at KFUPM with an ultimate objective of serving the needs of freshmen year students across all majors. FU helps freshmen students overcoming various academic obstacles and improving their academic performance by means of providing a student with practical guidance and advise including peer-to-peer mentoring with junior or senior students through a referral system, consistent with the Unit’s mission and objectives.

Mission of FU: 

  • To equip students with appropriate academic and time management skills during their freshman year at KFUPM.
  • To help students explore career choices and ing academic majors based on their interests, values, skills, and abilities.
  • To identify low-performing students through proactive engagement with the students and the administration i.e. Registrar, Major Department.
  • To ensure high student retention rate with high-quality academic standing through appropriate training and mentoring.
  • To identify the students’ most effective and efficient route towards academic success, degree completion, and a future career.

Objectives of FU:

  • Achieve high student retention rate in the freshman year with improved academic standing.
  • Undertake timely and appropriate support to students who are planning to change their majors during freshmen year.
  • Encourage low performing students through providing them with success attaining strategies.
  • Provide appropriate support and assist freshmen students who have academic, personal, and emotional issues which hinder their academic success.
  • Enhance students’ learning ability and understanding of their roles and responsibilities toward themselves and the society.
  • Follow up students’ progress throughout their freshmen year in coordination with the Registrar and major departments.

Advisor’s Role at FU:

The advisor at the FU undertakes the following responsibilities:

  • Provide freshmen students with academic advising that support their success and retention.
  • Advise the strategy for course management and guidance on KFUPM’s academic policies.
  • Provide necessary advising to improve student’s skills in time management, self-motivation, exams preparation, etc.
  • Follow up re-admitted students’ academic standing through Registrar’s Office and provide them with good support to improve their academic performance.
  • Link freshmen students with some junior/senior students in their majors to answer their concerns.
  • Refer freshmen students to the appropriate counselling centers (SSC, CAAC) to resolve issues including subject-specific help sessions and non-academic issues.
  • Review on periodic basis the progress of low-performing students and find sustainable means of improving students’ academic performance.

Tools for Student Engagement at the FU:

  • Contact through emails, SMS, Microsoft Teams and personal mobiles (WhatsApp) and
  • other probable means.
  • Feedback of Academic Advisor and Registrar Office on low performance of the freshman student.
  • Link the freshman student with junior or senior peers with good academic background.
  • Engagement of Student Club leaders to establish extra-curricular abilities and confidence-building of low performing students.
Preparatory-year Students Caring Unit (PY-SCU)

Preparatory Student Caring Unit was established by College of General Studies. It is dedicated to helping preparatory students to overcome academic obstacles. In addition, the unit provides practical guidance and advising. Its activities are usually held in the prep-year building. It is an interactive and collaborative effort for the assistance of PY-students’ improvement of success and retention rates.

Why students should visit PY-SCU?

  • Academic issues: related to low grades, organization and study skills.
  • Non-Academic issues:  related to the new transition to university life (stress, workload, and homesickness), time management, and coping with new friends/roommates.

Objectives of PY-SCU

  • Improve students study skills
  • Follow up on academic performance and attendance
  • Provide students with counseling services in both academic and social fields
  • Educate and raise awareness of prep year students about the academic regulation and university policies

PY-SCU Team Mission

  • Develop systems and mechanisms to help students deal with stress
  • Coordinate with concerned parties to work on monitoring the overall psycho-social growth of students
  • Give the student clear insight about their life decisions and help them to understand their abilities in a proper way
  • Ensure the provision of basic requirements to help students understand their skills by qualified psychological and social specialists
  • Provide students with needed counseling on the basic requirements of the university majors

PY-SCU Services

•      Help low performing Students by

-    Monitoring their academic performance and calling for a group meeting in case of low performance.

-    Providing sufficient support in some Math, English, and Science and engineering programs.

•      Follow up with students not attending classes

Follow up students’ attendance, and then organize group and individual meetings with students who have general or special problems that cause their absences. 

•      Organize public lectures to enhance students skills

Offered for all students during the year for the sake of improving their study skills and time management.

Types of Counseling

•      Preventive Counseling

Conducting several public lectures for all students, especially at the beginning of the year, helps eliminate causes of unsatisfactory and undesirable results. It is considered a proactive process and methodology that determines potential problems and challenges before they occur. The preventive counseling takes corrective action for behavior that students are at risk of, but have not necessarily exhibited yet.

•      Remedial Counseling

Holding group or individual meetings with students who have general or special problems

•      Developmental Counseling

Provide all students with the knowledge and skills appropriate for their developmental level through individual counseling, group counseling, and/or public lectures.

Office of the University Registrar

Office of the University Registrar is responsible for all activities regarding registration, scheduling of courses and final exams, and maintenance of student records. Banner Student Systems is used for registration and maintenance of student records. Some of the main services provided to students, faculty/Advisors and various University departments include the following:

  • Scheduling of courses and exams.
  • Early registration, registration and grading activities.
  • Maintenance of course inventory for every academic department.
  • Providing transcripts and analysis of degree progress of each student during graduation period.
  • Providing various online customized reports like enrollment report, class roster, grade roster, schedule of classes, exam schedule, graduation list, etc.
  • Providing specific reports as per the departments’ requests.
  • Providing lists and transcripts of students liable to be dismissed to the university Academic Standing Committee.
  • Providing graduation certification of all students.
  • Preparing statistical reports and analyzing them for the use of academic and administrative departments.
  • Ensuring conformity of all the academic activities to the existing academic rules and regulations of the university.
  • Ensuring authentication of requests received from the students, faculty, departments, etc.
  • Providing web services to students, faculty, advisors, course coordinators, Departments, academic deans, and higher officials through the Office of the University Registrar website.
  • Providing official transcript services to the students.
  • Providing classroom reservation services for course instructors and academic departments.
Usefull Links to KFUPM Tools and resources

Office of the University Registrar
Student Affairs
Academic Calendar
Counseling and Advising Center
Course Offerings
Career Counselling
Course Scheduling Tool
Part-time Jobs
Undergraduate Bulletin (2014, ENG)
Special Needs Office
Registration Policy and Procedures
Orientation Week for new Admitted students
Undergraduate Study & Exams Regulations (ENG)
Student Services
Undergraduate Study & Exams Regulations (AR)
Miscellaneous Resources
KFUPM Library
Helpful Documents
Student Exchange Program
Student Success Center
Undergraduate Research Office
Academic advising Unit
Undergraduate Research Grant Guidelines
Learning Support Unit
Online Student Referral form
Skills and Leadership Unit
Freshmen Unit, FU