Davidson's Holistic Advising Program provides first- and second-year students holistic, ongoing, formal support in all aspects of the Davidson experience—academic, co-curricular/extra-curricular, social and career—up to the time they declare their academic majors.
With guidance from their advisers, students thoughtfully reflect on their individual educational, professional and personal goals, and develop academic plans to reach those goals. In keeping with the college's Statement of Purpose, advisers "assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service."
Summer Advising Resources for New Students
New first-year students with questions about the initial course registration process, academic programs, or degree requirements should reach out to one of the summer advisers. At orientation, first-year students will meet their holistic adviser, and make any course schedule adjustments.
Role of the Adviser
During their first two years at Davidson, students are encouraged to explore their interests with the goal of declaring a major by the end of their second year. Pre-major advisers engage with students in thoughtful deliberation about their choice of major. They are an important resource for providing information about academic regulations, standards of progress and graduation requirements, and actively help students meet those standards and requirements.
About 50 Davidson faculty and staff members are selected as holistic advisers in consideration of their interest in and talent for advising. The advisers, who must go through a formal application and review process, commit to helping students explore the value of the liberal arts as a path to personal discovery and professional success.
In addition to faculty representatives from across Davidson's academic disciplines, holistic advisers include professionals with advanced degrees in business administration, law, corporate communications, leadership development, information technology, civic engagement, minority affairs, fundraising, politics, law enforcement, journalism and clergy, among others.
Holistic Advising Program
Advisers hold a minimum of two one-on-one meetings per semester with each of their advisees (in addition to student and parent meetings during orientation). In the first meeting, they address class registration and other campus logistics. In the second meeting, they discuss choice of major, curricular and co-curricular planning, and the students' academic strengths and weaknesses.
Each student, in concert with his or her adviser, develops a comprehensive plan that may include internships, study abroad and summer experiences, among other academic and co-curricular/extra-curricular opportunities.
Often advisers and students also meet informally, in pairs or in small groups for home-cooked meals or to attend campus activities. And many advisers remain in contact with their advisees through graduation and beyond.
Advisers receive comprehensive, ongoing training that prepares them to address the full range of potential student questions, and share with advisees information and guidance about how to access campus resources. The training encompasses topics ranging from curriculum logistics and wellness services to the latest resources available in the Betty and B. Frank Matthews II ’49 Center for Career Development (Matthews Center) and Center for Student Health and Well-Being, as well as study abroad program options and more. If an adviser cannot answer a student's question directly, he or she knows who can.