Student Engagement

Advisor Resources

Thank you for serving as an advisor to a recognized student or campus organization.  Iowa State University provides students with many opportunities to get involved on campus and in the local community.   This section is intended to be a resource for advisors of recognized student or campus organizations at Iowa State University. It includes helpful information for advisors about University policies, procedures and operations to ensure a successful year for your group.

Advisor Training 

Currently, there is no specific Advisor Training. However, both presidents and treasurers have their own trainings that contain information helpful for advisors. It is recommended that advisors review this information.

President's training is available on the Student Organization Database at: The treasurer training manual can be found at:

Iowa State's Philosophy on Advisors

The advisor plays a vital part in the functioning of recognized student and campus organizations at Iowa State University. Frequently, advisors may be asked to:

  • Oversee group activities and events

  • Provide mentoring, direction, and support

  • Communicate Iowa State policies and procedures

  • Assist in the planning and evaluation of programs and events

  • Serve as a cheerleader while recognizing members for outstanding academic achievement and/or programming

Reasons to Serve as an Advisor

Research shows that all students benefit from a well-rounded collegiate experience that encompasses academic pursuits and social involvement.

  • As an advisor, you have the opportunity to help students learn and practice leadership development, interpersonal communication, event planning, decision-making, and critical thinking. Most student organization advisors enjoy being able to help students and value the relationship they form with students and campus groups.

Key Reasons that faculty and staff take on an advisory role are:

  • To challenge students to grow and learn while getting an opportunity to mentor, develop, and understand students (Dunkel and Schuh, 1998).

  • Because advising is part of the employee’s job function or because they are assigned to the role (Vanguri, 2010).

Aside from individual reasons, advisors indicated that their main purpose for getting involved is to engage with students while providing students with opportunities to further their leadership skills.

How to Become an Advisor to a Recognized Student Organization

There are three ways that a half-time permanent, full-time faculty or professional staff member may become an advisor at Iowa State University: by assignment, by requesting assignment, or by being requested to serve by a campus or student organization.

  • Assignment: The individual may be assigned to advise a recognized student organization as part of their official job responsibilities.

  • Request AssignmentThe individual may request an advisory position for a departmental organization by discussing the opportunity with their immediate supervisor.

  • Be Requested by a Recognized Student or Campus Organization: The individual may approach or be approached by an officer of a group and asked to serve as their advisor.

How Involved Should I Be as an Advisor?

Organizations' needs vary, so each advisor's level of involvement may need to be negotiated. Normally, an individual's reasons for being involved within an organization depend on the amount of physical and mental energy put forth within the organization.

  • If advisors serve because they are passionate about the organization or engage in helping students develop, they tend to exert more of that energy into the organization.

  • In fact, the relationship between an organization and its advisor constantly evolves over time and is a mutual agreement between the two parties.

  • If the advisor OR the organization feels that the relationship is no longer functioning well, Student Engagement can provide assistance in working through any conflict OR the advisor-group relationship can be concluded. Ultimately, however, it is up to each advisor as to how vested and engaged they would like to be within the organization.

Related Pages to Consider:

University Expectations & Advisor Responsibilities

Crime Reporting Responsibilities under the Federal Clery Act

Selecting a Replacement Advisor or Co-Advisor

Best Practices for Social Media

Corporate Contact Information Form

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