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Advisor Handbook

Professional Organizations & Certifications



The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) is an association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students working to enhance the educational development of students.

NACADA promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students. NACADA provides a forum for discussion, debate, and the exchange of ideas pertaining to academic advising through numerous activities and publications. NACADA also serves as an advocate for effective academic advising by providing a Consulting and Speaker Service, an Awards Program, and funding for Research related to academic advising.

The National Academic Advising Association evolved from the first National Conference on Academic Advising in 1977 and has over 11,000 members representing all 50 United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and several other international countries. Members represent higher education institutions across the spectrum of Carnegie classifications and include professional advisors/counselors, faculty, administrators and students whose responsibilities include academic advising.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit NACADA's Membership Page.

NACADA's Concept of Advising:

Academic advising, based in the teaching and learning mission of higher education, is a series of intentional interactions with a curriculum, a pedagogy, and a set of student learning outcomes. Academic advising synthesizes and contextualizes students’ educational experiences within the frameworks of their aspirations, abilities and lives to extend learning beyond campus boundaries and timeframes.  

Other Professional Organizations 

IowAAnIowAAN -
 The Iowa Academic Advising Network (IowAAN) serves professionals and students from colleges and universities with interest in the area of academic advising and who champion the intellectual, personal, and career / vocational advising needs of students in the state of Iowa.


The new Advisor Development eElearning course provides advisors the core knowledge to successfully advise UNI students during their academic careers. This course is available to all undergraduate faculty and advisors through their eLearning site. There are two options available for advisor development:

1. Advisor Development Course

This course is deisgned for new and seasoned UNI advisors to enhance academic advising skills, and as a resource on specific advising topics. The course guides participants in five areas of core knowledge:

  • Advising at UNI
  • Advisor Toolbox: Relational Skills, Making Referrals, and Forms
  • Navigating the SIS
  • Reading an Advisement Report
  • Undergraduate Degree Requirements and the Liberal Arts Core

In addition there are several electives:

  • Transfer Students
  • Requirements of Teacher Education
  • Career Development in Advising
  • Working with Special Populations
  • Advising for Academic Success
  • Cultural Competency for Advisors
  • Working with Parents and Guardians

2. Advisor Development Certificate

To satisfy the Advisor Certificate requirements, complete all five Core Knowledge areas in the Advisor Development Course and three electives, including the self-assessments. Additional certificate requirements include:

  • One year of advising experience at UNI
  • Participation in the Fall New and Returning Advisor Workshop
  • Participation in the Spring Campus Advisor Workshop
  • Advisor Observation (optional)

Similar to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning's Teach UNI Faculty Teaching Certificate Program, advisors who complete the requirements of the Advising Certificate will receive recognition for their work. 

For more information, contact Susan Hill in the CETL at 319-273-2553. If you do not see the course in your eLearning site, contact David Marchesani at or 319-273-3406.