The purpose of academic advising at Hamilton is to help students make responsible, informed decisions about the course of their intellectual development. Working with a faculty advisor, each student crafts an educational plan that reflects both the student’s particular interests and abilities and the College’s purposes and goals. The plan, which typically evolves over time, should balance the freedom of an open curriculum and the breadth of a liberal arts education.
The faculty advisor-student relationship sits at the center of a larger system of formal and informal advising resources on campus that engages students in conversations that transcend mere course selection. Drawing on multiple sources of advice will enable students to make the most of their college experience through a well-thought-out exploration of various disciplines, selection and completion of a concentration, consideration of options for off-campus study, and preparation for life after Hamilton.
For the first two years, until students declare a concentration, faculty advisors help them adjust to the intellectual demands of the College. Once students declare a concentration, they will be advised by a professor in that department or program. Advisors vary in their approaches to advising, but all are eager to see students succeed and to help them toward that success. Although advisors are ready to assist, students must assume major responsibility for their own education when they matriculate at Hamilton. Students must take the initiative to seek out advice, and take responsibility for their educational plans.