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Pre-Concentration Advisor Handbook

Overview: Advising at Hamilton

Academic advising at Hamilton is central to the mission of the college.  Our open curriculum allows students great freedom to pursue a course of study of their choice, but we believe that should be guided closely by faculty advice. Advisors and advisees should work together to craft an educational plan that reflects each student’s particular interests, abilities, and goals while also meeting the challenge of fostering a formative array of liberal arts capacities as stated in the College’s Goals and Purposes.

In sum, the College views the advising relationship as an ongoing conversation that transcends mere course selection by helping students broaden their horizons and balance their lives as they explore different disciplines, experience multiple facets of college life, make their way through a chosen concentration, and prepare themselves for life after Hamilton.

Expectations for Advising

Students are responsible for:

  • Making their own decisions based upon their best judgment and informed by the best information and advice available to them
  • Arranging advising appointments
  • Preparing for advising meetings
  • Seeking out contacts and information related to planning their academic program
  • Understanding degree and program requirements


Faculty are responsible for:

  • Proactively engaging advisees in the academic planning process
  • Monitoring the academic progress of their advisees
  • Making appropriate referrals to other campus offices
  • Communicating clearly to their advisees the regular times during which they are available for consultation


The College is responsible for:

  • Providing appropriate recognition for the role that faculty play in the academic advising system
  • Assuring that there are clear policies, procedures, and resources to support the advising process
  • Assisting faculty to develop effective advising skills
  • Conducting ongoing assessment of the advising program



College Purposes and Goals

Hamilton College is committed to the intellectual and personal development of students. We seek to nourish a love of learning, a creative spirit, and an informed and responsible engagement with an ever-changing world. To promote these qualities, the College challenges all of its students to work with their advisors to devise an educational program that fosters:

Intellectual Curiosity and Flexibility — examining facts, phenomena and issues in depth, and from a variety of perspectives, and having the courage to revise beliefs and outlooks in light of new evidence.

Analytic Discernment — analyzing information, patterns, connections, arguments, ideas, and views quantitatively and symbolically.

Aesthetic Discernment — evaluating quality and value in a variety of artistic and other intellectual domains.

Disciplinary Practice — engaging in the focused and sustained practice of disciplinary techniques and methodologies in order to acquire mastery of a specific ability or craft.

Creativity — imagining and developing original ideas, approaches, works and interpretations, and solving problems resourcefully.

Communication and Expression — expressing oneself with clarity and eloquence, in both traditional and contemporary media, through writing and speaking, and through visual, aural, gestural and other modalities.

Understanding of Cultural Diversity — critically engaging with multiple cultural traditions and perspectives, and with interpersonal situations that enhance understanding of different identities and foster the ability to work and live productively and harmoniously with others.

Ethical, Informed and Engaged Citizenship — developing an awareness of the challenges and responsibilities of local, national and global citizenship, and the ability to meet such challenges and fulfill such responsibilities by exercising sound and informed judgment in accordance with just principles.

In pursuing these goals, students should progress meaningfully along a path toward fulfilling their potential for being thoughtful, responsible, and purposeful individuals with the capacity to make a positive difference in the world.

Cupola