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Academic Advisor Training and Professional Development

WKU Faculty/Staff Professional Development

The Advising & Career Development Center (ACDC) offers various professional development opportunities for WKU Faculty and Staff advisors throughout the semester. All WKU Academic Advisors are welcome to attend. 

The Campus Advising Network (CAN) serves as a continuing professional development series for advisors at WKU. CAN offers a minimum of four professional development sessions per semester, and provides a means of communication for advisors through its listserv

To be officially assigned advisees, new faculty/staff advisors complete a two-hour training covering the Colonnade Program, basic aspects of TopNet, and basic policies related to advising. Trainings are offered on the 2nd and 4th Thursday and the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month in the ACDC computer lab, except during TOP. Contact Marrissa Bryant to schedule.

A day-long Faculty/Staff Advisor Workshop is offered by the ACDC prior to the start of the fall semester. The workshops provides continuing professional development sessions for all types and levels of advisors at WKU.

The Student Success Summit is offered by the Division of Enrollement and Student Experience prior to the start of the spring semester. The goal of the one day conference is to provide a unique opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to discuss best practices and collaboratively develop working strategies related to advising, retention, engagement and student success.

Sharing of course/program information, professional development opportunities, and general advising related information is shared via the CAN listserv. Advisors with information to share can send an e-mail to can@lists.wku.edu. In addition to advisor communication through the optional CAN listserv, all faculty/staff designated as advisors are added to the official advising listserv. A monthly communication with updates and information is shared through this medium as well as any immediate, official announcements. 

More information on training and professional development opportunities for academic advisors, along with other advising related content, can be found on the Advising website. Questions or comments may also be directed to us. 

Advisor Certification Program

The Advisor Certification Program was developed by the Academic Advising & Retention Center to provide faculty and professional advisors with opportunities for professional development and recognition throughout their advising careers. Three levels of certification are available to WKU academic advisors.

Tier One Certifcation

Tier 1 Certification requires a completion of four content sessions offered by the ACDC with a culminating advising project/paper. Sessions are offered in the fall and spring semester and must be completed within an academic year for certification.

The sessions provide knowledge and tangible skills associated with understanding college student development, advising principles and practices, and the relationship between advising and student success. Each session is designed to help participants increase their knowledge and skills in order to improve the advisor/advisee relationship.

Topics Covered in Tier 1 Certification:
- Advising models and approaches
- WKU policies and procedures associated with academic advising
- WKU advising technology tools
- State and Federal initiatives associated with academic advising
- Ability to refer students to appropriate academic support services

Dates for the Fall 2018 Semester will be announced soon!


Complete application via this link https://wku.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_508ZxdDZR4lsBCt

Advisors who have previously completed the Master Advisor Certificate or Advisors of Excellence programs offered by the AARC are considered Tier 1 certified.

Tier Two Certification

To complete their annual Tier 2 Certification, advisors attend either the Faculty/Staff Advisor Workshop or Student Success Summit, and complete one of the options below with the professional development sessions that best suit their individual learning and career needs. 

  • Attend four Campus Advising Network (CAN) sessions
  • Attend three Campus Advising Network (CAN) sessions and, complete two approved online development modules offered through the AARC
  • Attend three Campus Advising Network (CAN) sessions, and attend one state, regional, or national advising conference.

The form for Tier 2 Certification verification can be submitted here.  If you have any questions, or need a paper form, contact marrissa.bryant@wku.edu.

Master Advisor Commendation (Tier Three Certification)

A Master Advisor Commendation is a recognition of substantial and significant contributions related to academic advising at WKU.


To be considered for a Master Advisor Commendation (or Tier 3 Certification) advisors must have completed

  • Tier 1 Certification
  • Be current in Tier 2 requirements 


Applications may be submitted to the Chair of the Advising Certification Committee at any time during the year, but must be received electronically by February 15th. The Selection Committee will review applications on an annual basis. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 1st. 

The application must include the following for consideration:

  • cover page
  • personal advising philosophy
  • a topical advising vita/resume 


Applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Participation in undergraduate student advising, mentoring, and/or research/career development at WKU
  • Professional contribution to academic advising at WKU, regionally, and nationally
  • Advancement of academic advising through scholarly publications, research, presentations at professional meetings, and/or innovations in advising-related practices and procedures
  • Local, regional, national recognition for excellence in advising through awards, grants, and other forms of public acknowledgement
  • Supervision or mentorship of academic advisors at WKU
  • Other advising related activities/accomplishments not covered above


  • Applications are reviewed individually based on the above criteria using a rubric, and decisions to award commendations are made collectively by the Selection Committee

  • Applicants do not have to be exemplary in all criteria areas; recognition is determined based on the body of each applicant’s work.

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 Last Modified 2/5/20