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Training Resources

Our Training Resources page provides access to required and recommended training programs for MSU advisors. This includes the New Advisor Training Course, access to several mandatory training programs, and a comprehensive list of advisor systems tutorials, including the Student Information System. If you or your team have questions regarding advisor training or development opportunities, please schedule a time to discuss. 


Congratulations on your new position! We are so happy you are joining the academic advising community at Michigan State University. 

The Virtual Academic Advisor Training is a comprehensive, self-paced course consisting of six distinct units, each designed to build upon the previous one. This training equips MSU academic advisors with essential tools and guidance, empowering them to excel in their roles. We strongly recommend all academic advisors to engage in this interactive program during their first year in an advisory position. Additionally, established advisors are encouraged to utilize this resource for ongoing professional development.

Self-Enroll Here

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this training, please contact Katie Peterson, Educational Developer for Academic Advisors, at

New Faculty and Academic Staff Orientation
New Faculty and Academic Staff Orientation is an expectation for all new full-time academics who are contracted for 90% time or greater for two or more semesters, including tenure system faculty, librarians, health programs faculty, FRIB/NSCL faculty, fixed-term faculty (teaching-focused faculty), academic specialists in the continuing system, fixed-term academic specialists, and senior research associates. Others who are in these roles at reduced appointment levels are invited, but not required, to attend. 

Invitations are typically sent in the summer. Please visit the Office Faculty and Academic Staff Development’s website for more details. 

Quest I: Foundations

Quest: Building Capacity for LGBTQA+ Inclusion is the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s core curriculum. This program is designed to encourage the growth and development of ally skills and practices over time by providing a greater variety of educational programs and workshops at varying levels and on specific topics and identities.

Quest may be required for your unit. Register for Quest I: Foundations by visiting the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center website.

Active Violence Incidents (AVI) Awareness Training

An AVI is an ongoing assault with a weapon causing death or serious injury of multiple victims in a populated area. Awareness training is recommended for all students, faculty, and staff and can be accessed on the MSU's Ability Training platform. Log in with your NetID and password and then click the Launch button to begin the course. The training is managed by the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety and includes a presentation explaining how to respond during an active violence situation. Throughout the training, knowledge checkpoint questions will appear on screen to evaluate participants’ understanding of the content.

Academic advisors are required to complete specific training courses that will equip them with knowledge and skills needed to perform their job effectively and ethically. The training courses listed in this section cover a range of crucial topics, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM), and DEI Foundations. Select the links below to access the training courses. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives students who enter a post-secondary institution the right to have access to their education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from their education records. Advisors are required to complete training on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The training is available in the Ability Learning Management System.

To complete this training, go to and then select Ability Login

  • Click into My Requirements
  • If you do not see FERPA training listed, use the green plus (“+”) icon to open a window and then select the FERPA training.
  • Inside the FERPA track, click on the FERPA for Employees course and then Launch.
  • Additional information about FERPA can be found here.

Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Training

All faculty and staff are required to complete training on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) within 30 days of hire. This training includes important information on MSU policies, including protocols for mandatory reporting.

You will receive an email in your MSU email account with instructions and will access the training through the Ability Learning Management System. You can also find more information about education and training through the Prevent, Outreach, and Education Department (POE). Additional policy information can be found here:

DEI Foundations

DEI Foundations is a university-wide mandated online introductory education program about diversity, equity, and inclusion. All Spartans, including students, staff and faculty, are required to take the course during their time at MSU. You will be automatically assigned to the online course when you are required to complete it and will receive an email notification. The program will be accessible from the Ability Learning platform by logging in with your MSU NetID. 

Designed as a centralized hub, the New Student Orientation (NSO) Advisor Resources Guide offers materials, tutorials, and resources to aid academic advisors in their preparation for NSO. This guide is not a substitute for the NSO Advisor Manual or NSO Advising Teams Channel, but instead consolidates these tools along with additional resources for easy access in one location. Click on the button below to access the guide!

NSO Advisor Resources

This section provides video tutorials for online systems commonly used by academic advisors at MSU, including the Student Information System (SIS), the Electronic Student Academic Folder (ESAF), and the Transfer Credit Equivalency System. While certain content may not be directly pertinent to your specific role, it remains valuable to have a general understanding to tailor your focus. It’s recommended that you discuss with your supervisor the programs and responsibilities most relevant to your position. 

Student Information System

The Campus Solutions Student Information System (SIS) is a vital resource that serves the entire academic community, facilitating essential administrative processes that are pivotal for the matriculation and graduation of Spartans every year. Within the SIS, students and advisors are provided with comprehensive support throughout the student’s academic journey, which includes tasks such as managing financial aid offers, accessing MSU's Class Search, overseeing enrollment, submitting grades, and facilitating degree conferral.

Click on the links below to access video tutorials for different components of the Student Information System that advisors frequently use.

Electronic Student Academic Folder (ESAF)

The Electronic Student Academic Folder (ESAF) is a system designed to record and track each student's academic advising and progress toward degree completion. Academic advisors rely on this system as a daily resource. You can access ESAF through the Registrar's Office (RO) website by selecting 'Faculty and Staff' from the dropdown menu. This video is designed to help you become familiar with the ESAF system. Topics covered relate mainly to preparing for student appointments.

Transfer Credit Equivalency System

The Transfer Equivalency System serves as a valuable resource that assists advisors and students in accessing information regarding MSU course equivalencies at other educational institutions. The content in this section is to provide an understanding of the systems used to view transfer credit equivalencies. 

Video Tutorials
Guides and Websites

Official Transcript Request

Students can request official MSU transcripts at no cost for delivery to other educational institutions, potential employers, or their personal email or preferred postal address. To assist students in this process, the following steps offer a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on accessing the transcript request form. 

  • Step 1: To begin, go to and hover over the Student Resources tab. Select Transcripts from the list of menu options.
  • Step 2: Students have two options to validate their identity before proceeding with the transcript request form: MSU NetID and password or by date of birth and student ID number.
  • Step 3: After the student's identity has been validated, the Transcript Request Form will populate. Students will enter in their personal information and then the address to which the transcript will be sent to. Once all sections are completed, the student will select Next to submit the form.

University Policy Search

In the realm of university policies, MSU's University Policies website stands as the central, fully digital resource. Use the University Policies Search tool to efficiently locate various policies, either by category or in alphabetical order.

Religious Observance Policy and Accommodation Requests

Michigan State University is a home for a vibrant, diverse, and multicultural community of students, faculty, and staff, and we value and actively support that diversity, including the diversity of spiritual expression and practice. Therefore, it is the policy of the University to enable students and faculty to observe those days set aside by their chosen religious faith. Access the Religious Observance Policy by clicking here

Both students and instructors at Michigan State University are eligible for religious observance accommodations. The policy is applicable to all members of the university community. Accommodations can include rescheduling of exams, assignments ,or classes, as well as alternative arrangements for attendance, to accommodate religious observance. To request a religious accommodation, please direct students to the Religious Accommodation Request Form.