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Mission and Vision

Achieving MSU's Strategic Goals Through Robust, Interventionistic, and Holistic Advising

Over the last decade, the advising community, colleges and various associated student success leadership groups have worked to elevate and situate advising as central to achieving MSU’s student success goals.


In order to meet MSU’s 2030 goal of an 86% graduation rate with no opportunity gaps as articulated in the Strategic Plan, we must reform aspects of the undergraduate experience to increase retention. Given academic advising’s central role in student success, improving our academic advising system to better support both our advisors and students is paramount.


Academic advising as it exists at MSU works very well for many students, but our current system favors those who know how to navigate it. The overarching goal of the University Advising Initiative is to create an academic advising experience at MSU that properly supports and empowers every student we admit until they graduate.

Intended outcomes:

  • to appropriately structure and adequately resource MSU’s advising community across the university and within colleges to meet the diversity of our students’ needs.
  • to help students develop their purposes and passions in alignment with MSU academic interest areas and career opportunities.
  • to empower colleges to graduate the next generation of Spartans.
  • to meet MSU’s strategic goal of an 86% graduation rate with no opportunity gaps by 2030.

The mission of University Advising Initiative is:

  • to meet MSU’s strategic goal of an 86% graduation rate with no opportunity gaps by 2030.
  • to improve advisor to student ratios, more evenly distribute advisors when and where students need them and support the migration of students between colleges and majors.
  • to introduce intrusive advising practices and academic coaching to increase all students' persistence and graduation rates.
  • to support advisors by building a transparent, unified professional advancement structure and opportunities for professional advancement. 
  • to administer some university-wide advising functions and support decentralized advising in colleges and departments.
  • to recruit and provide professional development to advance advisors' abilities to support student success.
  • to provide on-going advising assessment and accountability and ensure the institution is structured to support advisors.

With $2 million in funding allocated by the provost, the University Advising Initiative officially began its operational phase in July of 2022, with a prospective two-year implementation timeline. The specifics of that implementation are in the process of being determined by Working Groups composed of advising professionals, college representatives, and university leaders.

A comprehensive landscape study conducted by the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education in 2021, which included findings from previous surveys and process mapping, uncovered challenges and needs that only a well-funded university-level initiative could address.

Among needs uncovered by the landscape survey: many advisors were under-resourced; some advisors could benefit from reduced caseloads; MSU’s decentralized advising structure works much better for students who declare a major early than for students with an exploratory preference; availability of professional development for academic advisors could improve.

Some key aspects of the University Advising Initiative, such as its funding, sponsorship by the provost, and overarching goals, have been in place since its inception. The remaining policies, procedures and operational details are to be determined by Working Groups.

Improvement to academic advising at MSU must respect cultural and organizational differences among colleges — heterogeneity of colleges is central to a university’s identity.
In order to make the process of crafting the structure and policies of the University Advising Initiative as inclusive, democratic, and efficacious as possible, each Working Group contains representatives from the colleges, including advisors and advising leadership.

While utilizing large, inclusive Working Groups results in a longer timeline, the project team, the deans, and the provost are committed to the Working Groups model as an equitable and democratic change management strategy.

As the Working Groups collectively arrive at certainties regarding Initiative structure and procedure, those certainties will be communicated to the advising community.

Anyone is welcome and encouraged to contact the project leads or refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.