Advising Students

    Faculty play a critical role in helping students understand how best to balance their academic, extracurricular and social commitments, while gaining the skills and knowledge needed to pursue their personal and professional goals in life. Developing mutually satisfying advising relationships is both an art and a skill, and requires a thoughtful and sustained commitment to the well-being of students at Harvard. This page provides resources for faculty who are seeking additional information about how to make the most of their advising conversations with students.

    Harvard College Program in General Education

    Harvard has long required that students take a set of courses outside of their concentration in order to ensure that their undergraduate education encompasses a broad range of topics and approaches. As part of the Harvard College Curricular Review, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to replace the existing, thirty-year-old Core Curriculum requirements with a new Program in General Education in order to align these requirements with the educational needs of Harvard College students at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In contrast with the Core Curriculum, which required that students be exposed to a number of different “ways of knowing,” the new Program seeks explicitly to “connect a student’s liberal education – that is, an education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry, rewarding in its own right – to life beyond college.” In addition, the new Program in General Education seeks to provide new opportunities for students to learn – and faculty to teach – in ways that cut across traditional departmental and intra-University lines.

    For more information, please visit the Harvard College Program in General Education website.

    Mentoring Minority and Underrepresented Students

    Resources to aid student academic performance focus on the pressures students face as well as the interventions faculty can use to promote achievement. The articles below provide a brief sample of the literature.

    • Cohen, G. L., & Steele, C. M. (2002). A barrier of mistrust: How negative stereotypes affect cross-race mentoring. In J. Aronson (Ed.), Improving academic achievement: Impact of psychological factors on education.
    • Gibson, S.K. (2004). Being mentored: The experience of women faculty. Journal of Career Development, 30(3), 173-188.
    • Gordon, V.N., Habley W.R. and Grites, T.J. (2008) Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook (2nd edition), 2008. National Academic Advising Association.
    • National Academy of Sciences. (1997). Adviser, teacher, role model, friend: On being a mentor to students in science and engineering. [Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy] Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
    • Sue, D. W. & Sue, D., (2003). Counseling the culturally diverse theory and practice (4th ed). Canada: John Wiley & Sons.
    • Trubowitz, S. & Robin, M. (2003). The good teacher mentor: Setting the standard for support and success. New York: Teachers College Press.