Prince Sultan University PSU
Policy Management System
Academic Advising Policy

Policy Code: TL0007
Policy Name: Academic Advising Policy
Handler: Academic Advising Center
Date Created: 15 August 2020
Date of Current Review: 15 August 2020
Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval:


Academic advising is meant to be a supporting beam throughout a student’s life cycle and to help the students develop both personally and intellectually during their journey at Prince Sultan University (PSU). Academic advising aims to facilitate students’ intellectual and personal growth, enhance their academic performance, and ultimately ensure their progress towards graduation.


Academic advising takes place in "situations in which an institutional representative gives insight or direction to a college student about an academic, social, or personal matter. The nature of this direction might be to inform, suggest, counsel, discipline, coach, mentor, or even teach" (Kuhn, 2008, p. 3). Successful academic advising is a crucial factor in the life cycle of all graduates from across the different disciplines offered.


The Academic Advising Program (AAP) is applicable to undergraduate students only, including the Preparatory Year Program (PYP) students.


All faculty members within a degree-granting program will be assigned students for academic advising. Academic advising is mandatory for all students to be able to register for their courses. All faculty members are required to learn about the procedures required for advising by attending their assigned workshop sessions. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines on academic advising for all students at PSU.


The vision of PSU’s Academic Advising Program is to provide students with the best possible guidance in planning their studies and their future careers.


The Academic Advising Program at PSU aims to facilitate students’ successful transition throughout their academic journey by empowering them to make well-informed decisions to achieve educational and career goals. This can be achieved by working in partnership between students and teachers to promote student success. The program emphasizes the importance of life-long learning as an extension of both work and study.

Academic Advising Learning Outcomes

LO1. Recognize students’ personal interests, values, strengths, and skills in relation to specific academic programs.

LO2. Articulate curricula requirements, progression standards, and course sequencing related to chosen or intended academic programs.

LO3. Demonstrate students’ responsibility for their learning opportunities by making informed decisions regarding how their studies fit within their overall educational and career goals.

LO4. Identify opportunities to enhance classroom experiences through academic support services, and co-curricular and extracurricular involvement.

Academic Advising Policies and Procedures

General Policies:

  • An advisory committee is assigned at the college level, with clear duties and responsibilities. In addition, an advisory unit is assigned at the PYP level under the Deanship of Educational Services.
  • Every student is assigned an academic advisor when they enroll in the preparatory year program and the undergraduate program.
  • An academic advisor is the only person authorized to open online registration for a student.
  • All academic advisors and advisees are informed of ethical issues such as intellectual property rights and confidentiality of information.
  • There are clear communication channels between an academic advisor and his/her advisees.
  • Each student will be provided with an electronic portfolio. The student e-portfolio should act as a master file, which is accessible by all parties. The portfolio contains all information: contact details, academic records, behavioral issues, health conditions, disabilities, a record of participation in clubs or competitions, voluntary contribution, record on disciplinary actions/warning letters/DN, deferred semester, academic probation, cheating, etc... The e-portfolio is linked to other support services, such as the college, library, counseling unit, COOP office, and E-register.
  • The university maintains an academic advising portal which is accessible by the faculties and students. The portal contains general information related to academic advising policy, university rules and guidelines, current development, and news updates. Students and faculties need to log-in to gain access to their individual e-portfolios.
  • The advisor’s name and contact information are available to all instructors teaching a student. The teacher may update a student’s progress to her respective advisor via the online system.
  • The advisor should be aware of any academic transaction such as changing majors, postponing a semester, etc., by signing on the transaction form.
  • There are points allocated to the advisory meeting. These points are reflected in the NIQATI system for every student seeking advising.
  • It is expected of the advisor to encourage student engagement in university activities, which might induce a sense of welcomed and belonging, thus increase student engagement. It is hoped that such involvement would motivate students to work harder, be creative, able to contribute ideas and eventually leads to establishing a positive attitude. A certificate of participation will be given to students.

Attachments for policy:

  1. Rights for Advisors and Advisees
  2. Roles and Responsibilities for Academic Advising
  3. Advising Timeline of Activities and Strategies
  4. Support Services provided by the Deanship of Student Affairs with respect to Academic Advising

Attachments (can be found below)

Rights for Advisors and Advisees

Rights for Advisors

  • To receive the appropriate training in academic advising through continuous workshops.
  • To receive a university handbook that contains all PSU rules and regulations.
  • To have access to their academic program’s required and elective courses.
  • To have access to advisee’s e-portfolio.
  • To be able to use all available resources on the academic advising portal to guide them with academic advising at PSU.

Rights for advisees

  • To be assigned with an academic advisor upon enrolment at PSU.
  • To have access to an education plan at the beginning of each semester.
  • To request an advisor replacement from the department if needed.
  • To attend an online orientation program.
  • To have access to the Academic Advising Handbook that contains all the information related to academic advising, including academic and non-academic support services.
  • To make an appointment to meet the assigned academic advisor by contacting the advisor via the e-portfolio, email, or other available methods.

Roles and Responsibilities for Academic Advising PYP Academic Advising Role

Academic Advising at PYP level aims to help the students with the following:

  • Help students transition to the college level.
  • Help students to think about and plan for their choice of concentration (College specialization).
  • Help students to explore and avail opportunities or resources available at PSU, e.g. encourage them to participate in the tutoring classes and explore the university clubs’ activities as well as all of the other activities
  • Inform students about co and extra-curricular activities offered at the campus.
  • Set aside any preconceived ideas and form student’s own judgments.
  • Illustrate the importance of the academic choices that students will make during the coming years and how it will influence them intellectually, personally, and socially.
  • Encourage students to take full advantage of the transformative opportunities that the university presents.

College Level Academic Advising Role

Academic Advising at college level aims to help the students with the following:

  • To be aware of the university’s policies, regulations, and services.
  • To allocate consultation hours for advising matters. The academic advisor should be available for advisees during the advising hours.
  • To conduct at least two meetings per semester for standard students and three meetings for students with low academic performance - GPA 2.0 and below.
  • To assist students in registration and guide them in choosing suitable courses according to their academic level and future plans.
  • To guide advisees in developing and clarifying their academic goals.
  • To provide advisees with information on university policies, basic course information, available study resources, student-related events, and career opportunities.
  • To listen to all of the advisees’ queries and suggest possible solutions.
  • To highlight and discuss with advisees on the strengths and weaknesses with regard to overall academic performance.
  • To be able to suggest solutions to advisees if required to stay on track.
  • To discuss challenging behavior, including attendance.
  • To respect advisees’ privacy and maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • To report student progress on the e-portfolio.
  • To keep an updated record of advisee’s e-portfolio in case of a change of advisor.
  • To administer ONE survey for ALL of his/her advisees by the end of each semester. The survey will address the progress of students, any unexpected challenges, and/ or highlight any related issues.

Advisee’s Role

  • To make efforts to meet with the advisor based on the availabilities of the advisor during office hours/ advising hours.
  • To agree to meet with the advisor as required and attend all scheduled advising meetings.
  • To inform the advisor in advance if she/he will not attend scheduled meetings.
  • To discuss with the advisor on the suggested training, career events, resources, seminars or courses to be able to help in getting the best results for his/her academic and career goals.
  • To be accountable to himself/herself, demonstrate evidence of an effort being made, and accept responsibilities of actions.
  • To keep the advisor informed about all incidents, issues, academic challenges, transactions, or sickness.
  • To constantly check announcements, email, and messages from the advisor.

Advising Timeline of Activities and Strategies

Post-Admission Period: Students must

  • Ask for brochures or any information about the majors offered at PSU.
  • Gather information about career options through the Career Office.
  • Know about any special requirements for getting admission into the majors offered at PSU.
  • Know about the PYP requirements.
  • Know about promotion exams.
  • Know about IELTS score criteria for skipping the English courses.
  • Know about scholarship requirements.

Preparatory Year (PYP): Students must

  • Attend the academic advising orientation.
  • Contact the Academic Advising Center.
  • Contact their academic advisor.
  • Know the requirement for the college they enroll in.
  • Get information about PSU’s communication and resource tools.
  • Register to the right clubs after discussing it with the advisor.
  • Participate in PSU’s extracurricular activities (e.g., clubs, competitions, or events)
  • Use the NIQATI Point System for updating their participation in student activities.
  • Able to use all available resources on the academic advising portal to guide them with academic advising at PSU.

1st Year (Freshman): Students must

  • Meet his/her advisor to
    • Get more information about the requirements for their major.
    • Get more information about PSU’s communication and resource tools.
  • Update their advisor about his/her major and other performance at the mid of the semester.
  • Register in the clubs that support both their academic and future career plans after discussing with their advisor.
  • Arrange one meeting in the library and another in a computer lab to ask relevant questions that will support their academic journey at PSU.
  • Complete an academic and personal review at the end of the 1st year.

2nd Year (Sophomore): Students must

  • Meet his/her advisor to discuss the course plan prior to early registration.
  • Meet his/her advisor about registering for their planned courses.
  • Discuss the specialization in his/her field of study.
  • Attend seminars and training recommended by his/her advisor and update him/her about them.
  • Complete an academic and personal review at the end of the 2nd year.

3rd Year (Junior): Students must

  • Meet his/her advisor to discuss the course plan prior to early registration.
  • Keep attending seminars and training recommended by his/her advisor and update him/her.
  • Volunteer in becoming a student advisor by helping his/her advisor with junior students.
  • Complete an academic and personal review at the end of the 3rd year.

4th Year (Junior): Students must

  • Meet his/her advisor to discuss the course plan prior to early registration.
  • Keep attending seminars and training recommended by his/her advisor and update him/her.
  • Volunteer in becoming a student advisor by helping his/her advisor with junior students.
  • Complete an academic and personal review at the end of the 4th year.
  • Select the potential career titles and companies for the COOP.
  • Get recommendation letters and prepare a CV before finishing the COOP with the Career Unit.

Support Services provided by the Deanship of Student Affairs with respect to Academic Advising

The collaboration between the Academic Advising Center (AAC) and the Deanship of the Student Affairs (DSA) represents and illustrates the ideas that student learning does not occur exclusively within the classroom and that university affects students profoundly in many different dimensions. The DSA will play an important role with academic advising center which will emphasize the holistic view of education focuses on the growth of the intellectual and emotional capacities of students, as well as their development of a stable sense of identity, interpersonal skills, moral and spiritual values, ethics, career goals and vocational skills, and physical/mental wellness.

The following will highlight the areas where cooperation between the DSA and AAC occur:

Tutoring Center: PSU offers tutoring sessions for all of the students who need extra academic support. Academically challenged students can easily seek help and find the support they need to strengthen their academic weaknesses and solve their courses’ difficulties with the help and support of a specialist who is able to deliver the needed knowledge.

How to utilize the services of the Student Tutoring Center?

The academic advisor will report his/her low achieved struggling students to the department academic advising coordinator who will be raising this issue to the academic advising center. The AAC will contact the DSA regarding arranging the tutoring sessions need for the reported student.

Counseling Unit: Students in need are supported by a counselor who provides nonacademic counseling services, such as personal, psychological and social counseling. These services are offered to students who, either on their own initiative or upon referral by their academic advisor, seek assistance, help, or advice from the unit. The counseling unit also provides hotline service that maintains confidentiality, which allows students to speak anonymously to a university counselor over the phone. Students may then elect to meet the counselor in person.

How to utilize the services of the Student Counselling Center?

The academic advisor will report his/her counseling needed students to the department academic advising coordinator who will be raising this issue to the academic advising center. The AAC will contact the DSA regarding arranging the counseling service. Student’s confidentiality will be highly emphasized and assured.

Peer Advising: Peer advising can be performed by any or all three student entities, namely: senior undergraduate students, student council and volunteered alumni.
The university may assign experienced and highly trained undergraduate senior students, preferably with high GPA as peer advisors who can support the academic advising Center w.r.t addressing a variety of students’ academic issues, especially during orientation, early or regular registration week. The assignment of a peer advisor is particularly emphasized on advising low GPAs, helping all students to use institutional/program resources, or making them familiar with PSU academic policies for students. Score points in the NIQATI System and a certificate of participation will be given to the peer advisor to appreciate his/her role and contribution to the university.

Alumni also may volunteer by giving sessions to the students reflecting on their experiences at PSU and discussing how it influences their career life. Alumni also could provide students with advice that may help them with their studying strategies and future prospective jobs.


Selecting and assigning peer advisors students will be based on the Academic Advising Coordinator’s recommendations for every program with the coordination of the DSA. This group of peer advisors will be trained and managed by the Academic Advising center assisted by the Student Council. The peer advisor shall have no authority over students.

The student Council also plays an important role in peer advising, such as

  1. Meeting with students during their weekly interactive sessions to hear student issues.
  2. Creating a platform encouraging students to participate in extra-curricular activities such as student clubs or community services.
  3. Sharing used-learning resources among the students.

Career center: PSU offers services for career counseling and support in regard to the students’ employment skills and planning. The career center will provide consultation to the senior students in regard to their carrier/study specialization path as well as professional personality analysis, which will help students define their interests and chose the right career. The career center will also help students improve and develop the needed skills for their future professions, such as CV writing, job interview preparation, and others.

COOP center: The COOP Unit provides various support services for students seeking advice regarding practical training for future employment. The department academic advisor coordinator will submit the list of the prospective coop students to the department coop-coordinator who will be in charge of preparing and connecting the students with the coop center.

Student Clubs: The academic advising coordinator can approach the Deanship of Student Affairs through the AAC, asking for providing information about various student clubs so that the students are able to decide to participate in a club suitable to his/her needs and major.