For undergraduate students in LSA, declaring a major or minor initiates membership in an intellectual community. Within that community, faculty, students, and staff share a common affinity for an academic discipline and interact around myriad opportunities to deepen their affiliation with that discipline. A key member of that community is the academic advisor in that department, whose role is to welcome undergraduates and mentor their transition, growth, and identity within the department and the discipline. In addition to guiding students' progress in the departmental or program curriculum, advisors and other program staff also play a key role in creating opportunities beyond the classroom for students to participate in the activities germane to a community of scholars. As such, advisors at the departmental-level encourage undergraduates to become involved in department-sponsored events and programs, provide exposure to research and professional endeavors, and facilitate connections between students and department faculty.
Whether serving formally or informally as "advisors," faculty exert strong influence on the students' connection to the department and discipline. Guiding and mentoring students' exploration of disciplinary research, internships, and other department and professional activity is essential in securing undergraduate identity as a member of the intellectual community.
Through their participation in departmental advising, undergraduates can expect information presented through virtual and face-to-face contact to be accurate and reliable; can expect interaction with peers, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alums through presentations on, and involvement in, disciplinary research, scholarship, and professional activity.