Advising and Mentoring | Duke Kunshan University

Advising and Mentoring

Academic advising is salient to undergraduate education at Duke Kunshan University. The goal of all academic advising is to provide a network of support across the university that is student-centered and responsive to the needs of students.   Advisors teach students about the undergraduate curriculum and co-curriculum by providing insight on how to navigate their college experience.   This process includes teaching students how each course contributes to their knowledge and innovative thinking.  Additionally, advisors teach students practical skills related to decision-making and how to take responsibility for developing meaningful educational plans compatible with their academic potential, career, and life goals.  

Advising is more than the imparting of specialized information; it includes helping students explore and discover the role of education in society and teaching students the skills for active learning and perseverance to reach long-term goals.  Moreover, students will learn how to formulate important questions about the nature and direction of their education through effective questioning.   Advisors will confer with students about course schedules and educational experiences, but students themselves are responsible for their academic program, social activities, and for making progress toward an academic degree. As students progress through their academic programs, their advising needs change requiring an advising partnership that provides guidance from campus faculty and administrators. 

The Associate Dean for Academic Advising oversees the academic advisor/mentor team, who understand the terrain of broad areas such as arts and humanities, global and civic opportunities, and natural and quantitative sciences, and pre-professional advisors with expertise in areas such as health, entrepreneurship, law and business. This network of advisors/mentors ensures that students have varied sources of information and build close relationships with campus faculty and staff who provide guidance about future plans and act as references. Additionally, designated faculty serve as major coordinators who ensure information related to specific majors are shared broadly throughout the advising community.

At Duke Kunshan University, advisors are key to understanding the nature of the academic programs and how they can address student interests, goals and purposes. They advise students on navigating both academic and social life and help students determine appropriate learning strategies, including tutoring. They advise students in the selection of courses, majors, signature pathways, and experiential activities. Professional advisors and academic success tutors work in concert with faculty advisors to maintain up-to-date information on university requirements, academic policies, procedures, and deadlines; they also provide guidance for students who desire to enhance their learning through tutoring and academic skill building programs and workshops.

Support offices such as the Academic Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Student Health Services, Student Accessibility Office, the Writing and Language Studio, the Office of Global Education, and the Office of Career Services can help students identify academic strategies and refine their interests and goals. Students should refer to selected majors for specific curriculum requirements required for degree completion.

Seven Principles of DKU Curriculum and Academic Advising 

  • Rooted Globalism: Academic Advising cultivates academic citizens who are knowledgeable about how their curricular and career interests influence their local, national, and international communities.
  • Collaborative Problem Solving: Academic Advising is a collaborative experience between Advisor and Advisee that teaches problem solving skills to successfully navigate college and life circumstances.
  • Research and Practice: Academic advising leverages curricular teachings with practical experience to assist with critical thinking and career readiness. 
  • Lucid Communication: Academic Advising promotes effective discourse between Advisee and Advisor that nurtures good decision-making practices. 
  • Independence and Creativity: Academic Advising is an environment where Advisees are responsible for charting their academic, social, and career pathways through inquiry, reflection, personal choice and consultation with Advisors.
  • Wise Leadership: Academic Advising teaches ethical principles that promote holistic student development, authentic academic workmanship, innovative thinking, and research.
  • A Purposeful Life: Academic Advising teaches and encourages Advisees to grow, discover, and enhance academic grit to persevere through academic and life challenges.