Parents and Families
The Academic Advising Center recognizes and appreciates that successful students depend and thrive on the support and guidance of parents and family. To help foster these important relationships, the Academic Advising Center created the Parent and Family Resource webpage, which is filled with a variety of resources. Our hope is that this information will help parents and families better understand their students' academic experience on campus and includes:
- The structure and function of academic advising at Bentley University;
- The roles and responsibilities of students, advisors and parents;
- The undergraduate curriculum and;
- Relevant policies and procedures
We hope that you will return to this page often when you have questions about academics at Bentley.
The model above illustrates the comprehensive academic advising services available to all undergraduate students at Bentley University. Students are strongly encourage to utilize the many resources available to help them identify and achieve their personal, professional, and academic goals.
- First Year/Transfer Advisors: All first-year and transfer students are assigned a faculty or staff member as their primary academic advisor during their first year on campus. These formally assigned advisors are available to assist students with early curriculum planning as well as provide support with any academic and social adjustment issues during the transition to Bentley.
- Professional Advisors: Commencing at orientation, all students have access to the professional advising staff in the Office of Academic Services' Academic Advising Center. Advisors are available to help students with a wide range of issues including: major and minor selection, study abroad planning, academic difficulty intervention, strategies for enhancing academic success, and help scheduling courses.
- Peer Advisors: Each year, the Academic Advising Center recruits a select group of upper-class peer advisors to be available on a walk-in basis at the Advising Center. Peers work closely with the professional advisors and are an additional resource for students looking for general academic advising assistance. Peers have been extensively trained to provide accurate and friendly service, and have the ability to address a variety of student questions and concerns with objectivity.
- Faculty Mentors: Faculty mentors are a group of specially selected professors with diverse backgrounds and an abundance of experience and knowledge in their particular field. The faculty mentoring program allows Bentley students to use our expert faculty as exploratory and advisory resources. The faculty’s expertise within their chosen fields allows students to benefit from their knowledge of career options, course options, and research opportunities.
PJ Dickson, Director, Advising Center and New Student Academic Programs
Melissa Jenkins, Senior Associate Director
Meghan Charbonneau, Senior Academic Advisor
Valerie Como, Senior Academic Advisor
Amy Weber, Senior Academic Advisor
Amy Player-Smith, Academic Advisor
Student Responsibilities for Academic Success:
- New students must connect and meet with first year/transfer advisor per Seminar Requirements.
- Sophomore, Junior and Senior students should connect with a professional advisor of their choice in the Academic Advising Center at least once a semester.
- Students should prepare for their advising appointments by using their Academic Advising Workbook.
- Students need to become familiar with academic policies and procedures as well as the relationship between their decisions and the subsequent outcomes.
- It is strongly encouraged for underclassmen to attend programs to explore major/minor options and other academic opportunities.
- Students should become familiar with the wide variety of academic resources on campus.
- All students should try to connect with various members of the Bentley community (faculty, staff and student leaders).
- Working with advisors, faculty, staff and parents, students should create and continually clarify personal and professional goals.
- Students must accept responsibility for the actions or inactions that impact their academic progression and plan.
Parental/Family Support for Academic Success:
- Encourage your student to meet with their specific academic advisor or visit the Academic Advising Center regularly.
- Suggest that your student make an effort to connect with one new person (faculty, staff or student leader) each semester.
- Discuss and set mutual expectations regarding academics, employment, money, communication and life skills.
- Ask your student about their academic and social adjustment and their personal well-being.
- Encourage your student to seek out campus resources and ask for help.
- Be available to listen, support and encourage your student.
- Allow your student to make mistakes in this safe environment as they grow toward autonomy.
Academic Advisor Role:
- The Academic Advising Center will provide a safe, non-judgmental and comfortable advising atmosphere.
- Advisors participate in frequent professional development/training.
- Advisors have a clear understanding of the undergraduate curriculum and the tools necessary to assist students in developing appropriate academic plans as well as personal and professional goals.
- Advisors are knowledgeable about academic opportunities and be able to recommend a course of study (when appropriate) that is congruent with the student’s professional and personal goals.
- Advisors provide the appropriate amount of challenge and support that encourages the development of decision making skills.
- Advisors provide intervention for students who receive progress reports and/or other notifications of possible failure or concerns.
- Advisors appropriately refer student to college support services (counseling, career services, residence life, multicultural center, education abroad, etc) when necessary.
Want more parent and family information? Visit the Bentley Parents and Families site to learn about Parents and Family Weekend, the academic calendar, where to stay near Bentley, and more.