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Advisor Certification

The Washington State University Advisor Certification Program was developed by the WSU ACADA Certification Committee to provide faculty and professional advisors with opportunities for professional development and recognition throughout their advising careers. Three levels of certification are available to WSU academic advisors.

All WSU Academic Advisors are welcome to attend trainings. Certificates will only be given to participants who are current WSU ACADA members

Level 1

The Level 1 Certification is obtained by attending the “Foundations of Academic Advising” courses offered by the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC). It is a three-part series of two-hour interactive classes designed to introduce participants to the basic concepts of developmental advising.*  The classes cover academic advising styles, advising theory, the role of an advising syllabus, and developing student/advisor learning outcomes.  The courses are offered at least once during the fall and spring semesters.  All individuals performing academic advising and student personnel functions are highly encouraged to attend.  Upon completion of the courses, each participant will receive a Level 1 Certificate from WSU ACADA.

Level 2

After receiving Level 1 certification, individuals interested in continuing their professional development are encouraged to become certified at Level 2. To achieve Level 2 certification, WSU ACADA members must attend a series of professional development workshops and/or roundtable discussions that best suit their career needs. Workshops on such topics as advising first-year students, transfer student advising, and career counseling are offered throughout the semester by ASCC staff and other WSU professionals with expertise in specialized areas. More informal WSU ACADA-sponsored roundtable discussions on various topics and WSU services are scheduled monthly.

Level 2 certification may be earned in three ways:

  1. Attending four two-hour Level 2 workshops
  2. Attending three Level 2 workshops and two roundtable discussions
  3. Attending three Level 2 workshops and attendance at one local, regional, or national advising conference

Level 2 certification must be completed within a two-year cycle beginning on July 1 of the first year, ending on June 30 of the second year. The cycle begins and ends on an even year. For example, the current Level 2 cycle began on July 1, 2016 and will end on June 30, 2018.  If requirements for Level 2 certification were not met in a given cycle, the professional development events attended during that cycle cannot be “carried over” into the next cycle.

Level 1 must be completed prior to attending Level 2 workshops.

Master Advising Commendation

The Master Advisor Commendation (MAC) will be given in recognition of career or lifetime achievement in academic advising. To be eligible as a MAC applicant you must be a WSU ACADA member, have completed Level I certification, as well as be current in your Level II certification. Certification Committee members are not eligible to apply for the MAC.

The Selection Committee will review MAC applications on an annual basis. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. All applications received by June 15th will be reviewed and applicants will be notified by September 1st of their status.

The Chair of the Certification Committee will receive all applications electronically at Your name and demographic information will be removed before the materials are sent to the committee for review. Each member will rate the materials on the following areas:

  • Participation in undergraduate student advising, mentoring, and career development at WSU
  • Professional contribution to academic advising at WSU, regionally, and nationally
  • Advancement of academic advising through scholarly publications, research, presentations at professional meetings, and/or innovations in advising-related practices and procedures
  • Local, regional, national recognition for excellence in advising through awards, grants, and other forms of public acknowledgement
  • Supervision or mentorship of academic advisors at WSU
  • Other advising related activities/accomplishments not covered above

Application materials consist of: 1) completed cover sheet; 2) a statement of one’s advising philosophy; and 3) a topical advising resume, please see attached examples. The committee will meet to review each applicant based on the rubric provided and will collectively determine whether or not to grant the MAC. It is not mandatory that an applicant be exemplary in every area. Each applicant will be provided with feedback resulting from the review process. Recipients will be announced at the Spring General Membership Meeting each year or at the annual WSU ACADA Awards Ceremony.