Theoretical Foundation

The Office of Academic Advising, in partnership with Staff Development & Professional Services, provides training and professional development opportunities for faculty advisors, staff advisors, peer advisors, and advising supervisors and managers throughout the UC Davis community.

In accordance with current research, the training curriculum is designed to help advising professionals build competence in three key foundational areas: [1]

  1. Conceptual – The conceptual and theoretical foundations of advising
  2. Informational – Facts and knowledge essential for guiding students
  3. Relational – Essential interpersonal and relational skills


To support these key competencies, training and professional development opportunities are available in several formats:


  • Workshops: Academic Advising workshops are presented on essential topics within the advising community. Workshops will allow participants to reflect on their own community of practice in relation to the topic being presented, and range in duration from a single half-day to multiple full days. Many workshops are required courses or elective options within the UC Davis Academic Advisor Certification Level One.
  • Coffee Talks: These less formal gatherings focus on specific topical interests for the UC Davis advising community. Typically hosted by campus representatives, these gatherings provide a forum for the advising community to learn about resources, share local “best practices,” and make connections with colleagues.
  • Conferences: Local, regional, and national academic advising conferences are opportunities to network, share, and learn. UC Davis currently hosts an annual conference, others include the system-wide UC Academic Advising Conference, the California Collaborative Advising and Counseling Conference, as well as regional and national NACADA conferences.
  • Mentoring: UC Davis offers an advising mentoring program for advisors who would like to improve their individual effectiveness and potential. This program serves to broaden connections and enhance engagement.
  • Certification: The UC Davis Academic Advisor Certificate series provides an opportunity for academic advisors to grow professionally during different career stages and to receive formal recognition for series completion. The Academic Peer Advisor Certificate provides an analogous opportunity for formal recognition in completing a program that combines workshops, seminars, and events across campus to supplement peer advisors’ knowledge and skills.

[1] NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA academic advising core competencies model. Retrieved from: