Virginia Tech®home

Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising

Selection Guidelines and Instructions

Description of Award

The Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising is given annually to recognize an individual who serves graduate advisees in exemplary ways. The Award includes a $2000 cash prize and membership in the University’s Academy of Advising Excellence.

Eligibility and Criteria for Selection

The nominee must be a full-time faculty member and must hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor or a professional advisor at the AP level.

Professional Advisor (AP level):
Individuals whose primary role at the institution is the direct delivery of advising services to graduate students. Nominees must spend at least 50% of their time on direct delivery of advising to students and have at least 3 years (calendar years) of experience in direct delivery of advising to students.

Faculty Academic Advisor:
Individuals whose primary responsibility is teaching and who spend a portion of their time providing academic advising services to graduate students. Nominees must spend at least 50% of their time on teaching or research and have at least 3 years (calendar years) of experience.

General Procedures for Nominations, Dossier Submissions, and Selection

  • Faculty, Staff, administrators, or students will nominate individuals for the Award
  • To encourage participation nominators need only to provide a nomination to put someone into consideration
  • After an academic advisor is nominated, the appropriate department or unit will be notified; and the nominee’s supervisor will be encouraged to oversee submission of a dossier
  • Complete dossiers must be received by the published deadline to receive further consideration


The Advising Awards Committee evaluates on the evidence of qualities and practices that distinguish the nominee as an outstanding academic advisor or faculty advisor including:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Availability to advisees, faculty or staff
  • Frequency of contact with advisees
  • Appropriate referral activity
  • Use and dissemination of appropriate info sources
  • Evidence of student success rate, by advisor or department
  • Caring, helpful attitude towards advisees, faculty and staff
  • Meeting advisees in informal settings
  • Mastery of institutional regulations, policies and procedures
  • Ability to engage in, promote and support developmental advising
  • Evidence of advising in an academic advising program that supports NACADA’s core values
  • Evidence that the advising program reflects the standards of good practice in the CAS Standards and Guidelines for Academic Advising
  • Participation in and support of advisor development programs
  • Perception by colleagues of nominee’s advising skills
  • Monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals
  • Participation in and support of intrusive advising to build strong relationships with advisees

Organization and Submission of Dossiers

Submission Procedures:
Dossiers must contain adequate factual or narrative material that describes the extent to which an individual meets the awards criteria. Upload a completed dossier (one PDF) as outlined below and use objective data to support the nomination.

Completed dossier includes:

  • Nomination letter by supervisor to include a summary of the nominee’s qualifications- In this key piece, the nominator should summarize the extent to which the nominee meets the award criteria, citing letters of support, data, or other materials illustrative of exemplary performance as an advisor. How does this nominee consistently go beyond expected job duties to provide outstanding advising? (3 page maximum)
  • Nominee Resume or Curriculum Vitae- Please limit entries to material that pertains directly to academic advising, presenting relevant information from the nominees overall resume/vita. Please include a current position description with a list of job responsibilities and the percentages of time spent in each area of responsibility.
  • A personal statement that includes the nominee's advising philosophy. (2 page maximum)
  • Representative materials developed by the nominee such as articles published, resources and tip sheets created for students, training materials for faculty/staff, presentations given, etc. These materials should show how the nominee has gone above and beyond regular advising job duties to meet a level of outstanding work.
  • At least 3 letters of support from advisees, colleagues, and administrators. Letters of support or additional materials sent separate from the nomination packet will not be considered. (maximum of 5, one-page letters)
  • Other pertinent information from nominator.

Appendices are limited to a maximum of 20 pages.

*Nominations must include only original documentation prepared specifically for the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising. Materials intended for other award programs will not be considered.