Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Community

Notes and Advising Reports

Do's and Don'ts of Reporting

Briefly summarize what was discussed as it relates to student success for future reference by the student, other support staff, and future advisors.  Summarize everything that was discussed. Notes are intended to be a brief record of advising contacts, highlighting recommendations, referrals, and follow-up plans. 
  • Recommendations: "Recommend student take MATH 103 to create a more solid mathematics foundation."
  • Advice: "Cautioned against taking 18 credits this semester given work schedule."
  • Referrals: "Referred to Career Center."
  • Action Plans: "Student plans to follow up with tutoring and schedule an appointment with me after mid-terms."
  • Include unnecessary details: "She said she has been having a good week and is especially excited about moving into a different apartment."
  • Include personal/sensitive information: "Student disclosed that she has been visiting the Counseling Center."
  • Include subjective opinions.
Summarize specific course recommendations. Report problems with specific instructors. 
  • "Encouraged students to take HIST 104."
  • "Recommended student take MATH 260 fall semester 2021."
  • "Student doesn't like his COM 180 instructor."
  • "Student said SPAN 151 professor has unfair grading policies."
Spell things out for a general audience.  Use acronyms students and other campus support staff may not understand.
Write fact-based academic-related notes.  Include speculation, subjective opinions, or judgements.
  • "Student is concerned about grades in two courses."
  • "Students is considering whether his current major is a good fit. Helped him consider other options."
  • "Student needs to successfully complete PSYC 200 or PSYC 210 before taking any upper level PSYC courses."
  •  "I don't think she is very motivated this semester."
  • "His personality isn't a good fit for STEM fields. I think he'd feel more at home doing something artistic or creative."
  • "She has probably been avoiding MUS 117 because she struggled with MUS 113."
Use general or coded language concerning sensitive material.  Include sensitive information, personal concerns, or private matters. 
  • "Student reported extenuating circumstances related to his academic progress this semester."
  • "She discussed a difficult situation and requested help from a campus support service."
  • "Student disclosed a personal situation that's having an impact on how things are going this semester."
  •  "Student's parents are going through a divorce."
  • "She reported she was assaulted by her boyfriend earlier this year."
  • "Student was recently diagnosed with autoimmune disorder."
Record referrals made and resources shared.   Report details surrounding sensitive referrals. 
  • "Shared information about the Counseling Center."
  • "I discussed resources at the Student Health Center."
  • "Referred to Financial Aid Office."
  • "Referred to Student Success Center."
  •  "He said he can't concentrate because of relationship problems with his girlfriend. I referred him to the Counseling Center."
  • "She said she's been having a lot of headaches lately. I'm concerned something more serious may be going on. I suggested she go to the Student Health Center to get it checked out."
  • "Little financial support from family. First generation student with significant debt building up."
Include notes about positive student behaviors.   Include negative judgments about student behaviors. 
  • "Student came prepared for session with course plan filled out."
  • "She has spent time talking with two Sociology professors to learn more about potentially changing to that major."
  •  "She seems like she just blows off advising appointments. I can't get her to be serious and plan ahead." 
  • "He seems pretty uniformed about the real world after college and hasn't followed through with plans to get information from his Sociology professor. I think he needs to be more realistic."

*Adapted from Rutgers University's Navigate Guides template.