Guidelines for Advising Websites

The University Advising Council has developed the following guidelines for Penn State advising websites. Sites should be designed to give information to students enrolled in the University, prospective students and their families, and members of the University advising community. For each guideline offered below, there is at least one link to a good example.
  1. Title: Academic units should post sites that are titled academic advising. example: Penn State Abington (
  2. Navigation: An introduction to the site should explain how to use it. example: Department of Biobehavioral Health (
  3. Information/Format: All sites should have the same general categories of information and format, similar to the single format for describing curricula. Language understood by readers and users should be used, and university jargon should be avoided.
    1. Statements of advising philosophy and description of the advising program, including how students identify their advisers, office hours, location, and how to contact the office/advisers: example: Penn State Berks (
    2. Procedural information about typical academic actions: example: University of Delaware (
    3. Requirements for entering, re-entering, and graduating from majors, minors, and colleges: example: University of Delaware (
    4. Recommended scheduling patterns, course descriptions (including when courses are offered), and links to online class materials: example: College of Information Sciences and Technology (
    5. Information for students transferring to another campus location: example: Eberly College of Science (
    6. Scholarships and awards information, and application procedures: example: College of Arts and Architecture ( example: College of Agricultural Sciences (
    7. Career and postgraduate information: example: College of Information Sciences and Technology ( example: College of Agricultural Sciences (
    8. Opportunities for research, co-op, internships, other career-related experiences, and extracurricular activities: example: College of Information Sciences and Technology ( example: College of Agricultural Sciences (
    9. Program news/hot news items with a notice placed on the main page: example: College of Arts and Architecture (
  4. Links: The following standard links should be included: Departments, schools, and colleges may wish to include links to other sites that they feel are appropriate. This group of links could be maintained on a separate undergraduate education site and all others could link to this reference page. Locations could create a similar set of links to give local information as well as the University-wide information. Department/school and college sites should be consistently linked to one another. Programs that are programmatically related or are confused with each other should be linked. example: College of Arts and Architecture (
  5. Index/Contact: Sites should contain an index of topics and a contact form, and conform to University requirements for formatting and approval. example: College of Arts and Architecture ( policy: Administrative Policy AD54 (
  6. Date/Review: The date of a posting should be listed on a page. Sites should be reviewed at least each semester.
  7. Length: Separate pages rather than a long, single page should be created to allow printing of selected topics.
Last Update: September 19, 2006