Advising and Mentoring: Supporting Your Graduate Students

Advising and Mentoring: Supporting Your Graduate Students

The guidance that you offer through mentorship and advising can be transformative and is a critical factor in graduate students’ academic success and well-being. This topic provides you with resources that will help you provide the best support to your graduate students. Are you a new graduate faculty advisor? Be sure to check out our Graduate Faculty Onboarding resource!

Professor answering a question for a pair of students

Advising & Mentoring

These resources will help you with one-on-one advising so you can be perceptive to the needs of your students, and thus allow them to do their best work in their graduate program.

The Graduate Catalog: Advisory System

Degree programs are planned by the advisory committee after consultation with the student, unless a field of study has established a uniform curriculum. There is considerable flexibility in meeting special needs insofar as these are consistent with the regulations of The Graduate School. A degree program may entail coursework in more than one field of study, but each program must include a coherent emphasis within one existing field of study and area of concentration, if applicable. You can view full the details on this advisory system in The Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate School’s Graduate Faculty Onboarding Page

This website provides a variety of resources you will find useful as you begin to advise and mentor graduate students at the University of Connecticut. The resources include both general advice on how to mentor graduate students and specific information about specific UConn policies affecting graduate students that you need to be aware of as you advise students on their course of study. 

Being a Career Counselor for Your Advisee

The Center for Career Development is committed to providing information, resources, and tools to your advisees, with specific content tailored to help graduate students to explore and achieve their career goals.

To honor the concept of “Career Everywhere”, the Center for Career Development is committed to partnering with faculty and staff to provide them with information, resources, tools, and referral language to help empower our students to identify and achieve their career aspirations. View full details on their website here.

The Center has co-developed an online Inclusive Career Conversations Training: Reducing Biases and Career Disparagement & Bullying, which takes about 45 minutes to complete and consists of five interactive and self-paced modules. By completing the modules, you can:

  • Increase your awareness about what characterizes healthy and unhealthy career conversations, both as the contributor and recipient of career advice;
  • Equip yourself with knowledge and tools to engage in supportive career conversations. 

    To enroll in the Inclusive Career Conversations TrainingReducing Biases and Career Disparagement & Bullying, please reach out to

    Graduate Student Mentoring: A Mentor’s Guide

    In collaboration with faculty, professional staff, and graduate students from across the University and endorsed by the Graduate Faculty Council, The Graduate School developed "Graduate Student Mentoring: A Mentor's Guide", a set of best practices for graduate faculty and departments at UConn. The practices outlined are intended as a baseline to graduate student mentoring, and you may find it helpful to include the approaches discussed in your own mentoring and advising relationships. In addition to the best practices discussed in the guide, departments and programs are also encouraged to develop specific guidelines as it pertains to their programmatic needs. 

    Network for Enriched Mentorship (NEM)

    The Graduate School's Network for Enriched Mentorship (NEM) is a UConn-wide interdisciplinary mentoring network for all graduate students, with a special focus on minoritized graduate students and those who come from backgrounds that may disadvantage them. Through NEM, graduate students can find mentors to talk with them about issues that arise outside of their coursework and dissertations. We hope that by connecting students with mentors who have experience navigating obstacles (e.g., systemic bias, personal hardship, alternative career trajectories) or who can be effective and accountable allies, more students will feel supported and assertive in their graduate careers and beyond. If you haven't already, we invite you to apply to be a mentor.

    Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award

    The UConn AAUP established the annual Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award to recognize the leadership and dedication of Edward Marth and to encourage and reward outstanding mentoring of graduate students by UConn Graduate Faculty members.

    Timely Topics

    Below is a list of relevant Timely Topics slides and presentations relating to advising graduate students.

    A meeting between a professor and a student

    Advisement Meetings

    An academic advisor can be a great source of knowledge and guidance. These resources can help prepare for important advisement meetings and navigate challenges.

    Annual Academic Reviews

    Annual Reviews are critical for the success of your graduate students. As part of an ongoing effort to foster good graduate student mentoring and facilitate communication between graduate advisors and advisees, The Graduate School has developed resources that can help departments and advisors use annual reviews for doctoral and MFA students.

    Student Resources for Guidance and Support

    Access contact information for The Graduate School colleagues who can provide support and answers to graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and those who work with them.

    Information and Resources Related to Graduate Assistantships

    This collection of resources provides information for faculty/staff on administering assistantships, including what to consider before you offer an appointment, guidance on making offers, getting started as a GA, and completing or resigning an appointment.

    Steps to a Successful Graduation

    A comprehensive guide to everything a graduate student needs to do to successfully graduate and prevent any degree auditing delays.

    Separation from & Reinstatement to Graduate Study

    Voluntary Separations (i.e., academic leave, exit, program separation): Graduate students may need to step away from their academic studies or GA employment at some point during their graduate career. Voluntary separations may include academic leave, exit, or program separation, and the information at this page can help guide students toward the best option for their circumstances.

    When students are ready to return to their studies, they can complete the Request Reinstatement to Graduate Study or Reinstatement from Academic Leave form.

    Center for Students with Disabilities

    The CSD engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s documented disability, they may be eligible for reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

    Additional Support

    Student advocacy, support, and conflict mediation for both graduate students and faculty – contact Karen Bresciano (

    President Radenka Maric meeting with students, while petting two dogs

    Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health

    As an advisor, you can promote mental health and well-being through your academic and work expectations, check in with your students about their well-being, and connect them to campus resources and providers as needed. We have collected some resources below to help you determine when to refer a student for additional support and how to simply check in with your students to ask how they are doing.

    Concerned About the Well-Being of a Student?

    The Questions & Answers (Q&A) at this page provides information to help you support your students and refer them to the resources they may need to be healthy and successful. It is okay to ask a student how they are doing. To the student, you might be the only person that they see often enough to notice their behavior changes. Refer to  the Q&A when determining resources for connection and/or referral.

    Student Health and Wellness Red Folder and Trainings

    The Red Folder is an electronic resource to help faculty and staff recognize, respond to, and refer students in distress and contains important tips and information about a wide range of campus and community resources that are available for students. Student Health and Wellness also provides a series of online Brief Trainings to Support Student Well-Being, including how to respond to signs of distress, for faculty and staff. 

    Resources & Referrals for Graduate Assistants

    An extensive list of resources & referrals for GAs can be found here. For student advocacy and support for both graduate students and faculty, please reach out to the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs team

    Students studying in the library

    Cultural Competency: Diversity & Inclusion

    The University of Connecticut celebrates diversity; these resources will help you advise students coming from diverse backgrounds.

    Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color (BIPOC) Report

    Following the national incidents of racism and racial injustice in Summer 2020, The Graduate School has been reflecting, researching, and discussing how we can better serve our Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color (BIPOC) graduate students at the University of Connecticut. This process, undertaken with the assistance of our partners, graduate faculty and staff, graduate student organizations, and graduate students, has resulted in the following report. The report outlines our process, our findings, and, most importantly, our priorities we will be working to address in the 2021-2022 academic year with the purpose of improving the experiences of BIPOC graduate students at UConn.

    Supporting International Students

    Center for International Student and Scholar (CISS) relies on academic advisors to provide details related to international students' academic standing. This page describes the information CISS will be looking to academic advisors to provide and offers tips specifically for advising international students.

    Center for Students with Disabilities

    The CSD ensures a comprehensively accessible University experience by providing services to all students with permanent or temporary injuries and conditions. Students may work directly with a Disability Services Provider (DSP) to determine eligibility for accommodations.

    Undocumented Student Resources

    This page helps connect undocumented UConn students with campus, legal, and community resources.

    UConn’s Cultural Centers

    UConn’s Cultural Centers are vital resources in support of the social, behavioral, and cultural needs of students and are a central point of reference to the broader UConn community regarding issues and historical context related to the particular demographic group represented by the center.  

    Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice at UConn

    This site is the hub for the University’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) information and initiatives and provides resources, opportunities for engagement, and celebrations of the many diverse communities who call UConn “home.”

    InForm (Incident Reporting)

    InForm is a tool to help the UConn community navigate reporting processes and supports available for a variety of incidents including bias, harassment, safety concerns, and other types of misconduct.  InForm is available to anyone coming into contact with UConn.

    Someone in a web-meeting, holding a piece of paper

    Scholarly Misconduct

    Below are resources that explain what is considered scholarly misconduct in both research and academics, how to prevent misconduct, and what to do when you suspect that a student has committed an act of scholarly misconduct.

    General Information on Scholarly Misconduct

    At The Graduate School, we understand the importance of preventing and appropriately addressing scholarly misconduct in graduate studies. Please visit this page where specific resources and critical information have been provided to be utilized to prevent and address scholarly misconduct.

    FAQs about Scholarly Misconduct

    This document highlights the most frequently asked questions, including the definition of scholarly misconduct, what activities constitute scholarly misconduct, and the University’s policy on scholarly misconduct for graduate students.

    The Graduate Catalog: Scholarly Integrity & Misconduct

    This link to the Graduate Catalog outlines the Scholarly Integrity and Misconduct policy, definitions and procedures.

    Flow Chart on Scholarly Misconduct

    This flow chart gives a step-by-step guide to addressing allegations of scholarly misconduct.

    Template Scholarly Misconduct Notification Letter

    This template letter is for faculty to notify students of scholarly misconduct. The letter includes the allegation of scholarly misconduct, specific evidence of scholarly misconduct, any academic consequences and steps to appealing the reported scholarly misconduct.