Serving as a student organization advisor can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Student organization advisors serve as a resource and mentor for the students in the organization. Many of our advisors report that they especially enjoy watching students learn and develop new skills. Student Involvement aims to support student organizations and their advisors.

Who Can Be an Advisor?

All student organizations at NC State are required to have an advisor that is affiliated with the university in order to be an active student group. NC State faculty or staff or a graduate student on a teaching, research, extension or services assistantship appointment may serve as an advisor.

How are Advisors Assigned to Student Organizations?

Students are responsible for securing an advisor for their group. Student Involvement encourages students to seek advisors with the organization’s purpose and interest areas in mind. During an initial conversation with a student inquiring about your interest in serving as an advisor, be prepared to discuss your expectations. This includes the extent of your involvement, specific dates/times of meetings/activities you will attend, and the role you want to play. This will help establish an open relationship where both of you understand roles and expectations. Based on the dialogue, you should be able to determine if it will be a good fit.

At any time during the year, you can double check that you are still listed as the current advisor on record by viewing the “My Membership” section on your homepage in the Get Involved system. You can access the Get Involved system at using your NC State unity id and password to login.

Advisor Guidebook

Each advisor’s experience and relationship with the student organization is unique. This guidebook was developed to provide general information, guidance, and advice about how to approach the role.

NC State Student Organization Advisor Guidebook

Expectations of Advisors

While the expectations are negotiable, the student organization advisor is primarily responsible for:

  • Maintaining regular contact with the group
  • Interpreting relevant university policies, rules and regulations
  • Knowing the organization’s mission, purpose, and history
  • Developing students’ skills
  • Providing support and guidance as needed
  • Complying with all required trainings

Required Trainings for Advisors

Advisors of student organizations are required to complete three annual trainings per the NC State Registered Student Organizations Regulation REG 11.55.07

  • Clery Act Training
  • Title IX Training
  • Financial Management

Advisors will receive instructions for how to complete each training via email.

Advisor Liability

Being a student organization advisor has an added responsibility. The liability or risk will vary depending on the type of organization. It is important to understand the liability if you do accept the role of a student organization advisor.

General Counsel Statement on Student Organization Liability

For more information, please see the Office of General Counsel’s legal topics webpage.

Advisor Resource Library

Student Involvement has a selection of books and webinars available to loan to student organization advisors.


  • Advising Student Groups and Organizations (2014) by N. W. Dunkel, J. H. Schuh, and N. E. Chrystal-Green
  • The Leadership Challenge (2012) by J. Kouzes and B. Posner
  • Up Your Org: A Guide to Help Club Advisors Thrive (2011) by T. Perry
  • Mentoring Students & Young People: A Handbook of Effective Practice (2002) by A. Miller
  • and many more!

Webinars (available on CD)

  • Advising Student Groups on Campus: Essential Roles & Responsibilities (January 2015)
  • Advanced Advising for Student Groups: The Evolving Role of the Advisor (August 2015)

Optional Training Opportunities for Advisors

Student Involvement offers two in-person training opportunities for advisors:

  • S.O.L.E. Training is a full-day conference style workshop with keynote and breakout sessions in September. S.O.L.E. training is mandatory for student organization leaders and advisors are always invited to attend.
  • Student Organization Advisor Workshops are offered periodically throughout the year. These are primarily intended for new advisors but any current (or prospective!) advisor is welcome to join. Workshop generally cover topics such as expectations of advisors, risk management, and liability.


Student Involvement serves as a resource for advisors and our staff frequently answer a wide range of questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email at Your email will be directed to the staff member most knowledgeable to answer your unique question.