Advisor's Quick Guide to working with adult learners

Pre-appointment checklist

  • Respect the preferred contact method. Are you meeting on Teams? Zoom? Phone? Do they likely have access to their WSU email or are they using a personal address?
  • Check the Warrior Way Back status. WWB students will need to complete a WWB Advising Agreement, but other students do not.
  • Verify that DegreeWorks and STARS are correct. DegreeWorks will likely need to be manually updated by the program advisor. Older students may need a manual request to add information through Records.

Please Do

  • Ask about work hours/course load balance.
  • Check for financial holds and remind the student to contact Financial Aid.
  • Talk about student support services, such as SDS, ASC, Adult Learner advisor, etc.
  • Have an honest discussion about course availability and their schedule.
  • Ensure transfer credit is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Follow up with a step-by-step email to their preferred email address.

Please Don't

  • Send emails to a decade-old WSU email account.
  • Endorse a full-time course load without a larger conversation.
  • Use academically-coded language.
  • Disregard the value of the time spent away from pursuing a formal education.
  • Assume the student has a support network - be sure to suggest resources and use specific names of contact people.

If a student would benefit from extra support, send them our way!  We are happy to receive referrals from anyone across campus and outreach from students reach out to us at or use our appointment calendar in STARS.