Recording Advising Reports and Notes Using Navigate

Dos and Don'ts Icon

The Do's and Don'ts of How to Record Your Student Appointments in Navigate.

  Do briefly summarize what was discussed as it relates to student success for future reference by advisors, faculty, staff, and students.

  • Recommendations: recommend the student take MATH 105
  • Advice: cautioned against taking 18 credits this quarter
  • Referrals: referred to Career and Employment Services
  • Action plans: student plans to set up an appointment with CEO

  Don't summarize everything that was discussed. Notes are intended to be a brief record of advising contacts highlighting recommendations, referrals, and follow-up plans.

  • Include unnecessary details: she said she was having a good week and excited about moving into a new apartment
  • Include personal/sensitive information: student disclosed that she has been visiting the campus counselor
  • Include subjective opinions: I think this student struggles with depression

  Do summarize specific course recommendations.

  • Encouraged the student to take HUM 150 as Humanities class
  • Recommended the student take BIOL&241 Fall Quarter 2019

  Don't report problems with specific instructors.

  • Student doesn't like MATH 078 instructor
  • Student says HIST 101 instructor has unfair grading policies

  Do write fact-based academic-related notes.

  • Student is concerned about grades in two classes
  • Student is wondering whether her current major is a good fit
  • Student needs to complete PSYC&100 before taking any upper-level PSYC courses

  Don't include speculation, subjective opinions, or judgments.

  • I don't think she is very motivated this semester
  • His personality is not a good fit for STEM. He should do something more artistic or creative
  • She has probably been avoiding BIOL&242 because she struggled with BIOL&241

  Do use general or “coded” language concerning sensitive material.

  • 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

  Don't include sensitive information, personal concerns, private matters.

  • Student's parents are going through a divorce
  • She reported she was assaulted by her boyfriend earlier this year
  • Student was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder

  Do record referrals made and resources shared.

  • Shared information about Counseling Services
  • Discussed resources at Veterans' Center
  • Referred to the Financial Aid office
  • Referred to Tutoring

  Don't report details surrounding sensitive referrals.

  • He said he can't concentrate because of his relationship problems with his girlfriend
  • He says he's been having a lot of headaches lately, and I am concerned something more serious might be going on
  • Little financial support from his family; first generation student with significant debt likely to build up

  Do include notes about positive student behaviors.

  • Student came prepared for our session with a two year plan in place
  • She has spent significant time talking with two computer science professors to learn more about changing her program of study

  Don't include negative judgments about student behaviors.

  • She seems as if she is just blowing off advising appointments; can't get her to be serious
  • He seems pretty uninformed about the real world after college and hasn't followed through with his plans to talk with his computer science professor; needs to be more realistic


Adapted from Keuka College “Recording Notes Guide and Adopting a Campus-Wide Student Notes System,” and from RU-N4Success program at Rutgers University – Newark, shared courtesy of EAB.

Contact the Navigate Team

 For general questions or feedback about Navigate, please email the team at

  Angel Ruvalcaba/Placement & Intake Manager 

   (360) 442-2361

  Byron Ford/Director of Advising and Testing

   (360) 442-2354 

  Dani Trimble/Director of Workforce Programs

   (360) 442-2622 

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