Blackboard Advisor Project

The Provost's Office and the Center for Excellence in eLearning are jointly conducting this collaborative project with a goal to promote student success and retention through early intervention. The path to achieving this goal is through Blackboard and a unique role within the Blackboard platform called "Advisor."

Blackboard's Advisor role allows an appropriate UC employee to have read-only access to observed students within Blackboard courses. For purposes of this particular project, Academic Counselors within the Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS) office will have been identified as plausible Advisors.

How to Participate

By default, the Advisor role within your course is “disabled”–€“we need your permission to enable this feature to allow Advisors to have access. We encourage you to opt-in to this pilot project with the goal of fostering student academic achievement. To participate in the pilot, please complete the registration form by 11:59 PM on Friday, May 18.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please complete the registration form before 11:59 PM on Friday, May 18.

Advisor Access will be re-enabled for participating course up until the registration deadline.

Missed the deadline? You can still participate in the Blackboard Advisor Project by completing the registration form and following the instructions below to enable Advisor Access manually.

Advisor Access is disabled by default, but will be re-enabled for participating courses whose instructors have opted into the project. Instructors may enable or disable Advisor Access at any time:

  1. Expand the Customization section of the Control Panel and click the Guest and Advisor Access link.
  2. Under the heading, Allow Advisor Access, select either the Yes or No radio button and then select the Submit button to save your changes.

Advisor Access is disabled by default; if you haven'€™t completed the registration form or have decided to opt out of this project, no additional action is required.

Advisors can:

  • Read the Course Overview, Announcements and the syllabus
  • See the course calendar, due dates, and assigned tasks.
  • Optionally, receive carbon copies of messages sent to students from the Grade Center or the Retention Center

Advisors cannot:

  • Access the Grade Center, see the grades of other students or send email messages from the course
  • Access Content Areas, learning modules, documents or tools that are unavailable to students
  • Connect to publisher tools like Turning Point, McGraw-Hill Connect, Wiley Plus, Web Assign, or Echo360's Active Learning Platform
  • Read, Create, or Edit content posted on discussion boards, blogs, wikis or journal
  • View rubrics, exam questions or answers, or access a proctoring service like Examity
  • Complete work on behalf of a student

Advisors can see most Content Areas, but instructors can selectively choose which Content Areas and course tools are accessible to Advisors.

  1. Expand the Customization section of the Control Panel and click the Guest and Tool Availability link.
  2. Under the column, Visible to Advisors, enable or disable access by selecting the checkbox beside each tool. Tools with the no symbol are not configurable.
  3. Click the Submit button to save your changes


Content Areas like Learning Modules or Course Documents are inaccessible to Advisors by default. To enable Advisor access:

  1. Hover the cursor over a Course Menu item and click the silver arrow menu button.
  2. Select Permit Advisors from the context menu.


Note: Some Course Tools, such as Discussion Boards, Blogs, and Journals, cannot be made available to Advisors.

Student athletes have signed a waiver to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) granting their Academic Counselors permission to observe the students within their courses. Any information collected during this project will be exclusively available to the student, their counselor, and their coaches.

While this project provides Academic Counselors with another tool to promote student success, SASS will continue using AthleteHall - the secure, university approved network - to log and track student progress and ensure compliance with NCAA regulations and university policies.

  1. Expand the Users & Groups section of the Control Panel and click the Users link.
  2. Under the Advisors column, you will see the username of an Academic Counselor beside each observed student. Advisor usernames are prepended with advisor_.


Note: Advisors will appear beside the names of observed students even if you have disabled access. These Advisors cannot access your course.

Not necessarily. You may only be contacted by a SASS Academic Counselor if a student requires intervention.

The Retention Center allows you to track all of your students easily and quickly see who may need remediation. See the article Blackboard Retention Center Guide for more information on how the Retention Center can be used to discern which students may be falling behind and how to contact them and their Advisor.

Advisors will appear beside the names of observed students even if you have disabled access. These Advisors cannot access your course.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dave Rathbun by email at or by telephone at 513-556-9163.