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Paula, Randy or Simon . . . What Advising Style Takes Your Students to the Top?. Kellie Klinck Donna Malaski Tricia Westergaard Paul Battle Oakland University. Session # 162 Thursday, October 2 nd 10:15-11:15. Session Objectives.

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paula randy or simon what advising style takes your students to the top

Paula, Randy or Simon . . . What Advising Style Takes Your Students to the Top?

Kellie Klinck

Donna Malaski

Tricia WestergaardPaul Battle

Oakland University

Session # 162 Thursday, October 2nd 10:15-11:15

session objectives
Session Objectives

What does it mean to have a “Paula”, “Randy”, or “Simon” advising style?

Is one style better than another?

When and where do these styles of advising fit?

How does this relate to your office and role on campus?



linking advising to american idol
Linking Advising to American Idol
  • Our role on campus is to assist students in fulfilling their dreams.
  • We can be their cheerleader and also their reality check.
  • We provide feedback or advice, as do Paula, Randy and Simon…
    • the “final vote” is out of our hands.
styles what do we mean
Styles…What Do We Mean?

To relate this to American Idol, lets see how it might look to use a “Paula”, “Randy”, or “Simon” style of advising.

  • There are two parts to every message:
    • Content
    • Delivery
  • The way we deliver a message leaves a long-lasting impression.
  • What would Paula be like as an Adviser?
  • Cheerleader; #1 Fan!
  • Feels an Emotional Connection to Students
  • Extremely Optimistic
  • When are you likely to see a “Paula” style of Advising?
  • Admissions Events
  • First Year Student Orientation
  • Prospective Meetings
  • Scholars

“Reach for the stars; you might just become one.”


When are you likely to see a “Randy” style of Advising?

• Probation Meetings

• Transfer Student Orientation

• Major Standing Meetings

• Academic Misconduct Hearings

“It was pitchy in the beginning, but you brought it home in the end.”

What would Randy be like as an Adviser?

• The teacher

• Empower students to take responsibility

• Optimistic but realistic


What would Simon be like as an Adviser?

• The Critic

• Tells it like (he thinks) it is

• Opinionated

  • Draws on his years of experience/expertise

When are you likely to see a “Simon” style of Advising?

• Discussing a denied petition of exception

• Not making satisfactory progress towards degree

• Reality check

• Dealing with a difficult student

“Did you really believe you could become the American Idol? Well, then you’re deaf . . . “

the good and the bad
The good and the bad
  • Paula


    • Students feel supported
    • Provides encouragement


    • Paints an inaccurate picture
    • Alleviates student ownership of success
  • Simon


    • Students know where they stand
    • No interpretation needed!


    • May have preconceived notions
    • Focused heavily on logic; no consideration of feelings
what about randy
What about Randy?



  • Teaches as he comments
  • Considers both logic and feelings
  • Understands the big picture


  • May leave students confused or needing more direction.
knowing yourself
Knowing Yourself
  • What is your style? What is your role on campus?
    • Congruence in role of an adviser & “natural” style of advising prevents internal dissonance.
  • Self-awareness and thoughtfulness in advising are key to obtaining congruence.
you be the judge
You be the judge!

“I’m going to Hollywood!”

checking yourself
Checking yourself
  • Notallstudentsarethesame, even if the story sounds similar
    • “Not Proud Mary Again!”
  • Avoidpitfallof assumptions based off previousinteraction
    • “Hey, didn’t we see you last season!”
getting to know the student
Getting to know the student
  • Major selection
    • Song selection
  • Parental influences
    • “But my mom thinks I can sing”
  • Acknowledging work involved
    • You have to do more than karaoke
  • False sense of greatness
    • “I sound good in the shower”
  • Assessing Collegiate Readiness and Setting Realistic Future Goals while Living in the Here & Now
    • Practice, practice, practice…maybe next year?
when judges are not in sync
When Judges are NOT in-sync!
  • Office Conformity
    • We are not all cut from the same mold.
    • Differences are good because…
    • Differences can cause issues when…
    • Constant communication and team-building can help avoid conflicting messages.
the final vote
The Final Vote

Advising entails message delivery, which can range depending on many factors.

Self-awareness is important, as it prevents acting on assumptions.

Delivery differences can make an office dynamic; however, the content should be similar.

one way or another we ll get you to hollywood
One way or another…we’ll get you to Hollywood!

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