DESIGNING EFFECTIVE FACULTY ADVISOR TRAINING: A Web-Based Model

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1998 Title III Grant to Metro State College . $1.68 million five year institution-strengthening grantActivity One: Student RetentionActivity Two: Faculty DevelopmentActivity Three: Technology Initiatives. Advising initiatives were included as part of Activities One

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DESIGNING EFFECTIVE FACULTY ADVISOR TRAINING: A Web-Based Model

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1. DESIGNING EFFECTIVE FACULTY ADVISOR TRAINING: A Web-Based Model Dr. Lisa Ransdell, University of Denver Dr. Karen Krupar, Metropolitan State College of Denver National Academic Advising Association Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada October 6, 2005

2. 1998 Title III Grant to Metro State College $1.68 million five year institution-strengthening grant Activity One: Student Retention Activity Two: Faculty Development Activity Three: Technology Initiatives

3. Advising initiatives were included as part of Activities One & Two Adjunct Faculty Advising Fellows Online Advising workshop Peer-led Advising Training Workshops Undeclared Advising Project Assessment of Advising Fall Faculty Conference on Advising Online Faculty Advisor training

4. Online Faculty Advisor Training Module: Outline I. Organization of Advising at MSCD II. Evaluation of Advising III. Metro State Advising Mission Statement IV. Advising as a Relationship V. Faculty Advisor Skill Assessment Checklist Legal Aspects of Advising

5. MSCD Characteristics Influencing Structure and Delivery of Advising Large, public, urban college: 21,000 students Non-residential institution Modified open admissions policy = high % of students with academic skill deficiencies Total Intake Advising Model (all students processed through Advising Center, referred to academic unit at designated time) Large # adjunct faculty = increased advising load for others

6. Advising Units (MSCD Total Intake) Academic Advising Center 9 FT staff members Student Peer Advisors Faculty Advising Fellows during peak times 24,000 student sessions per year Academic Departments advise majors, minors Education students have major & program advisors Other Advising Units: Student Success (Trio Program) Student Intervention (Probation/Provisional Admit) Teacher Education Center

7. Advising Functions: Central vs. Departmental Initial processing of new students Help w/course selection, scheduling & registration Focus on general requirements, starting major coursework Major program advising Long-term degree planning Focus on course sequencing, progress in major

8. Advising Functions: Central vs. Departmental Assistance with major-minor selection CAPP (degree audit) report production, basic interpretation Referrals Career advising for major, grad/professional school, recommendations, etc CAPP (degree audit) report interpretation, adjustments/exceptions Referrals

9. Evaluation of Advising All advising entities at the college evaluate advising in some fashion on a regular basis: Advising Center: eight item evaluation survey distributed to all advisees (Likert scale responses) Faculty evaluation and contract renewal procedure requires evaluation of advising; faculty can weight advising from 10-20% of overall ranking. Format determined by department. Periodic system-wide evaluations utilizing focus groups, consultants, etc. Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey administered in 1998, 2000, 2002. Reports available in the office of the VP Student Services.

10. MSCD Advising Mission Statement: Adopted 1997 The mission of student academic advising at MSCD, whether provided by faculty or professional advisors, is to provide accurate information and informed guidance in the most efficient, accessible and comprehensive manner possible to assist students in reaching their educational goals. Given that advising is a form of teaching which facilitates the development of self-awareness and life-planning skills on the part of advisees, this fits with the larger institutional mission of promoting excellence in teaching and learning. Academic advising also serves the institutional mission of preparing students for the future by helping them identify and achieve meaningful educational outcomes that are compatible with their life goals.

11. Advising as a Relationship - 1 A key theory that guides advising is developmental advising, which emphasizes a student-centered relationship involving students, faculty and other college professionals. The goal of this relationship is to foster student independence and self-direction so students can achieve their educational, career and personal aspirations. The developmental model eschews the prescriptive, mechanistic approaches, in favor of ones that are holistic, mutual and supportive.

12. Advising as a Relationship - 2 Surveys have shown that students expect their advisors to be accessible, knowledgeable and interested and invested in both student success and their overall well-being. Survey results also indicate the need for advisors to strive toward open and ongoing dialogue with students in a role that seeks to integrate the acquisition of skills with broader concerns about students’ personal, professional and intellectual growth. While advisors generally initiate this relationship, bilateral negotiation on the basis of trust and mutual respect is encouraged

13. Advising as a Relationship - 3 A student may present an advisor with an issue faced outside the academic sphere. The effective advisor listens carefully to assess the impact of the problem on academic progress. Advisors should be familiar with the full range of college and community resources to make sensitive, appropriate referrals. We are neither therapists nor social workers. An open and empathetic discussion, however, communicates to the student a genuine concern that transcends the formalities of seeking advice for what course to take, what form to sign or how to interpret a CAPP report

14. Advising as a Relationship - 4 Student retention is a key goal for advisors, but it must be predicated on a high regard for students as individuals, not just FTEs. By creating a comfortable and friendly environment, we enable students to reflect on their academic careers, complete tasks at their own pace, ask questions without fear of being judged, and implement appropriate strategies. These effective learning opportunities increase the likelihood of academic success.

15. Faculty Advisor Checklist -1 Use this checklist to assess your areas of advising competency, and areas where you should seek additional information or training in order to function as a skilled and effective advisor at Metro State. Each item identifies a good source of information if you are uncertain of your response.

16. Checklist - 2 1) I am aware of requirements for graduation at MSCD, including major, minor, upper division, and residency rules. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the MSCD Course Catalog. 2) I am aware of whether student majors in my department are required to complete a minor and/or prescribed general studies courses. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the MSCD Course Catalog.

17. Checklist - 3 3) I am familiar with pooled and inter-institutional registration options on the Auraria campus. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the MSCD Course Catalog. 4) I am familiar with the terms and conditions of the FERPA Act governing the privacy of student records. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the Course Catalog or the Registrar’s website.

18. Checklist - 4 5) I am familiar with MSCD’s Last Grade Stands Policy. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the MSCD Course Catalog. 6) I possess information on student academic standing and policies governing good standing, warning, probation and suspension. ____Yes ___No For help, consult the MSCD Course Catalog.

19. Checklist - 5 7) I feel confident that I could help a student develop a workable 4-year degree plan for a program in my department. ____Yes ____No For help, consult with department members or review departmental advising guidelines. 8) I could help a student experiencing academic difficulty recalculate their GPA based on future projected performance. ____Yes ____No For help, consult footnote # 1 at the end of the slideshow.

20. Checklist - 6 9) I am a comfortable user of Banner and the Metroconnect Portal. ____Yes ____No For help, register for a training class through the IT website. 10) I can interpret a CAPP Report for a student major in my department and submit adjustments if necessary. ____Yes ____No For help, consult with your department Chairperson or Dean’s Office.

21. Checklist - 7 11) I know what it means to approach advising from a “developmental” perspective. ____Yes ____No For help, read “Advising as a Relationship” in the slideshow, or review information on the NACADA website: www.nacada.ksu.edu 12) I am aware of the various sources of help and support available to students on campus. ____Yes ____No For help, consult the MSCD Student Handbook.

22. Checklist - 8 13) I am familiar with research findings on what students want and expect from advising at MSCD. ____Yes ____No Answer: Internal focus groups and external evaluators have identified three recurring themes from interviews and surveys: accessibility of advising, accurate information, and a caring attitude.

23. Checklist - 9 14) I am familiar with the advising structure of Metro State College and the unique roles and responsibilities of faculty vs. staff advisors. ____Yes ____No For help, review the section on Central vs. Departmental Advising in the slide show. 15) I have been given a copy of my department’s advising plan, which outlines the departmental advising structure, info on advisor assignments and load, record-keeping practices, etc. ____Yes ____No For help, ask your department chairperson or your academic Dean.

24. Checklist - 10 16) I am aware of evaluation procedures for faculty advisors in my department/school. ____Yes ____No For help, ask your department chairperson, academic Dean or Office of the VP for Academic Affairs.

25. Legal Aspects of Advising Academic advising is not commonly thought to be a high-risk activity when viewed from a legal perspective. Additionally, advisors are typically indemnified by their institutions for actions taken in good faith within the commonly understood boundaries of the role of advisor. However, advisors are encouraged in particular to attend to issues of ethics and equal access in their professional capacity, and to become thoroughly knowledgeable about legal statutes bearing on the enterprise of academic advising.

26. Legal Aspects of Advising - 2 Metro State advisors in particular should review policies pertaining to amorous relationships/sexual harassment, the rights of disabled students, and FERPA, The Higher Education Privacy Act. Online training is available on prevention of sexual harassment and disability awareness on the Metro State EEO website; detailed information on FERPA is available on the Metro State Registrar’s website.

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