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The History and Organization of Academic Advising. Maura Reynolds Hope College The Global Community for Academic Advising A BIG THANKS to Nancy King. The History and Organization of Advising. 1. What are they? 2. Why are they important ? 3. How can we get the most from them?.

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the history and organization of academic advising

The History and Organization of Academic Advising

Maura Reynolds

Hope College

The Global Community

for Academic Advising

A BIG THANKS to Nancy King

the history and organization of advising
The History and Organization of Advising

1. What are they?

2. Why are they important?

3. How can we get the most from them?

perspective on advising
Perspective on Advising

“Good advising may be

the single most underestimated

characteristic of a successful

college experience.”

Richard Light, Making the Most of College, 2001

potential of advising
Potential of Advising

“Academic advising is the

only structured activity on

the campus in which all students

have the opportunity for an

on-going, one-on-one interaction

with a concerned representative

of the institution.”

Wes Habley

the year was 1636
The Year Was 1636

An early brochure of Harvard College justified its existence: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches.“

Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination.

Teachers and students lived in the same buildings, under the same disciplines—goal was to produce well-educated ministers, lawyers, and doctors for an emerging society

the year was 1953
The Year Was 1953

“Advising is a process with a long and dignified history in colleges and universities . . . involving, as often does, tedious clerical work combined with hit and run conferences with students on curricula. It is a most cordially hated activity by the majority of college teachers.”

M S. Maclean, Personnel and Guidance Journal

and in 1960
And in 1960 . . .

“The task of advising is concentrated in the opening days of registration and enrollment and consists of aiding students in the selection of courses.”

Asa Knowles, Handbook of College and University Administrators


1960sWhile faculty advising was still the primary delivery system for academic advising, two new delivery systems were introduced:centralized advising centers peer & professional advising.


Advising is “concerned with not only the specific personal or vocational decision but with facilitating the student’s rational processes, environmental and interpersonal interactions, behavioral awareness, and problem-solving, decision-making and evaluation skills.”

Burns Crookston


In 1972, Terry O’Banion outlined five dimensions of academic advising:●Exploration of life goals ● Exploration of vocational goals ● Exploration of program choices ● Exploration of course choices ● Exploration of scheduling options

In 1977, over 300 people attended a national meetingon academic advising.Over the next two years,NACADA was established.
a 1984 definition
A 1984 definition

“A systematic process based on a close student-advisor relationship intended to aid students in achieving educational, career, and personal goals through the use of the full range of institutional and community resources.”

Winston, Miller, Ender, and Grites

in the 1970s and 80s developmental advising
In the 1970s and 80s, developmental advising:
  • Became a dominant advising paradigm
  • Extended advising beyond scheduling
  • Drew on student development theory
  • Emphasized individual student growth
  • Emphasized shared responsibility
In 1988,

“Perhaps the most urgent reform on most campuses in improving general education involves academic advising.

To have programs and courses become coherent and significant to students requires adequate advising.”

Task Force on General Education

Association of American Colleges

a new approach a new focus
A new approach ~A new focus

“An excellent advisor does the same for the student’s entire curriculum that the excellent teacher does for one course.”

Marc Lowenstein, 2005

nacada concept of academic advising preamble 2006
NACADA Concept of Academic Advising Preamble (2006)

“Academic advising is integral to fulfilling the teaching and learning mission of higher education.


Through academic advising, students learn

  • to become members of their higher education community,
  • to think critically about their roles and responsibilities as students, and
  • to prepare to be educated citizens of a democratic society and a global community.

Academic advising engages students beyond their own world views, while acknowledging their individual characteristics, values, and motivations as they enter, move through, and exit the institution.”


Focus on the advisee as learner

What is it we want our students to demonstrate they

  • Know
  • Are able to do
  • Value and appreciate

as a result of academic advising?

advising as teaching learning
Advising as Teaching & Learning

Through advising, we want students. . .

  • To value the learning process
  • To learn and use decision-making strategies
  • To put the college experience into perspective
  • To set and evaluate priorities
  • To develop thinking and learning skills

NACADA Core Values

Academic Advising (like the academic curriculum) should promote student learning and development by encouraging experiences that lead to:
  • Intellectual growth
  • The ability to communicate effectively
  • Leadership development
  • The ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Appropriate career choices

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

college is more than a collection of courses or a ticket to a trade
“College is more than a collection of courses or a ticket to a trade.”
  • Exploring educational and career goals
  • Exploring life goals
  • Selecting an academic direction
  • Selecting classes
  • Developing skills
  • Taking full advantage of opportunities
  • Scheduling of classes
students are not customers
Students are NOT customers

Students, unlike customers,

are not always right. The

role of the teacher/advisor

is to identify the “gaps”

to create “cognitive


“I told you I needed

an “A” on my history exam.”

at the heart of advising is the art of conversation
At the heart of advising isthe art of conversation


“The art of conversation is

the ability to

create a dialogue

that others will



knowing the language is essential to conversation
Knowing the language is essential to conversation

“You cannot enter any world for which you do not have the language.”


three types of conversations advisors have with students
Three Types of Conversations Advisors Have with Students
  • Conversations that are informational:
      • University policies and procedures
      • Requirements
      • Important dates and deadlines
      • Programs of study

Too often advising conversations stop here and do not progress to the next two types.


Conversations about the individual student

Core values

 Aptitudes/interests

 Strengths

 Areas for improvement (study skills, time management, oral competency)

 Level of involvement in the life of the institution


Conversations about the future

      • What do I want my future to be?

(career and personal life)

      • What steps do I need to make this future a reality?
      • How am I changing as a result of my education?
when you ask around
When you ask around. . . .

What does good advising involve?

A meaningful relationship,

a connection with

an advisor (and with

the faculty)

it also means
It also means. . . .

Making connections between advising and students’ personal lives

“At key points in their college years, an academic advisor asked questions, or posed a challenge that forced students to think about the relationship of their academic work and to their personal lives.”

Richard Light, 2001

it s more than scheduling
It’s More than Scheduling

Advising conversations that extend beyond course selection, scheduling, and registration into “Bigger Ideas” are those that students find most helpful and that contribute to student persistence.


“Advising is viewed as a way to connect students to the campus and help them feel that someone is looking out for them.”

George Kuh

Student Success in College

advisors ask the what why and how questions
Advisors Ask the What, Why, and How Questions
  • Why are you at this college/university?
  • What are your goals for your education?
  • Why do you want to major in English, in Accounting, in Political Science?
  • How can you make the most of your time in college?
  • What skills are you developing? What skills do you need to develop, and how will you do this?
why students leave
Why Students Leave
  • Academic boredom
  • Personal reasons
  • Academic under-


  • Uncertainty about major/career
  • Transition/adjustment difficulties
  • Failure to connect with the institution
advising and retention
Advising and Retention

“Effective retention programs have come to understand that academic advising is at the very core of successful institutional efforts to educate and retain students.”

Vincent Tinto

Leaving College: Rethinking the

Causes and Cures of Student Attrition

retention is related to
Retention Is Related to
  • Excellent classroom instruction and student interaction with faculty
  • Caring attitude of faculty and staff

Students don’t care how much you know

until they know how much you care.

retention is also related to
Retention is also related to…
  • The level and quality of student interaction with their peers through, e.g., learning communities, extracurricular activities, collaborations between academic affairs and student affairs
  • Early intervention
  • Assistance with external pressures, both personal and financial

Factors that promote retention (continued)

  • Students bonding with an institution
  • Faculty and professional advisors having an understanding of the principles of human learning and development
  • Advisors assisting students in developing realistic expectations.
advising that contributes to student success and retention
Advising that contributes to student success and retention. . .
  • Is a student-centered process focused on teaching and learning
  • Facilitates behavioral awareness and problem-solving, decision-making and evaluation skills
  • Encourages both short- and long-term goal setting
  • Makes students feel they matter
  • Stresses a shared responsibility with students making decisions for themselves
graduation rate outcomes study
Graduation Rate Outcomes Study
  • No one “magic bullet” guarantees success in retention, persistence, and graduation rates.
  • Success, instead, means carefully reading the campus culture, aligning people and programs and making a collective commitment to be in it for the long haul.

AASCU, Student Success in State Colleges and Universities


“Advising should be at the core of the institution’s educational mission rather than layered on as a service.”

Robert Berdahl, New Directions for Teaching and Learning

how is advising organized
How is advising organized?

There is no one best model. All are potentially effective for the delivery of advising services…

C. F. Pardee

and the survey says
And the survey says…
  • A "faculty only" model is more common at 4 year baccalaureate colleges (35%); and 4 year colleges/universities who do not grant PhDs (20%)
  • "Centralized units" staffed mostly by professional advisors or counselors are more common at PhD-granting universities (40%); and at 2 year colleges (33%)
For all responding institutions, some sort of a "shared model" was the most common structure indicated—53%
    • some students (undecided or transfer or probation or undeclared or ??) advised in a center with faculty advising declared majors--true for half of the respondents who indicated a shared model
    • a variety of other shared models, with professional advisors (in a center, a department, or a college) dividing responsibilities (in differing ways) with faculty advisors
What else did we learn about the organization of advising?
  • 10% of the respondents use peer advisors in some way
  • At 86% of the responding colleges, at least some faculty advise in some way
  • Several struggled to describe their structures—13% wrote in more information to try to describe; 14% indicated 2 or more models used
four questions to consider about modeling and remodeling
Four Questions to considerabout modeling and remodeling
  • Who is advised?
  • Who advises?
  • Where is advising done?
  • How are advising responsibilities divided?
the organization
The Organization
  • Create a shared vision of student success that is embedded in the institution’s mission and culture
  • Set high standards for students inside and outside the classroom and balance challenge with support
  • Provide complementary policies, practices, and resources to support students academically and socially

Academic advisors should play

strategic roles in these important initiatives

the collaboration
The Collaboration

Advising requires coordination and collaboration among units across campus that provide student support/services.

“Every time you see a turtle on a fencepost,

you know it didn’t get there by itself.” Alex Haley

active outreach to students
Active Outreach to Students

Advisors should be. . . .

  • Available and accessible
  • Proactive
  • Caring and concerned

“Intrusive” or proactive advising is based on the philosophy that we should not wait for students to get into trouble before reaching out to them.”

Robert Glennon

what do students want from an advisor
What do students want from an advisor?

Accurate information “Do they know?”

Accessibility “Are they there?”

Caring attitude “Do they care?”


Why academic advising is more important than ever

  • Rising costs of higher education
  • The current state of our economy
  • Changing expectations of students and families
  • Increasing pressure from states for students to graduate in four years
conclusions or we ve come a long way baby
Conclusions; or,We’ve come a long way, baby
  • View of advising has dramatically evolved and broadened over time
  • Advising is now focused on teaching and learning
  • Advising assists students with career/life planning and deals with “big” issues
  • Although not a magic bullet, advising is clearly related to student persistence

Advising is the hub of the student services wheel

  • Advising cannot be done in isolation—it is a tag-team activity
  • Good advising involves active outreach to students
  • Advising is important to institutions in demonstrating accountability
this week at the summer institute
This Week at the Summer Institute
  • Advising as teaching and learning
  • Retention issues in student persistence
  • Research in advising
  • The administration of advising
  • Applying student development theories to advising
  • Selection and training/professional development of professional and faculty advisors
  • Development of advising materials
  • Assessment of effectiveness (advisors and programs)
  • Legal and ethical issues of advising
  • Advising various student populations
parting thought one
Parting Thought One

Academic Advising is “perhaps the only structured campus endeavor that can guarantee interaction with a caring and concerned adult who can help them shape a meaningful learning experience for themselves.” Hunter and White

parting thought two
Parting Thought Two

With the right approach

come the right results.

The Mental Game of Baseball