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  1. Why BotherwithAcademic Advising? Dr. Wes Habley Graduation Rates Conference University of Texas System September 30, 2005

  2. Academic Advising... …has a powerful influence on student success …is critical to institutional effectiveness and student persistence

  3. TOPICS • Scope of the problem • What Works in Student Retention? • Why is there a link between advising and persistence? • Conditions necessary for advising to have an impact

  4. TOPICS • Scope of the problem • What Works in Student Retention? • Why is there a link between advising and persistence? • Conditions necessary for advising to have an impact

  5. Types of Attrition • Expected and Justified • realized a goal other than a degree/certificate • Stopping Out • not on our timeframe • Unnecessary and subject to institutional intervention

  6. Advising and Persistence • RETENTION: the process of holding or keeping in one’s possession • ATTRITION: the process or state of being gradually warn down • PERSISTENCE: to continue to exist or prevail

  7. 51.3 (’04) 53.1 ('83) 51.6 66.4 (‘05) 70.0 (‘04) 66.4 68.1 ('89) 70.1 (‘05) 70.1 73.3 (‘86) 78.1 ('04) 77.5 Retention Trends Freshman-Sophomore Lowest Highest Current % % % . Two-year public BA/BS public MA public Ph.D. public

  8. Completion Rates* Four-year Public Colleges Highest Lowest Current % % % . BA/BS public MA/MS public Ph.D. public *completion of bachelor’s degree in five years or less

  9. Degree Attainment and persistence (after 6 years) Descriptive Summary of 1995-96 Beginning Postsecondary Students:Six Years Later National Center for Educational Statistics, December, 2002

  10. Degree attainment and persistence(after 6 years) Descriptive Summary of 1995-96 Beginning Postsecondary Students:Six Years Later National Center for Educational Statistics, December, 2002

  11. TOPICS • Scope of the problem • What Works in Student Retention? • Why is there a link between advising and persistence? • Conditions necessary for advising to have an impact

  12. What Works in Student Retention (WWISR) • Survey sent to 2,995 colleges • Survey Sections • Institutional Characteristics (24 items) • Student Characteristics (20 items) • Campus Practices (84 items) • Returned by 1,061 colleges (35.4%) • 228 (42.5%%) four-year public colleges http://www.act.org/path/policy/reports/retain.html

  13. Retention/Degree Completion Goals 59.6% have established a goal for improved first to second year retention 45.6% have established a goal for improved degree completion

  14. Coordination of Retention Programs 48.7% have designated a person to coordinate retention activities 18.9% of those designated to coordinate are dean-level or higher 8.1% include retention in the coordinator’s title

  15. Student Characteristics Of 20 Student Characteristics 16 Cited as making a moderate or higher contribution to attrition

  16. Student Characteristics Greatest contribution to attrition • Inadequate financial resources • Lack of motivation to succeed • Inadequate preparation for college level work • Poor study skills • Too many job demands • Lack of educational aspirations and goals • Poor academic integration

  17. Institutional Characteristics Of 24 institutional characteristics • Only 5 are cited as making a moderate contribution or higher to student attrition • amount of financial aid available • academic advising • student-institution fit • student involvement in campus life • social environment

  18. John Gardner comments…. It is disturbing to note that in spite of all we know about student retention that institutions are still inclined to hold students responsible for their retention/attrition while dramatically minimizing the institutional role in student retention.

  19. Greatest Contribution to Retention Clusters of Programs/Services making the greatest contribution to retention fall into 3 categories Academic Advising First Year Transition Learning Support

  20. Greatest Contribution to Retention • Advising interventions with selected student populations (4.0) • Increased advising staff (4.0) • Academic advising center (3.9) • Supplemental instruction (3.9) • Comprehensive learning assistance center/lab (3.9) • Reading center/lab (3.9) • Honors student program (3.9) • Eight interventions tied at 3.8 including • Integration of Advising with First-Year Transition Programs • Centers that combine academic advising with career/life planning

  21. High Impact Programs/Services • Identify the three programs on your campus that you believe have the highest impact on student retention. • Freshman Seminar/University 101 for credit (20.2%) • Learning Communities (18.4%) • Advising Interventions for selected student populations (12.3%) • All remaining practices cited at fewer than 10% of the colleges (61 practices not cited by any respondents)

  22. Institutional Data Questionnaire (IDQ) • ACT’s Annual collection of data from all two-year and four-year degree-granting institutions • Includes information about admissions, academic programs, co-curricular activities, and other campus characteristics • Includes first-second year dropout and degree completion rates • Data set includes 2,523 colleges (2003)

  23. D e g r e e C o m p l e t i o n Bottom25% Middle50% Top25% HIGHPerforming Top25% ModeratePerforming R e t e n t i o n Middle50% LOW Performing Bottom25%

  24. Four-year Public Colleges Of the 228 four-year public colleges that returned the retention survey 34 were High Performers: • Top 25% in both retention and degree completion 26 were Low Performers: • Bottom 25% in both retention and degree completion

  25. High performing four-year public colleges were more likely to implement • Advising Interventions with Selected Student Populations • Increased Advising Staff • Academic Advising Center • Supplemental Instruction • Comprehensive Learning Assistance Center • Summer Bridge Program • Freshman Seminar

  26. WWISR Conclusion Institutions that are most successful in retaining their students make significant use of advising interventions to enhance retention and degree completion.

  27. TOPICS • Scope of the problem • What Works in Student Retention? • Why is there a link between advising and persistence? • Conditions necessary for advising to have an impact

  28. Themes of Attrition Academic Boredom Academic Underpreparedness Lack of Certainty inmajor/career choice Transition/adjustment Difficulty Dissonance/Incompatibility Irrelevancy

  29. Advising: Retention Definition “Providing assistance in the mediation of dissonance between student expectations and the actualities of the educational experience.”Habley, 1983

  30. To: Expect Experience Students Who Expect & Experience Specific Outcomes in College 20 % 65-85 16 60 40 28 60 27 20 25 Be undecided 7 % Change majors 12 Fail a course 1 Take extra time to complete a degree 8 Drop out 1 Transfer colleges 12 Work in college 36 Seek personal counseling 6 Need tutoring 15 Seek career guidance 5

  31. TOPICS • Scope of the problem • What Works in Student Retention? • Why is there a link between advising and persistence? • Conditions necessary for advising to have an impact

  32. The conditions... ACADEMIC ADVISING • must be broadly defined

  33. 1960’s Definition of Advising The task of advising is concentrated in the opening days of registration and enrollment and consists of aiding students in the selection of courses. Handbook of College and University Administration Asa Knowles, Editor

  34. Advising Defined . . . Academic advising assists students to realize the maximumeducationalbenefits available to them by helping them to better understand themselves and to learn to use the resources of the institutions to meet their special educational needs. David Crockett

  35. Advising Defined . . . Academic advising is a decision-makingprocess during which students reach their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchange with an academic advisor. Thomas J. Grites

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

  37. The conditions... ACADEMIC ADVISING • must be broadly defined • is a form of teaching

  38. Advising: a form of teaching Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realizations, a pausing, seamless process, where one rehearses constantly while acting, sits as a spectator at a play one directs, engages every part in order to keep the choices open and the shape alive for the student, so that the student may enter in, and begin to do what the teacher has done --- make choices. A. Bartlett Giamatti, A free and ordered space: the real world of the university

  39. Advisors teach students • to value the learning process • to apply decision-making strategies • to put the college experience into perspective • to set priorities and evaluate events • to develop thinking and learning skills • to make choices Core Values, NACADA

  40. The role of advising… Advising, rather than an extension of the educator’s role is integral to it. It is teaching which stretches beyond instruction. Robert Berdahl(past President, University of Texas Chancellor Emeritus, UC-Berkeley) New Directions for Teaching and Learning

  41. The conditions... ACADEMIC ADVISING • must be broadly defined • is a form of teaching • is closely related to career/life planning

  42. Underlying assumption... Traditional advising for course sequencing and selection is based on the assumption that a student has made a reasoned decision and is committed to a specific academic program.

  43. Underlying assumption... The role of the advisor is to ensure that a student ...efficiently processes through ...a predetermined sequence of courses ...to earn a particular academic credential ...in a specified period of time.

  44. Underlying assumption... IS FALSE! • students who are willing to admit they are undecided • students who change their minds from application to orientation • students who will change their minds (maybe more than once)

  45. O’Banion paradigm 1.Exploration of Life Goals 2. Exploration of Career/Educational Goals 3. Selection of an Educational Combination 4. Selection of Classes 5. Scheduling of Classes

  46. The conditions... ACADEMIC ADVISING • must be broadly defined • is a form of teaching • is closely related to career/life planning • is the hub of services for students

  47. Admissions Orientation Health Registration Counseling Etc., etc., etc. Financial Aid Housing Advising Student Support Services

  48. Academic Advising

  49. The role of advising… 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

  50. Registration Records Collaborative Efforts Testing Coordinated Processes Special Populations Admissions Academic Departments Orientation Undergrad. Colleges Academic Advising Career/Life Planning Learning Communities Learning Assistance Supplemental Instruction First Year Seminar Coordinated Delivery