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?
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 “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
We begin in medieval times when a preceptor imparted his knowledge to students
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
On to the1880s,when a system of faculty advisors was set up at Johns Hopkins.
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 . . . “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.
1972 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 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: • 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 “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) “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 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.” • 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, unlike customers, are not always right. The role of the teacher/advisor is to identify the “gaps” to create “cognitive dissonance.” “I told you I needed an “A” on my history exam.”
At the heart of advising isthe art of conversation Definition: “The art of conversation is the ability to create a dialogue that others will willingly join.”
Knowing the language is essential to conversation “You cannot enter any world for which you do not have the language.” Wittgenstein
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. . . . What does good advising involve? A meaningful relationship, a connection with an advisor (and with the faculty)
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 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 • 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 • Academic boredom • Personal reasons • Academic under- preparedness • Uncertainty about major/career • Transition/adjustment difficulties • Failure to connect with the institution
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 • 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… • 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. . . • 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 • 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? There is no one best model. All are potentially effective for the delivery of advising services… C. F. Pardee
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%)