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Voices of the Global Community


2004 February 27:1

Multicultural awareness is essential for academic advisors, for our cultural identity "is central to what we see, how we make sense of what we see, and how we express ourselves."

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Happy New Year and best wishes for a fulfilling and healthy 2004. As we begin a new year, it seems appropriate to provide the NACADA community with an update of current initiatives, and a review of the professional development opportunities available throughout the coming year.

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As a means to assess how well this association is meeting the needs of its members, we have initiated a series of three surveys seeking member feedback. The first survey, completed in November and early December 2003, was directed toward persons who had been members for one or more years, while the second survey in December 2003, was completed by new members (less than one year). A third survey, to be completed in late February, will go to individuals who have not renewed their membership.

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Native Americans have always valued education and learning, and many are accomplished science and mathematics practitioners (traditional healers, herbalists, astronomers, builders, etc). Even so, it is ironic that today approximately 50% of Native Americans will graduate from high school, and only 17% will attempt college (National Science Foundation, 2000; Pavel, Swisher, & Ward, 1994). There are many cultural and social reasons for these low rates including reservations located in remote areas, a lack of successful Native American role models, English as a second language, and the low socioeconomic status of many Native Americans (Cajete, 2000).

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In these economic times, meeting the needs of so many diverse student populations can be a challenge. However I believe there are steps a college or university can take to effectively, and efficiently, provide quality services.

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From it's debut online in June 2002 through February 2005, this publication was titled Academic Advising News: Communicating Critical Issues in the Field of Advising. Articles included in these archived editions will be presented in a compiled version as well as broken down into individual articles to facilitate search capacity.  News features from this period may be attained by contacting the Managing Editor.

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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.

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