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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for September 2005

Ultimately, assessment is about understanding and improving. In this regard, the assessment process provides a systematic way through which information about student learning and program effectiveness can be obtained. Done in the collective and continuous way intended, the assessment process provides a systemic way to use that information to support improvements in student learning and the advising process. In the end, assessment is systematic, systemic, and relational; there are steps to the process; the process is intentional in the gathering of evidence to support improvement in learning and process; and all of the steps within the process are inextricably intertwined.

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I find myself at this time more than halfway through my year long presidency. You have already elected a new president (Jo Anne Huber from the University of Texas-Austin) to take office in October at the end of our National Conference in Las Vegas, and the editor of Academic Advising Today tells me that this is my last column as president. The natural tendency might be to do some sort of reflection on the past year, but I think I will reserve that for another forum. Suffice it to say that NACADA continues to grow in numbers (we have now exceeded 8200 members), and we are looking forward to a capacity crowd in Las Vegas.

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Welcome to a new academic year that promises many new experiences, challenges, and opportunities for academic advisors! These same expectations apply to NACADA, as we work to develop and deliver new methods for helping you address the academic advising needs of your students to enhance their success. There are always new initiatives underway at NACADA!

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At a large gathering of advisors from multi-versities during the 1990 Anaheim annual conference, several raised the question: do we have a Code of Ethics to guide us? No one knew of one. Some asked, shouldn't we have one? From that initial discussion, a small group began to consider ways that the larger NACADA membership might begin to address the question.

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When I think about the challenges to academic advisors today and read the NACADA Statement of Core Values, I am reminded of the ‘simple things’ calendar in this way: the six core values are simple to believe, uphold, and value. They are easy to articulate to others and to apply when actively advising. They are responsibilities to reflect and act on, and in the quiet moments, they can hopefully inspire us to be bigger than our job requires. The message is in there; sometimes it takes time to find it and use it well. So, how do we do this?

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As America ’s ethnic and racial demographics continue to shift, not only on college campuses but throughout the nation, it is essential that administrators and practitioners prepare to effectively deliver cross-cultural services. Professionals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds need to gain multicultural awareness and multicultural competency.... The preparation we receive should require a highly collaborative and interactive self-awareness and include a racial consciousness component that allows us to gain an awareness of our their beliefs and attitudes as they pertain to multiculturalism. This exploration provides an opportunity to to check biases and stereotypes that can affect our delivery of adequate cross-cultural service. Becoming aware of our values and biases is a move toward positive orientation of multiculturalism (Sue, et. al, p. 633)..

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Great law school applications don’t start with a high LSAT score. They come from years of engagement with academics, the community, and an understanding of what the study and the profession of law is really about. Get your freshmen started right by incorporating this eight point “academic advising curriculum” into your work with first-year pre-law students.

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From a loose affiliation of advising and student affairs professionals to a dynamic professional organization – how did the Kent Academic Support and Advising Association (KASADA) get there? In 1989, about 30 professional advisors got together at Kent State University to talk about forming a university-wide organization for those of us who work directly with students. We sought to establish a network that would help facilitate information sharing and provide a mechanism for diminishing the bureaucracy faced by students. There was also a need to provide professional development opportunities and establish a visible presence on campus.

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In October of 2003, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) introduced The Affordability in Higher Education Act, H.R.3311, a proposed amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965. H.R.3311 featured language that alarmed many of us in postsecondary education who routinely deal with transfer of credit issues. In an attempt at alleviating the rising cost of higher education, McKeon’s bill proposed a College Affordability Index, which would supposedly indicate the general affordability of institutions based on a number of factors, including their rate of acceptance of transfer credit....

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I profess that the most important job duty of an advising administrator is to hire the right people, because no other function done improperly or poorly will so quickly damage the advising operation and the mission of providing quality advising services to students. Over the twenty plus years that I have been an administrator/manager, both in higher education and private industry, I have observed that the art of hiring the right people is constantly cussed and discussed. One must continually hone hiring skills, especially in light of the ever-changing workforce landscape.

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From June 2005 through December 2011, this publication was titled Academic Advising Today: Lighting Student Pathways. 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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