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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2008

Nurtured Advising can benefit students at many colleges and universities, but it is essential at HBCUs. Although originally established to educate descendants of African slaves, historically black institutions have become a gateway of opportunity for black students to compete in today’s society. When the relationship between the student and the advisor is such that the student knows that the advisor cares for him as an individual, the student feels he has support.

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The NACADA Board of Directors is focused on implementing the five strategic goals for our organization. As those of you who have participated in the strategic planning process at your institution know, creating a strategic plan is not always an exciting assignment, but it is even more difficult to implement the strategic plan. We all know that many strategic plans just gather dust on our bookshelves. However, the Board is dedicated to breathing life into the Strategic Plan by partnering with the entire NACADA member leadership team and the Executive Office.

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As our NACADA continues to grow, it is essential that each of us takes a personal responsibility for our Association’s focus on diversity in our membership and in our leadership, as outlined in our Board of Directors’ strategic goals for the Association. The Diversity Committee has implemented an exciting Emerging Leader Program that has identified the first class of nine future Leaders from underrepresented populations who are being mentored by nine NACADA Association leaders. The next class of Emerging Leaders and Mentors will be selected in May; I encourage you to both apply to be a Leader or Mentor and to nominate other members for Leader or Mentor positions. Our Association’s membership and leadership can grow in diversity only if each of us makes it our personal goal to become involved!

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In the United Kingdom, we lack a national organization devoted to those interested in Personal Tutoring and the field remains fragmented, although there is a core group of active researchers and practitioners in the area. I think we have much to learn from you, and I hope that we also have something of value to share.

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Today’s parents are often characterized as obstacles in the development of student independence and autonomy. However, results from the recent National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) show that students whose parents intervened on their behalf experienced “greater gains on a host of desired college outcomes, and greater satisfaction with the college experience” (NSSE, 2007, p. 25). Despite this information, college personnel often struggle with parental involvement in their students’ academic affairs; many personnel believe that the path to development of student self-sufficiency and decision-making is blocked by well-meaning, hovering parents. Instead of viewing parental involvement as obtrusive and intrusive, personnel on college campuses should embrace the potential for building a partnership with parents. Academic advisors, in particular, are in the unique position to partner with parents in a relationship that will benefit those with a vested interest in students’ success: parents, students, and advisors.

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The majority of universities in the United States depend upon faculty members to serve as advisors....The number of methods for integrating advising into more traditional responsibilities is limited only by the imagination of faculty members and the willingness of a department and/or university to accept these activities. Faculty members who find creative methods of advising while doing teaching, scholarship, or service activities will find it considerably easier to “do it all.”

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When instructors and students contact academic advisors about a learning progress concern, advisors might be faced with the difficult task of helping students suspected of having a learning disability. The problem of identifying a disability becomes more complex if students speak English as their second language (ESL).

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Weaver (2002) noted that “almost a third of America's teachers leave the profession sometime during their first three years of teaching, and almost half leave after five years.” A plethora of information is available regarding what can be done to promote retention after the new teacher is employed. To increase the probability of remaining in the teaching field, can this teacher dropout problem be addressed at the college level? What issues are involved? What can advisors of education majors do to help address this problem?

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In the work environment where advisors function, Dr. Nos are people, places or things that prevent advisors from flourishing and growing. In our advising world at Wichita State University, Dr. No was a new computer system. We were asked to adjust to using the new system despite initial kinks and larger, systemic issues. We had a choice. We could either become negative influences who spread gloom throughout our work world, or we could become positive Change Agents who encouraged advisors to share better ways for managing this change. Fortunately, we decided on the latter and made a positive impact on campus.

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NACADA has been a welcoming support system since I first became a member. I have been encouraged to write articles, present at conferences, serve on committees, accept a nomination for a leadership position and truly professionally explore and enhance myself. This experience has been overwhelmingly positive and surprisingly transcendental. This article will illustrate how NACADA has affected my life. A brief recount of my personal experiences will illustrate how NACADA’s support of the academic advising profession, opportunities for involvement and acceptance of diversity are but a few reasons for my extraordinary experiences.

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The NACADA Summer Institute provided a unique opportunity for every advisor to learn more about their role in serving students. Those who clearly defined an advising problem on their campus and developed an Action Plan probably extracted the greatest benefit from the week, but it seemed that even the least-experienced advisors with less-defined action goals left with a road-map for how to improve their own advising practices. Participants also gained a good sense of the principles that inform the way their institutions provide connections for their students.

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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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The issues of social justice and equity are growing in importance across the academy... Although NACADA (2008) “promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students” (¶1), how often do academic advisors examine their roles in upholding social justice through advising?

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This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences.
This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf
This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf
This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpufThis spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf

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We enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk with so many brand new NACADA members; at each Regional Conference the number of new members was staggering! Each Region has its own culture, strength, and energy; to be able to experience this has been totally energizing for me. It is also great to see the camaraderie and deep connections that Region members have with each other and how each Region is definitely a “NACADA Family” of its own! And just like families, each Region has its special traditions and also exciting “family events” that make the conferences so amazing.

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Student success and educational effectiveness are top priorities, especially if we expect to see successful student transitions on today’s campuses. Academic advisors who help students integrate life management skills and find solid support networks will assist these students in creating a foundation for coping with collegiate level academic stress. Advisors who are aware of the needs of first year students can make the difference as students learn to navigate the halls of academia.

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Just when advisors say, “I’ve finally seen it all!” an advising experience takes place that is so unusual, extraordinary, or just plain weird that it feels like an April Fool’s Day prank...expect the unexpected. In the world of academic advising, no two students and no two problems are exactly the same.

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E-portfolios are an increasingly important part of the college experience and can be a fundamental means for the documentation of advising outcomes....Academic advising should become a vital portion within the increasing number of e-portfolio programs. Recognizing that advising is teaching, NACADA members have promoted the advising syllabus as a means to identify learning outcomes students can attain through the advising process. The e-portfolio contributes to the achievement of numerous learning goals. Therefore, advisors should consider how the activities and expectations that make up advising syllabi can be connected to and facilitated by electronic portfolios. The possibilities are ripe for study and experimentation.

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Incorporating technology into advising practices that are meaningful to students can be challenging. Challenges are even greater when an institution’s student population consists of non-traditional learners juggling a multitude of roles and responsibilities, whose age range spans forty years, and whose technological skills range from a minimal understanding of basic computing to coordinating corporate networks. How can advisors effectively integrate existing technology to communicate with students, build community, provide timely information, and establish a non-threatening environment for learners? Advisors should consider their institutions’ online course management systems. 


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Academic advisors play many roles as students progress through our institutions. Helping students increase their levels of positive self-reflection can help students increase the expectations they set for themselves and lead students to regularly view themselves as positively engaged and academically talented. Positively engaged students leave advising sessions reflecting on their strengths rather than focusing on their deficiencies....Strengths-based advising can help advisors focus on students’ strengths. When we implement an advising model best suited to students’ strengths, we increase students’ chances of success at our institutions. 

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A good advisor is essential when “real life” gets in the way. In graduate school, it is very possible for students to fall through the cracks....Graduate school can be tough. The biggest challenge is finishing.... Discipline and working with others can help graduate students see the light at the end of the tunnel. It can be done. Parents, professors, and society encourage education, yet at the highest echelons of education, some students may find that there is not enough support. Advisors can help students strategize and find the inner strength and the discipline needed to complete what they began.

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The NACADA Academic Advising Summer Institute brought together over 100 advising professionals with experts in the field to work on impacting student success at campuses across the nation.... This was not your average conference. This was not a drive-in workshop. This was an institute, an academic experience, and a refreshing start to the consideration of academic advising holistically....We all engaged in learning about advising structures and systems, research and development, and of course, politics and personalities as they pertain to setting an agenda for advising on our campuses....Summer Institute was a shared experience with other colleagues who care about the students we support; it was a professional development experience unlike any other. 

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I cannot say enough positive and exciting things about NACADA and how the organization and its people have influenced my life and my professional development! To my mind, NACADA is nothing short of being a land of opportunity overflowing with milk and honey for those with a desire to become involved. NACADA believes in the abilities of its members and for those with the desire to act upon their own faith by becoming involved will find that NACADA continues to advance the advising profession towards excellence and greatness not only for us as professionals, but more importantly for the students we serve!

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The NACADA Board of Directors and the Executive Office appreciate the time that NACADA members took to study the qualifications and platform statements of the candidates and cast their votes online. We also thank all individuals who participated in the election — the candidates who ran for office as well as those who nominated them. Congratulations to those who have been elected to leadership positions. Their willingness to make this commitment to NACADA is greatly appreciated.

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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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Baxter Magolda’s (2001) Learning Partnerships Model (LPM) provides a three-principled heuristic for implementing interactive and engaged advising that may help advisors help students who are in need of learning to balance multiple perspectives...Implementation of the LPM with diverse college students, however, requires recognition of cultural differences.

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We spend so much of our time encouraging our students to become lifelong learners that sometimes we forget to “walk the talk.” Conferences like the NACADA annual and regional conferences are just some of the opportunities we have to continue to grow and develop as professionals and people.

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Since our last Annual Conference in Baltimore in October 2007, NACADA has had an awesome year! Our Association has continued to grow in its membership, its influence in higher education internationally, and in the variety of new and innovative professional development opportunities for you. Here are just a few of the key advancements made this year...

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NACADA’s commitment to professional development is central to the advancement of career-building within the ranks of academic advising. Currently, there is no systematic understanding of, or advocacy for, career ladders for academic advisors across the range of educational institutions. To begin that discussion, several universities have developed career ladders for advising professionals and advisors within these programs have shared information from their institutions.

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Advisors are vital members of a larger team made up of faculty and staff who collectively are responsible for creating a dynamic learning environment that is responsive to the unique understandings and goals of each student.

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Our advising exchanges can be more than one-sided interactions; consider moving beyond a discussion on the conversation spectrum and closer towards dialogue. Even if we can’t engage in a true dialogue for all of our advising appointments, there are some aspects of dialogue advisors can use regularly to improve the quality of conversations with advisees.

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It is in advisors’ offices where students discover how that education will enrich them, not only as they start along their career paths, but in ways they never expected throughout their lives.

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Disability services staff members are often seen as “disability experts,” yet these same professionals may or may not be “advising experts.” As such, it is imperative that academic advisors strive to achieve competency in advising all students, including those with disabilities. The ability to adequately advise all students – to include those with disabilities – could be termed inclusive advising. 

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Over the past year, full time and faculty advisors have had an opportunity to meet in informal settings at the state, regional and national conferences to discuss areas of concern in advising Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students. During these discussions, advisors have identified many challenges that confront them when advising this designated population. Some of these challenges will be addressed in the following discussion.

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However, based on my research, I would add a supplemental advising approach that incorporates aspects of Bandura’s (1989) four sources of self-efficacy.

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While many different types of workers think during their jobs, the primary purpose of a knowledge worker’s job is the creation, distribution, or application of knowledge. Academic advisors are the type of knowledge worker who learn and distribute information. 

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The Diversity Committee and the Emerging Leaders Development Team are pleased to announce the 2008-2010 NACADA Emerging Leaders and Mentors.

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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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As our world becomes a global community, the significance of producing globally-competent citizens is turning into a hot topic on university and college campuses. As academic advisors move away from a “service”-oriented role to that of a “teacher”, we also need to fulfill our duty in the name of critical pedagogy.

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It is my honor and pleasure to serve as NACADA’s President this coming year as the Association celebrates its 30th Anniversary...I look forward to my term as President this year while our Association pays particular attention to a number of critical and exciting areas.

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I want to take this opportunity to outline for you the goals for enhanced use of technology...

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As NACADA begins the adventure of internationalization, the Theory and Philosophy of Advising Commission  focuses on expanding the theoretical and philosophical foundations of academic advising to better inform the practice of advisors, the scholarship of the field, and the performance of the organization. 

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Students may seek a mentor for various reasons...The ethics of referring students requires a careful balance between taking the students’ articulated interests seriously and at the same time nudging them towards new ways to grow.

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Finding the right combination of appropriate intervention and student participation is a challenge frequently discussed on the NACADA Probation / Dismissal / Reinstatement Issues (PDR) Interest Group listserv and during the PDR Interest Group sessions at NACADA conferences. 

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Often we look at professional development in terms of adding lines to the resume. The reality, though, is that experiences lead to our growth as professionals. By challenging ourselves to go beyond what we know and try new things, we model and mentor to our students and colleagues.

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As advisors, we have all had the experience of working with a student who has had at least one parent involved in their post-secondary decisions...It is important to remember that students with their parents’ support are entering post-secondary education from a high school environment which not only encouraged additional parental involvement, but in some cases mandated it because research demonstrated that the more parental involvement, the more successful students became in high school...Post-secondary professionals must accept this parental involvement and embrace it.

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There is a perception within higher education that students who start college without a declared major are less likely to persist. This article includes a brief summary of the literature related to persistence and undecided/exploratory students.

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Native Americans have attended college in the United States since colonial times. Unfortunately, the experience of most Native students at predominantly White institutions has not been entirely positive...Two major barriers still remain for Native Americans: the struggle to get into college and, if admitted, the struggle to successfully complete a degree. The desire to remove these barriers was behind the start of the Tribal College movement.

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Chances are that no amount of books (self-help and otherwise) and no amount of years under our belts in working with students could have prepared us for the realities of life in the director’s or dean’s chair...I offer the following observations directly to new administrators who have stepped into the fray with heavy metal body armor adjusted, swords drawn, and olive branches waving.

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In January 2007, the Master Faculty Advisor Program was implemented at Georgia Perimeter College. Each campus, depending on size, was assigned one to three Master Faculty Advisors to develop training programs, including a Web site. These Master Faculty Advisors provide campus and college-wide leadership on advising issues

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NACADA opened my eyes to the network of academic advising resources available and provided me the opportunity to develop an Action Plan for leading the Advising Task Force at my institution.

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NACADA Webinars are popular with NACADA members. Academic advisors have fun when they gather, and we often find great resources in discussing issues and ideas with each other. The Webinar Advisory Board has been discussing how we have “consumed” Webinars. Here are some examples of how campuses are organizing to make the most of Webinar participation.

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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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