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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for March 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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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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