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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for September 2009

There are four key areas where academic advisors need to be bold.  Hang tight on these, and you will fulfill the NACADA values.  More importantly, you will serve your advisees well.

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In 1979, a group of academic advising professionals successfully chartered a new association in higher education, the National Academic Advising Association. Thirty years later, we celebrate an organization that has become one of higher education’s premier educational associations.

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We are beginning our celebration with this important issue of Academic Advising Today, highlighting not only major events and achievements of our 30 years, but also celebrating key leaders in our history.

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I was working as a Counselor at Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey when my boss showed me the flier for the First National Conference on Academic Advising in Burlington, Vermont...

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Becoming an active member of NACADA provided me with expertise in the field and with a life-time of friends...NACADA was a gift that would keep on giving!

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The amazing feature, as I think back about my 21 nationals, is that the prints I developed during my 15 or so paparazzi years, both as the unofficial and official photographer, provide a record of members having fun, being confident and committed to the Association, modeling collaboration and community—even in spite of a few sibling squabbles.

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The early years of NACADA were full of interesting dilemmas, successes, and experiments...Many of the organizational policies, resources, and activities we now take for granted were born out of the needs and concerns that appeared in those early years.

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As 2009 brings economic woes to the world, NACADA members can feel secure in knowing that NACADA remains financially strong.  This strength is not by accident, but rather through the diligent work of past Treasurers, Boards of Directors and the Executive Office, who put the policies into place to create a firm financial base for the Association.

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In early 1988, the NACADA Board of Directors recognized the need to establish an Executive Office to handle the Association’s ever growing membership and financial tasks.

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At a time when the primary focus of higher education institutions was the recruitment and retention of the 18-to-22 year old college student, NACADA had the vision to examine the advising needs of the adult student.

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The low cost and burgeoning excitement about the field of advising attracted 56 individuals to attend that first ACT Summer Institute. The Institute was described as a “…participative, action-oriented, and in-depth exploration of the issues and concerns expressed by college administrators.”

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Through the years, it has been exciting to monitor how the LGBTA Commission has lived its mission.  Commission members have presented at several regional and national conferences, coordinated national preconference workshops, and developed print and electronic resources.

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NACADA was incorporated in Vermont in 1979 with 429 members and 18 members on the Board of Directors. Twenty years later, in 1999, there were 5318 members in the Association and more than 50 members on the Board. While not all Board members had voting rights, they all attended the meetings and had a voice in discussions where there was much conversation regarding who should speak and who should vote as representatives of different member constituencies... At the Fall 1999 Board meeting in Denver, President-elect 
Betsy McCalla-Wriggins (Rowan University) was appointed to chair a Task Force to investigate possible restructuring of the Association to better address these issues.

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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, as institutional interest in academic advising began to grow seemingly exponentially, the need to support those in administrative positions became apparent. In much the same way that the first annual conference and, indeed, the Association itself were the result of a conversation between concerned individuals, so, too, the conceptual framework for the first NACADA Administrators’ Institute was the result of a conversation between advising administrators and the newly appointed Associate Director of NACADA, Charlie Nutt.

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NACADA’s Awards Program every year salutes the accomplishments of advising professionals and the innovations of advising programs on campuses everywhere.

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At the 1999 mid-year Board of Directors meeting ,Skip Crownhart(Metropolitan State College of Denver), 1999 Annual Conference Chair, challenged the Board of Directors to bring more people of color into positions of leadership within the organization. NACADA President Nancy King responded by appointing a Task Force to investigate diversity within the organization. For the next several years, Skip and others continued to repeat the message of opening leadership doors.

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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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