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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2010

While there may be much discussion among advisors regarding the “what,” “why,” and “how” of advising, there is agreement on one point: there is a greater demand for advising than there are advisors to meet it. That, combined with the very real economic challenges facing most institutions and growing advising caseloads, finds advisors considering alternative ways to meet student needs. One popular approach for dealing with this challenge is group advising.

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We hope that all NACADA members will think of themselves as diamonds in a vast backyard—a world-wide network of advising professionals. You are the change makers both on your own campuses and among your students. We urge you to inspire and be inspired. 

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As we continue to deal with decreased funding and increased student numbers, the issue of student success grows more important to our administrators, our students, and our public constituencies. Because student success is so often measured by retention and persistence to graduation, it is essential that advisors and advising administrators continue to grow in our knowledge, talents, and skills through continuing professional development.

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Student advising centers are seen as accessible locations featuring professional advisors who facilitate student potential by assisting with educational plans and connecting students to campus resources – for the students who come. But what about the students who don’t?

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To proactively address student attrition, Drexel University’s online Master of Science in Higher Education (MSHE) Program has integrated Online Human Touch (OHT) into instruction and programming to engage students and personalize the online educational experience. Results include high student retention rates, high levels of student satisfaction, and active alumni engagement.

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As advisors, we tell our liberal arts and social science students to “follow your heart” and “study what you love” in college. But, when it comes to career advising, how do we help these students “follow their hearts” to career success?

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As academic advisors we interact with the entire campus community to communicate possibilities to students as they identify patterns and phenomenon that explain the world. But the majority of advisors never venture beyond this state of hypothesis to validate their knowledge, share it with other advisors, or use it to inform practice. Why?

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To ascertain what our millennial students wanted and needed from academic advisors, we designed a twenty-three item questionnaire that first-year students completed ...The survey results reflect how our students’ needs and approaches compare with those of typical millennial students and suggest areas for change in our present advising practices. 

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This informal study shows the potential for examining the academic language advisors, faculty, and staff use in communication with students...[and] serves as an example of how advisors can do quick, informal studies on topics that affect their advising practice and make a difference to the success of our students.

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The use of “customer service” techniques in academic advising is controversial because of mixed perceptions regarding the definition of the word “service.” Many advisors fear the adverse effects this shift could have on the student-advisor relationship...How do advisors meet the service expectations of students while remaining true to our student development roots?

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I was perusing the NACADA Web site and saw on the events page that a Summer Institute would be only a three hour drive from my house! With my fingers crossed, I completed a Summer Institute Scholarship application and submitted it...

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In China, we have an old saying: Talking with you for one moment is much better than reading books for ten years. At the NACADA Summer Institute, I talked with faculty members and fellow participants for seven days...

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The emergence and growth of Web 2.0 software has introduced various new methods for communication in academic advising...This article provides the reader with a general description of how some Web 2.0 tools are being utilized in academic advising.

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Ten tips to ease the new advisor’s transition into the field or to remind veteran advisors of the things they should keep in mind when working with new colleagues.

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Most advisors encounter student lies during our careers. It is helpful if we have a game plan ready to address these issues with students and still maintain a professional advising relationship. 

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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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Frost (2000) indicated that the field of academic advising has progressed through three eras: higher education before academic advising was defined, academic advising as a defined and unexamined activity, and academic advising as a defined and examined activity. I assert that academic advising is now facing a fourth era due the societal changes emerging from the globalization process.

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Advisors play a powerful role in higher education today because they stand at the nexus between the students who often enter the academy unformed and undefined and those who leave with identities and life direction shaped by a convergence of influences marked by positive interactions with faculty members and professional advisors.

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Due to a myriad of reasons, higher education across the world is at a pivotal place in history; but no reason is as important as the increasing focus on Student Success! Academic advising is key to this success.

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Even in the most challenging times, autonomy and freedom are powerful incentives that colleges can offer employees at little cost...

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We learned in this hot topic session that, although faculty advisors understand the important role advising plays in the success of students, not much progress has been made since 2008. We must continue to advocate for increased assessment, training, rewards, and recognition for this major component of the college process.

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Advising administrators will find the advice shared in the Advocates Skill Set helpful in forming the solid collaborations needed for building, maintaining, or improving an advising program in our current budget times.

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The benefits are infinite for advisors who plan a campus professional development event that addresses their specific needs. With some planning, sharing, and camaraderie great opportunities abound for the entire campus.

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Although most advisors are not trained financial aid counselors, it is important that we have a general understanding of available financial resources if we are to refer students to the proper “expert.”

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As veterans transition from a military to collegiate setting, both veterans and the campus communities must adjust to the change and the differing value systems held within the military and academic communities.

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The NACADA Annual Conference is my birthday present to myself...It’s a major part of my professional development.

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Those of us who advise students nearing the end of their degree, certificate, or training programs know that there is good news and bad news connected with advising these 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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Advisors play an important role in the success of non-traditional students. It is critical that we reflect upon our advisor preparation and expectations if we are to help them succeed.

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There is a tradition among NACADA presidents to use the September issue of Academic Advising Today to wrap up their year as president by casting a long look back—a kind of year in review—and sometimes by peering as far as the eye can see into the future...

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One may ask why, in these tough financial times, have NACADA’s programs and publications grown and expanded during the past year? I feel strongly that it is because institutions are very carefully evaluating professional development opportunities and supporting only the best with their limited resources; many institutions have determined that NACADA provides the highest quality in professional development events and publications.

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The most important lesson I learned while studying abroad was the importance of adaptation...

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When we learn more about individual international education systems, accept cultural differences, and learn basic greetings in the native languages of our students, we can better serve all of our international students.

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For many advisors, the increased international presence on campuses is both exciting and challenging as they adjust to meeting the needs of an entirely different population of students.

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Students will not go to a stranger – especially a member of faculty – when their world is collapsing. We needed to change our model of Personal Tutoring from reactive to proactive.

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I am interested in meeting students where they are using technologies that are meaningful to them in order to enhance our face-to-face interactions...

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As state budgets decrease and endowments shrink, advising administrators face difficult student services and staffing decisions...how institutions in two states are handling these budget shortfalls.

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As an “arts” advisor, I frequently speak with parents about the “practicality” of an arts degree. Many parents want to know exactly what their student can “do” with a degree in Music, Theatre, or Dance...Parents need assistance to see that the skills the student learns in an arts program have merit in non-arts fields.

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Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board Chair Nathan Vickers (University of Texas-Austin) is pleased to announce the 2010-2012 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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Right now, astounding changes are occurring in academic advising because of the work of a few dedicated leaders...it is my hope that this issue of Academic Advising Today will inspire all of us to lead change through passion, compassion, initiative, attention, and persistence.

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The recent Annual Conference was, again, testament to the fact that advising is alive and well on campuses around the world, advisors are heavily invested in the success of their students, and NACADA plays an integral role in promoting and sustaining academic advising as a critical component of student services at our colleges and universities.

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I am always on an emotional high after our Annual Conference, but this year I am even more so.  It was exciting to open our conference with good news...

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While never oblivious to the world outside the US, over the last few years NACADA leaders have actively pursued the idea of a “global community for academic advising.”  Clearly this raises the need to find common ground between advisors from wildly varying backgrounds.

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When academic advisors create partnerships with secondary school stakeholders, the results are far-reaching...

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Successful college matriculation demands not only the rhetorical commitment to higher education but to a life structured to an acceptance that graduation from college is possible...The role of the advisor is to assist the student in making reasoned choices, acquiring needed skills, and serving as the “reality check” that will make college possible.

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Professional and faculty advisors can develop a strong, valuable relationship that aids the institution and its students.

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Identity matters as we make daily value judgments about our work and construct professional development plans for ourselves. But advisors’ self-constructed identities and our campus-constructed reputations may differ depending on the company we keep.

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While new advisors come into the field with many questions and much to learn, they also bring with them a unique skill set.

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The blog platform allows unprecedented student access within our college community and helps us improve the continuity of the information stream to students.

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Mentors from the Emerging Leaders Program come from all walks of NACADA life and all levels of leadership and involvement.

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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.