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Voices of the Global Community


2011 December 34:4

Assessing academic advising is critical for any institution that wishes to improve advising services for students and create a culture that values academic advising

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Despite the tumultuous times facing higher education in the United States, North America, and across the world, advisors and advising administrators provided example after example of innovative programs, models, theoretical approaches, and interventions.

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The global emphasis on student persistence and retention to graduation/completion continues to highlight the important role of academic advising in student success.

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After the experience of their initial term, first-year students are generally more open to actively engaging in their education and receiving advice that can help them reflect on their academic interests, growth, study strategies, and progress toward their developing goals.

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Academic advisors can help students put their views and experiences into perspective when we teach students to maintain discussions that support, rather than undermine, societal good in the academic environment. While it may be difficult even for advisors to reflect upon controversial topics, there are strategies we can use to manage civil discourse.

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When advisors encourage study abraod participation earlier in our students’ academic careers, we encourage the growth needed to give students a competitive edge in an increasingly global workforce.

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The transition from student to professional involves a socialization process that can be extremely stressful for students in programs like nursing. Counseling students in the pre-program phase using a strategy such as anticipatory guidance can help prepare students for expected stressors and provide them with needed time to develop healthy coping strategies before entering their major.

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Given the competitiveness of today’s job market, more and more students are considering graduate school.  Undergraduate advisors can best assist students considering graduate school, no matter the discipline, when they do six things.

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Advisors have an opportunity to dramatically increase pregnant and parenting students’ chances of academic success, retention, and persistence. Preparation for advising a pregnant or parenting student will help advisors respond supportively and provide needed tools to help parenting students successfully navigate the dual roles of being a student and parent.

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Students in recovery need resources and opportunities on their campus to assist their academic success. When we create a place where students in recovery feel safe, these students feel welcomed in our offices and are more open to any needed academic assistance.

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Developing a one credit hour course that teaches students to take ownership of their professional/career goals and develop academic plans of study to meet those goals is a dream which can be made real by taking the practice of “advising as teaching and learning” directly into the classroom to establish a foundation for subsequent advising sessions after students have completed the course.

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As one of the pairs in the 2009-2011 cohort, we may have officially finished our commitment to the Emerging Leaders Program, but in many ways, we realize this is just the beginning...

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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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