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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2014

Often our days are so full of daily commitments and operational tasks that we neglect to recognize our achievements and the ways in which they benefit students, our departments, and our campuses. Please reserve a few minutes to reflect on the ways you have improved, or created a plan to improve, your advising practice.

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Those of  us who are children of the ‘60s and ‘70s either loved, hated, or made fun of a singing brother-and-sister group, The Carpenters, but no matter where we fit on the spectrum we could not have lived in those times without hearing their music and of course one of their big hits was “We’ve Only Just Begun.”  While NACADA has made huge strides in our nearly 40 years as an association, it is important that we all know “we’ve only just begun” to make the significant impacts on higher education globally that our mission and goals demand we make.

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Over the past four years, over one million veterans and their dependents have enrolled in colleges and universities across the country, and there are many more to come… This unique group faces many challenges that are different from those of a more typical college student… Advisors can help with the transition into college life by addressing key aspects of the relationship of advisor to student.

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Ethics in academic advising has been widely addressed in the higher education field, with authors arguing that all advisors should behave in an ethical manner.  However, most literature does not explicitly address issues of integrity as related to the academic advisor.

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How can academic advisors and learning strategists contribute to and have an impact on academic integrity (AI) discussions? The purpose of this article is to examine ways in which advisors can integrate this value in their interaction with students and play an important role in promoting academic honesty.

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Advisors should ask themselves who or what they want to be and do, and create an intentional plan to get there… Advisors with a strong professional identity have the power to increase their satisfaction and effectiveness.

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The steps detailed in this article have led to great improvement in the overall functioning of The Neighborhood Academy’s advising program, as well as commensurate improvement in student performance and the culture of the school.  It is hoped that our journey may, in some way, assist others in their efforts.

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Adult students need to be considered in the big picture of campus culture, and I think my initial hesitancy in working with them parallels common misconceptions about adult students and their place in higher education.  This outdated view is quickly being established as antiquated as universities are institutionalizing policies and creating spaces to support all students… Here are five critical lessons I have learned about this ever-important, rising student population.

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Career and Technical Education (CTE) students tend to focus on earning a certificate or degree to improve their current employment status. These students often return to community colleges seeking new job skills; they inquire about their career goals and their plans to achieve those goals. As advisors, how do we best assist them?

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Undeclared, undecided, exploratory:  whatever we call it, students often feel pressured to “be” a major, make a decision, clear a clean and direct path to a career, and become what they were “meant to be”… As advisors guide their advisees throughout the process of declaring a major, it can be helpful to ask the right questions, as well as be a source of support.

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After my second year as a young advising professional, I had begun to search for professional development opportunities where I could improve my student services skills and become a better advisor… The NACADA Summer Institute was the perfect balance of work and play, which combined to rejuvenate me for returning to campus and my students… It contributed to my development as a professional, but it also challenged me to grow as a person.

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A NACADA Summer Institute Scholarship Recipient and her Region 2 Mentor share what they learned, how they have grown, and what they have accomplished as a result of their Institute experiences.

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site’s enhanced search and “related articles” features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2013-December-364.aspx#sthash.vMbXfMn8.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site’s enhanced search and “related articles” features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2013-December-364.aspx#sthash.vMbXfMn8.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site’s enhanced search and “related articles” features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2013-December-364.aspx#sthash.vMbXfMn8.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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We must put a student experience in place at every institution that demonstrates the value of higher education. Institutions around the globe are researching best practices for student success, retention, and completion… How will advisors lead effective change to enhance the role of advising, meet student enrollment goals, and help students realize their educational and career goals?

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What captivates me today is imagining the exciting and integral role that academic advising will play within colleges and universities in the not-so-distant future. What will higher education be like in the next generation?

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Could we not, if we really wanted to, "reinvent" college? Could we create a completely new model that more efficiently deployed the resources presently allocated to what students really need and want?

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Conversational advising is an advising pedagogy in which the advisor foregoes an authoritative position, and, by doing so, actively creates a learning space where knowledge about each student and his or her unique academic and career plan can be discovered through conversation.

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For some probation students, lack of motivation is a primary factor in their poor academic performance.  In turn, their poor academic performance has further decreased their motivation, launching a negative reinforcing cycle.  What can academic advisors do to help?

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This article is meant to inform readers about national education equity, laws, and proposed legislation pertaining to undocumented students, as well as provide insight into some of the experiences of this population.

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A college administrator discusses the skills that are essential to success in higher education.

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Just because we have become expects at what we do, we shouldn’t lose the energy and excitement we felt when we began!

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My experience at the NACADA Summer Institute is easily one of the most profoundly insightful professional development opportunities I’ve ever had… The Institute brings together advisors and administrators from all over the country and around the world, from institutions large and small.

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Beginning college can be a daunting task for most people… And yet, it is during all the chaos that the vision and mission of the academic advisor becomes clear…

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2014.aspx#sthash.Do7cN9Le.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2014.aspx#sthash.Do7cN9Le.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2014.aspx#sthash.Do7cN9Le.dpuf
Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/2014.aspx#sthash.Do7cN9Le.dpuf

Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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As I write this fourth, and final, article for AAT as part of my term as President, I am very reflective and appreciative of the past year's wonderful experiences as President...

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It has been a very busy year for NACADA… With each new initiative at all levels of the association, NACADA has moved closer to meeting our strategic goals.

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Advising has influenced how I teach.  After three years of ongoing advising sessions with approximately 500 advisees, I can no longer write a syllabus, assign a reading or writing assignment, or even step into a classroom without thinking of comments students have shared…

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I came to realize, as I had not before, that advising is a form of teaching, that I could draw on my decades in the classroom. In all teaching, we need to find out where learning should begin; now I was learning about the students in a different context….

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This article describes a model that merges faculty and advisor talent to support student success in a large, upper-division lecture setting.  Through this blending of expertise, advising and student development content and objectives are embedded in the academic curriculum, resulting in an improved and dynamic classroom environment and stronger working relationships across disciplinary lines.

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Most of the time conversation is a reliable mode for getting students to respond to the questions we want to ask, and want them to ask, about their academic lives. But writing to reflect creates an opportunity to take such reflection further… reflective writing can be a helpful tool to enrich academic advising, one that can help our advisees to do the work of self-reflection that is essential to their development and academic success.

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Each fall semester for the last six years, our centralized Academic Advising and Planning Center has organized ART MATTERS:  A Student Art Exhibition.  Our interest in this exhibition developed from an appreciation of the creativity of our students, many of whom come from diverse majors and have wide-ranging career aspirations.  Our show is open and inclusive: we accept art from any student, any major, any medium.  Our open exhibition acceptance policy demonstrates our non-judgmental philosophy and our commitment to celebrating diversity.

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Texting has proven to be a successful correspondence tool in building trust, reliability and confidence in the advisor-student relationship. The advantages plus the simple, adaptable solutions to its short list of cons makes it a favorite form of communication among advisors and students. Texting is one of many proactive advising resources TAMUK Center for Student Success advisors offer that continue to aid in creating a student success-oriented environment with booming graduation and retention rates.

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Advising records need to be updated constantly. They also need to be shared, not only between students and advisors but also with the program directors and the department chair for graduation clearance. Students need autonomy to update their own advising sheets according to their academic progress, while the accuracy and integrity of the records should be maintained. This presents a big challenge for updating and sharing.

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Professional associations like NACADA provide a forum for doctoral students to seek out mentors who will not only support but further their careers. Doctoral students within NACADA have connected in a variety of ways to share their journeys through coursework, research, and dissertation completion.

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Since 2007, the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program has encouraged members from diverse backgrounds to get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization.

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During the opening plenary session we were introduced to the outstanding institute faculty, who broke the ice with their clever introductions—and the group cheer “assessment rocks!”  The faculty assured us that we were going to work hard, but this was going to be an exciting few days...

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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Over the next year, I have asked the NACADA Board of Directors and the Council to focus on Research, Diversity, and Leadership as we determine where we want NACADA to be in the next five to 10 years.

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We can all soar in our work if we are willing to build our future “one brick at a time.”

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Creating an intentional program for students is always a multi-step journey and can feel uphill all the way. When revamping our academic probation program, we turned to the university community—and to students themselves—to help us in the trek.

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Most universities have academic probation, suspension, and dismissal policies for students who fall below accepted academic standards. While most suspension and dismissal policies require students to take time away from the university, many programs include provisions for students to either return to good academic standing or return to the university after a specified amount of time away. When Academic Support Office advising staff at Brigham Young University more than doubled in 2009, the director decided to implement the Option 3 Program with the goal of helping students on suspension and dismissal become more academically successful upon return.

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A key tool in facilitating dialogue among faculty, students, and advisors is an effective early alert process, which provides a communication channel among the three parties.

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A high-touch, multi-faceted approach coordinated by the Counseling & Career Center at Grand Rapids Community College provides opportunity for students to connect with faculty and staff.  Resources are emphasized by a variety of college personnel, and students begin to feel empowered to make positive changes in their academic standing rather than viewing probation as a punitive measure.  This difference in perception is the beginning of the path to academic success.

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The increasing number of college students with anxiety disorders necessitates updated training for academic advisors. Insight from recent research which highlights the developmental challenges and neurological differences in those who suffer from a mental illness can lead to improved practices and procedures.

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Based on the results of a study conducted at Bellevue University, advisors have developed several learning outcomes for academic advising.

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Academic advisors at access institutions whose missions, in part, are to break the cycle of poverty, often encounter root causes of social problems in their student populations.  One challenge that affects retention and graduation rates is unplanned pregnancy in college students. The key to breaking the cycle and providing better chances of positive outcomes is to design institution-appropriate interventions that effect change.

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Advising commuter students on a college campus is fraught with the challenges of trying to engage students during the limited time they are on campus. By definition, these students spend very little time on campus beyond class time.  When commuter students are at risk academically, there is an additional urgency to connect with them before they are placed on probation or suspended.

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Many students are entering college unprepared for the adjustments required to succeed, such as balancing freedom vs. responsibility, time management, problem solving, and study skills. A Probation Recovery Program helps students achieve the skills and confidence necessary to overcome those deficits, and plays a pivotal role in helping students achieve success.

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Presenting at a NACADA event is a very rewarding experience, but it can also be a little stressful.  The author shares tips for a presenting a successful conference session.

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Assessment is an integral part of the puzzle that connects what we do in our role as academic advisors. When we assess our departments, our students, and ourselves at our institutions, we are getting at the crux of the matter and opening ourselves up to a new conversation.

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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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.