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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for August 2014

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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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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