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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2015

Every time we see a student discover their passion, make a difficult choice that we hope will lead to a positive outcome, finally get “it” and thrive, overcome a significant challenge, or best of all, graduate, it is a reminder of why we do what we do.

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Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director As completion and persistence to graduation is an agenda item of major importance at all colleges and univers...

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At the October 2014 NACADA Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved the creation of a collaborative task force with Kansas State University’s College of Education to investigate the feasibility of opening a center for research and excellence in academic advising...

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Assessment is learning; advising is teaching.  The intersection between these two is the street corner where NACADA needs to have its next institute…

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In our work with students, it is important to recognize our own patterns of thinking and to examine the binaries we take for granted.  How do we label and categorize people?  How does this affect the way we view and interact with others?  How can we break down our own binary thinking while helping students do the same?

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Why are some students and advisors energized by the challenges of the constantly changing world of higher education and life—swimmers—while others, when faced with similar situations, become frustrated and discouraged—sinkers?

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Recruit, retain, and return are three words that help drive strategic actions for student services professionals.  The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University developed a Student Centric Continuum that spans the life cycle of the student experience beginning at the phase of recruitment continuing through to after graduation.

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With generous support from NACADA for the research study “An Examination of Academic Advice Seeking within an Emerging Adulthood Framework,” we collected data on more than 200 students’ behaviors, preferences, and opinions to assist in informing advising policies.

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As the field of academic advising embarks upon professionalization and as universities begin investing in more professional academic advisors, it is important to better understand advisors’ workplace education and career development.  To explore this underdeveloped part of the field’s literature, the author conducted interviews with four professional academic advisors to come to a better understanding of how they viewed their professional development and identity.

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The authors reflect on her fledgling career “while I still remember exactly how it felt to be ‘new’ in case my experiences can help someone just starting out in the profession.”

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The author shares challenges she encountered in her search for a position change and adjustment to a new advising environment.

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The author found the NACADA Summer Institute to be “by far one of the most influential professional development experiences in which I have participated.  It was like being in an academic advising bubble for a week, talking and interacting with other advising professionals hungry to impact their campuses and learn from some of the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.”

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The author “walked away from the Summer Institute with a comprehensive Action Plan for developing a freshman retention program that adds a high touch experience for our students.”


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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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As I look toward to the end of my time as president, I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had this year. I am very proud to serve as your president, and I look forward to our continued work in improving our institutions and elevating academic advising in the name of student success.

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What an exciting year it has been! Not only has our membership continued to grow with over 12,000 colleagues across the world, we continue to strengthen the connections NACADA makes with our members as well as the connections our members make with each other.

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Why is it so important to foster resiliency in ourselves, our colleagues, and our students?  It’s critical that we have the skills to learn from our failures, because to fail is an inevitable part of the human existence.   In order to thrive and to become our best selves, we must learn how to engage with failure in a healthy and constructive way.

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Information comes at us like spaghetti from a fire hose.  Email, newsletters, breaking news alerts, a student in the lobby, a colleague on the phone, a project spread across our desk.  Advisors are constantly being asked to do more, which means less time for each task.  How can all of the incoming ‘stuff’ be managed and still produce results?  

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While investigating the underachievement of underserved Students of Color (SOCs) is imperative, examining those who succeed is also important so we can learn how to help more SOCs be high-achieving.  This study aims to create knowledge regarding what advisors can do to positively affect the motivation of SOCs by using the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Model of Success (Museus, 2014b) as a framework that explains the impact of campus environments, acknowledges the role of motivation and success, addresses the limitations of traditional perspectives, and focuses specifically on SOCs.

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In 2011, after years of low satisfaction ratings from graduating students, advising personnel at Dartmouth College created a pilot initiative called Advising 360 that was intended to maximize the strengths of both the academic and student affairs divisions of the College.  In the three years since, they have seen strong evidence that this team approach is working.

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The purpose of this article is to support advisors’ efforts with useful information and best practices related to safely preventing, intervening, and managing mental health situations in the advising office via the use of de-escalation techniques and by identifying resources for collaborative assistance.

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Thanks to a flexible curriculum and customized pedagogy, advisors in first-year seminars have the opportunity to help students shape their academic goals and map out the necessary steps and skills to achieve them.

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It is important for advisors to remember that the higher education transition for students does take time.  And sometimes, perhaps many times, a student will try their very best and be unsuccessful.  One of our jobs is to help them as they navigate the uncomfortable growth process surrounding those experiences.

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When we advocate, we look for opportunities to connect and share not only concerns but proposed solutions to leaders within our department, division, and college.  It is relationship building at its best with the key leaders and stakeholders that can implement change within our learning environments and communities.

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I came to the United States about 9 years ago as an International student from India, and as much of an opportunity as it was, it also was a challenge, one that I wasn’t quite ready for…

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In June of 2014 I was given the opportunity to attend the NACADA Summer Institute in Portland, Oregon as an SI Scholarship recipient.  The experience that I had at the Summer Institute has been the highlight of my academic advising career.

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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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This past year has been one of the most amazing years in my life, both professionally and personally… Now that my term is almost up, I can truly say that it exceeded all my expectations.

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The influence and impact that NACADA is having in higher education globally keeps expanding across North America and the World and, thus, we are reaching more professionals who see the value of a NACADA membership.

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The student who does not complete their homework and then provides an outrageous excuse to their instructor is one of the most common tropes in popular culture.  An excuse is provided, the student shrugs their shoulders, the instructor gives a sideways grimace, and then the audience laughs.  Advisors know that, in academics, excuses are a regular occurrence and not as funny as television makes excuses seem.

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In an age where budgets are low and student numbers are increasing, advising has the opportunity to clarify curriculum and engage students in academic choices.  In an effort to streamline advising and propel students to take control of their education, the use of advising portfolios and an interactive department orientation were initiated in the Department of Visual Arts at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in a program called A PAART of NKU or Advising Portfolio as a Retention Tool.

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Race, ethnicity, and culture are powerful variables that influence the way that people behave, think, perceive, and define events. Academic Advising for African Americans can be complex and requires specific skills and knowledge from the in order to establish a more safe and welcoming environment that fosters a humanizing, holistic, and proactive approach.

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Female undergraduate students outnumber their male counterparts, yet there is a great underrepresentation of women in majors considered to be traditionally male.  This has led to a disproportionately small number of women in STEM areas of concentration: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These disparities persist despite women’s interest in STEM fields. It is crucial for colleges and universities to impact those statistics by counteracting the factors that enforce gender roles.

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Although the role of the advisor in the selection process of students within their professional program is often small, advisors can have a profound impact in the development of their advisees.  By being transparent at all advising sessions and by using intrusive advising strategies, advisors can assist their students in developing the dispositions required to be successful in their professional program.

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Advising dialogue in the humanities should address how master’s students can continue to stay relevant in the job market as they pursue their studies. By developing an advising plan that advocates both academic and professional options, starting at the bachelor’s level and continuing all the way to the doctoral level, students will be able to better demonstrate how vital the humanities are to society, both artistically and professionally.

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Traditionally, graduate students have been advised by faculty within their academic programs.  As faculty demands increase in other areas, there has been a shift at some institutions from faculty to professional academic advisors, mostly in master’s degree and professional programs. This is an area in need of attention and research to better train, prepare, and provide resources to assist graduate student professional academic advisors who come from staff positions other than faculty.

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What steps can advisors take to prepare them to ascend the campus career ladder? Regardless of their ultimate goal, it is important for advisors to strive to reach the next step in each and every area of their job.

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A supervisor’s time must often be divided among competing demands, sometimes to the extent that it becomes difficult to identify priorities and strategies for success.  Keeping the three themes of rapport building, technical competency, and leading by example at the center of our focus can promote productivity and healthy working relationships among members of the advising team no matter what the conditions or constraints.

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As trends in higher education shift from the recruitment of students towards retention, colleges and universities across the country are becoming more intentional about services and programming that will not only aid in their ability to keep students on campuses, but will assist with the student’s ability to accomplish their goals.

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For most of us in the academic advising community, there are never enough professional development dollars; we are always looking for ways to stretch funding and get the most that we can for our shrinking budgets.  Identifying professionals on our respective campuses or close by to present professional development programs takes time and expertise, and often our local experts are simply not available.  Many campuses look to NACADA Webinars to provide cost effective, timely, and quality professional development programs.

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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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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 an association we have focused the past couple of years on leadership sustainability, diversity, and research. We have made strides with all three topics, but we still have a way to go, especially as we continue to grow more globally as an association…. I have challenged the Board and the Council to focus on engagement… But of most importance, I challenge all of you…

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NACADA continues to change the field and the profession for the good in a multitude of ways…

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Readers are encouraged to join in the ongoing conversation...

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As a scholar now interested in the evolution and history of academic advising, I am eager to see a scholar-practitioner community emerge in this field, and I am spurred by the growth in interest around scholarly inquiry and its rise, particularly among practitioners

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Students who wait until they are faced with an obstacle to generate alternative opportunities in career development can experience a shock that they are not prepared to deal with.  Their initial plan is the only direction they have considered, and when the road blocks appear, students cannot see beyond them.

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What happens when college students experience the death of a close friend or family member?  How will the advisor know that the student is grieving and how can academic advisors help college students navigate this normative developmental experience so that it does not have a negative impact on their academic work and personal functioning?

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With tightening budgets and growing technology, it is important for advisors to reflect on which technology they utilize to advise and which technology is appropriate for each advising situation.

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Because non-traditional students have different characteristics and needs than traditional students, advisors must adapt the way they interact with this unique population.

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Higher education professionals often think that since transfer students have already attended another college, they don’t need as much attention or assistance.  The students often think that since they’ve attended another institution they know all they need to know.  Both of these thoughts couldn’t be further from the truth.

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One in five incoming freshmen identify themselves as pre-med for both public and private universities; advisors must be available to address the specific academic concerns of students interested in the health professions.

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The demands and responsibilities placed on advisors can be overwhelming... Rather than dealing with stress in unhealthy ways, advisors should look at a regular practice of the PEACE approach for stress management.

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As registration opens for the 2016 NACADA Region Conferences, advisors from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa provide five tips to help attendees make the most out of their conference experience.

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NACADA Assessment Institute attendees leave with tools in their assessment tool box that will serve for years to come.

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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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