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Voices of the Global Community


2016 September 39:3

Nearly a year ago, as your president I challenged you to get engaged in your profession, to get engaged in your association, to become a scholar-practitioner, and to learn multiple approaches to advising.  It seemed timely for us to consider why the  four challenges I asked of you are a necessary part of how we strive for diversity and inclusivity.

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NACADA Executive Director Charlie Nutt makes some predictions for the future of NACADA as new innovative, hardworking, dedicated, and determined leaders step into the association and executive office leadership.

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This article examines how connectivism is useful for academic advising as a theory that links previous information to current information, incorporates technology within the realm of knowing, and guides students to look beyond their own understanding to connect information.

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UK Advising and Tutoring (UKAT), the first allied association of NACADA outside of North America, aspires to lead the development and dissemination of innovative theory, research, and practice of student advising and tutoring in the UK higher education sector. In early 2016, UKAT ran a pilot survey open to all 164 UK higher education institutions (HEIs) to gain some initial insight into personal tutoring and academic advising practices in the UK. This article addresses the results of UKAT's survey and compares them with the results of the NACADA (Carlstrom, 2011) survey to offer some comparisons of academic advising in the differing higher education environments of the US and the UK.

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High achieving students excel academically, are willing to tackle complex problems, and balance a variety of involvement opportunities simultaneously, but too often this level of involvement comes at a cost.  Advisors have opportunities to empower high-achievers to seek a healthy balance.

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In this culture of evidence, the career development of college students becomes critical for academic advisors. Providing opportunities for college students to develop their career interests while in college can have a positive impact on college outcomes.  The author suggests three simple strategies academic advisors can develop to weave career advising into their work.

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With the recurring theme in higher education of focusing on student retention, effective academic advising has become critical. At the same time, university departments are competing for more limited institutional resources and monies directly allocated for advising-related support are often limited.  In this current climate of reduced resource allocation and increased faculty workloads, there are still many ways that the advising relationship can be sustained and even improved.

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Although it is an academic advisor’s responsibility to participate in retention efforts, it is not possible without collaboration.  Retention is everyone’s job.

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The author recounts her journey of “surfacing” above negative messages attached to a mental health disability.  Through the advising relationship, she asserts, an advisor can assist students to embrace their difference as a pathway to true self, discover an awareness that their particular way of being in the world is not broken, and reassure them that they’re not lost or alone. 

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For academic advising programs to be an effective asset to support student development, persistence, and retention initiatives,  institutions must create comprehensive assessment plans that are strategically focused in assessment.  The NACADA Assessment Institute provides many opportunities that can help align strategies for developing, implementing, maintaining, and coining best practices in assessment in academic advising.

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The role of the NACADA Diversity Committee (as explained on its webpage) is “to make recommendations regarding diversity issues within the association.  The committee reviews the status of diversity within the organization, recommends methods for enhancing diversity, and advises on how the association can better meet the needs of its diverse membership.” In this article, three Diversity Committee members share their thoughts on what being a part of the committee means to them.

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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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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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