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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2016

Being engaged in our profession means not simply gaining knowledge, but also finding ways to innovate and bring about new ideas.

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What can I do in my work with the association that benefits others, creates positive not negative moments, and helps both my own health and the health of the association?  … I challenge each you to join me in this path of self-reflection and on this guided pathway to being fully charged.

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Advisors use dozens of tools to aid students, including advising styles, recommendations, curricula, academic coaching, and more.  Any one of these may be appropriate with different students, or with the same students at different times.  But when advisors’ roles can include teaching, reviewing a checklist, making referrals, and more, how does the advisor know when to use which tool, when to offer a checklist, and when to engage in behavior counseling?

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Successful engagement in strong communication, problem-solving, and rapport-building skills – those critical to the relational component of advising – requires emotional intelligence. Without it, advising is little more than authoritative information dissemination.

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As the field of advising continues to grow, many students may look to peer advisor programs to explore potential pathways or to even start their career; support, guidance, and training are needed for these students as they transition into professional advising roles.

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Growing up in a small town environment can result in a steep learning curve when stepping out into the wider world…

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Multi-campus institutions have the complex task of providing advising services to meet the needs of their varying student populations.  Creating a campus-wide framework for advising services across all campuses can be challenging, especially when resources are limited, campus cultures are different, and there is a considerable amount of distance between campuses.

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There is much debate in the academic advising community regarding the efficacy (or even possibility) of a unifying theory of academic advising.

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If one of the primary goals of academic advising is to get beyond learner engagement and into the realm of empowerment, then that also must be a focus of our assessment.

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Barriers for new advisors seeking to engage in professional development include time, justification, venue, and cost. Reducing these barriers supports robust professional development of new academic advisors, enlivening staff and creating learning and mentoring connections across campus, between institutions, and within the profession.

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Helping high-achieving students develop the skills required to set a steady, productive pace while maintaining a sustainable workload is the most valuable lesson advisors can impart on this population.

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Thinking creatively about how to help students can be energizing.

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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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NACADA President David Spight challenges us to consider our perspective on change.

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NACADA Executive Director Charlie Nutt discusses how we as a profession and an association can define a Student of Academic Advising.  

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During the NACADA International Conference sponsored by Zayed University in Dubai in February 2016, members of the NACADA Academic Advising Consultant and Speaker Service (AACSS) led a discussion panel during which delegates from institutions across the globe began a conversation about gaps of ­­academic advising at their campuses.  Such conversations are vital for improving and enhancing academic advising programs at the international level.

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There are a number of reasons why a university would want to change its advising culture.  With advising practices linked to retention, student engagement, and first destinations, robust advising is increasingly being viewed as a panacea to many student support issues.

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Procrastination, a challenge faced by many students (and perhaps a few advisors), demands a nuanced approach.  Students’ lifelong journeys as empowered learners can benefit from grappling realistically with procrastination in college.

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It is no secret that parental involvement in higher education has increased in recent years.  College administrators working in the 21st century note the shift of working with parents from being a sporadic event to a daily occurrence. Although much has been reported on the rise of parental involvement in higher education within the past fifteen years, little has been written on articulating the educational system’s role in this evolution.  In this article, the authors examine some key factors that have created the emergence of the helicopter parent and how post-secondary educators need to better strategize to improve and utilize their relationships with highly involved families.

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Developing a roadmap for the first year of college is a tool many universities have created as a visual representation of the important transitions, milestones, experiences, knowledge, and skills that students are expected to gain during year one.  The hope is that this roadmap will guide students throughout their college careers so they are prepared when they move on to the next transition.

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Two advisors discuss the quest to bridge the way students and their information are handed off between departments and advisors.

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The number of veteran students and veteran dependents has become more apparent within advisee caseloads. These students come to our universities with rich life experiences, some being unique to the military. They often bring great leadership skills that can benefit any campus community. The author shares some lessons he has learned from working with this uniquely resilient population.

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Research has shown that when there is a lack of connection between students and their professors, the students often feels disengaged, disconnected, and unmotivated.  The authors examine some of the issues that hinder faculty mentoring and provide some suggestions for how advisors can promote the faculty/student relationship.

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Graduate program faculty and staff advisors are an integral part of student success at the master’s and doctoral levels.  The purpose of this article is to provide graduate student advisors with three specific strategies for positively influencing graduate students’ progress towards graduation: setting clear expectations, having periodic progress meetings with students, and serving as advocates for students.

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Emily Liverman, Indiana University Bloomington It is an accepted concept that student engagement and their sense of belonging to a campus or depart...

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Working in advising can be tough.  Sometimes it’s good to hit the “refresh” button to motivate continued progress in one’s own professional career.  At the NACADA Summer Institute, the author found inspiration as well as opportunities for learning and networking.  The weeklong experience is something she will never forget.

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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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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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Like many higher education institutions, NACADA is on a pivot, needing to change with advising trends, student populations, institutional initiatives, and events that impact our students and the profession.  

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Just as higher education is complex, the work we do across campuses to increase student success is complex and cannot be done in isolation or in established silos.  The NACADA Board of Directors and Executive Office is focusing this year on building an intentional plan to develop strong relationships with other higher education associations and groups who are actively focusing on student success.  

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The 2016 convening of the Reinvention Collaborative focused on the theme of Diversity, Culture, & Identity in America’s Research Universities: Research-based Initiatives that Promote Shared Discovery and Learning by Students, Faculty, and Staff. Wendy Troxel, Director of the NACADA Center for Research at Kansas State University, attended the convening and reports for NACADA members.

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In the June 2016 edition of Academic Advising Today, NACADA Executive Director, Charlie Nutt, and NACADA President, David Spight, challenged members of NACADA to consider their role in and their contributions to the profession of advising... The work that lies ahead for NACADA members comes with the challenge of an evolving profession, and NACADA members will need to work collaboratively and steadily to capitalize on the momentum that has been created.

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What can advisors learn from Colin Kaepernick’s protest?  The authors contends that Kaepernick’s example can serve as a guide toward gaining an understanding of racial identity development.

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The increased presence of international students means academic advisors must be aware of the unique issues facing international students in order to support and ensure success across the range of students they serve.  The author shares six strategies that can help advisors working with international students. 

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The author discusses ten activities to improve graduate student attrition rates.

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The author contends that implementing case management strategies in advising is a promising way to increase the retention and completion of underprepared students through a personable, proactive, and strengths-based approach that emphasizes communication, collaboration, and accountability.

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The author encourages academic advisors to strong in support of honest practices in the profession.

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The authors share their perspectives on deciding to apply to the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program and the application process to help clarify some common myths about ELP and encourage members to consider being a part of this very rewarding experience.

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The author recommends the NACADA Summer Institute to any advisor who wants to learn, create something positive for their campus and students, and have fun meeting and collaborating with advisors from around the world.

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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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