Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
Being a child of the ‘60s, I grew up with Star Trek, Lost in Space, and The Jetsons. (Many of you may have to ask your parents what I am talking about!) I was constantly dreaming of the future…what would the world be like? Obviously, I could never have imagined the world we live in now, in which I can have a Skype call with colleagues in Qatar and the United Kingdom as well as participate in a worldwide panel discussion of student persistence via Adobe Connect, all in the same day. And this does not even touch on all the technology issues that make me lose sleep at night. The only thing I just knew I would have by 2014 was a flying car!!! Oh, well!
But 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?
This is my personal prediction of what will characterize higher education:
- Like private colleges, state schools will also be tuition-driven as state funding will continue to decrease rapidly.
- Community college enrollment will continue to grow, demanding closer collaborations among our community colleges, colleges, and universities – collaborations that are real and are valued by all.
- Student persistence and retention will drive decision-making to an extent that we can't truly imagine today.
- Students and their families will choose higher education institutions based as much on the success of their students as on the success of their sports teams.
- Colleges and universities will be more centralized than decentralized because arbitrary walls will come down. Collaboration and cooperation will be the expected norm, not the desired dream.
- There will be more distinct roles between faculty who teach and advise and faculty who research.
- Academic advising experiences will be viewed as instructional and, thus, will blur the role of faculty and advisors.
If these are my personal predictions for higher education, then what must this mean for the next generation of academic advising and academic advisors? The implications are:
- Expectation of graduate work in academic advising will increase.
- Academic advisors, administrators, and faculty will be actively involved in research and publication in academic advising and student success.
- Our academic advising communities will have a "seat at the table" when universities and colleges make major decisions affecting the undergraduate experiences of our students.
- Teaching faculty, faculty advisors, and professional advisors will be strong partners in the work needed to increase the academic success of students. Isolated or silo initiatives will no longer be the norm as they are today.
- Academic advising will be an integral piece of the university or college experience, not a separate service.
So, what will characterize the next generation of NACADA that will fulfill the above predictions?
- NACADA will remain nimble (and become even more so) in meeting the needs, desires, and expectations of our members, colleges, and universities across the world.
- NACADA will be a major point of contact for conducting and distributing research in the field of academic advising and student success.
- NACADA will continue to strengthen its role globally as the primary venue for publication in the field, including research-based articles, exemplary program articles, and theoretical articles in a variety of publication formats. Online opportunities will increase.
- In addition to our already extremely successful and growing conferences (including our annual, regional, and international conferences), institutes, and special events, NACADA will be offering downloadable publications as well Internet live streaming of speakers or meetings.
- While functioning as a high-tech association, NACADA will continue to stand out as a high-touch networking association. The personal connection will always remain a major strength of our association.
Thinking of the future of higher education, academic advising, and NACADA keeps me grounded as I work with our leaders, all members, and our Executive Office staff on the NACADA of today!
I am looking forward to seeing you at our Summer Institutes in Portland, Oregon and St. Petersburg, Florida and our exciting annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in October!
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising