Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director
The purpose of this Association is to impact student development through the enhancement of academic advising. One avenue for addressing this purpose is by heightening the recognition of the importance of effective academic advising within the higher education community in general and on campuses specifically. Our challenge becomes how to get our message to those who are not members of the Association, but are key campus decision makers.
Identifying the person most likely responsible for advising at each institution is difficult since there is no one consistent title describing that person across institutions. It might be the chief academic officer, the chief student affairs officer, a director of a centralized unit, a vice president, a dean, an associate dean, etc. Thus, it is important for us to consider other methods for reaching these decision-makers.
I believe our best “promoters” are our members! You know the value of effective academic advising, you know the value of the resources available to you through NACADA, and you know the critical administrators at your institution and at nearby or “sister” institutions. So, we need you carry the message to others within your institution and beyond – yes, spread the word!
Some ways in which you might do this are:
- Organize a campus-wide group to discuss advising issues and provide input to the administration. Many such institutional groups already exist and would provide models for your consideration. In the September 2005 issue of Academic Advising Today, Debbie Barber (Kent State University) discussed how KASADA was formedand has benefited the institution.
- Network with other campus advisors using Robert Bryant, Agnes Chagani, Jennifer Endres, and Jim Galvin’s (University of Minnesota) “Strategies for Building Professional Advising Networks” in the Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.
- Form a networking group with advisors at surrounding or similar institutions and have the group become an Allied Member of NACADA – see Allied Members under “Membership” on the website.
- Make key administrators aware of NACADA resources and events that can help them (and you) address issues your institution is facing or might consider for improvement.
- Contact the NACADA Consultants Bureau to engage a consultant or team to conduct a review of your advising program that will highlight your strengths and provide guidance on what you might consider to further enhance your program.
- Become familiar with all the NACADA resources (especially the Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources ) so that you can utilize that information in your daily work with students and in growing your academic advising program.
Share your knowledge of resources with others so that they might share your passion for student success through effective academic advising. Establish a seminar or brown bag lunch series to address advising issues at your institution. Regularly distribute electronically across your campus an article from the NACADA Clearinghouse on a key issue on your campus.
- Refer others to NACADA resources when they ask questions on listserves, in meetings or with accreditation study groups.
- Share your knowledge of advising and NACADA with colleagues through presentations or discussions at other meetings and conferences.
Yes, YOU are important in assuring that the visibility of advising is heightened and that central administrators hear what we all know – that effective academic advising impacts student success. Your involvement and support of NACADA impacts how far and wide we can spread this important message.
Have a wonderful summer!
Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, Executive Director
National Academic Advising Association
Cite this article using APA style as: Flaherty, R. (2007, June). From the executive director: Academic advising in the spotlight. Academic Advising Today, 30(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]