Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
Under the leadership of President Dana Zahorik and the NACADA Board of Directors, this has been an exciting year of NACADA expanding our reach and building new bridges. While NACADA continues to grow our membership numbers, attendance at events, and exciting professional development opportunities (such as our new eTutorials), during this year the association has also made progress through partnerships for the profession.
Under the leadership of Teri Farr, the Professional Development Committee has done the herculean work of developing NACADA’s Academic Advising Core Competencies. These competencies will have a major impact on the advising profession by providing a framework for professional development programs at institutions across the globe and developing effective career ladders for primary role advisors. At the same time, a diverse task force led by Jayne Drake and Joanne Damminger has revised the NACADA Core Values. This work can only be described in the vernacular of my UK friends as brilliant! Both of these exciting association and professional foundations will be debuted at the upcoming annual conference in St. Louis.
In addition to all these exciting initiatives in the association, President Zahorik and the Board of Directors have been extremely supportive in reaching beyond our traditional association borders to create partnerships and build bridges that will have significant long-term impacts. First, on the global front, we continue to reach out to our colleagues to learn from them and to build strong alliances with our associates across the world. During this year, we have made great strides. In April, UKAT (the United Kingdom Advising and Tutoring Group) held its second annual conference at Leeds Trinity University and was a major success. In addition to participants from the UK, there were participants from other countries including the United States. It is exciting that UKAT is building a strong culture of research in the field by naming a Research Committee chaired by David Grey from the University of York. David and the committee are eager to begin a strong partnership with the NACADA Research Committee and the new NACADA Research Center at Kansas State University. The Netherlands Academic Advising Association (LVSA) has also continued its conversations on organizing an Assessment Institute specifically for the global partnerships in Europe.
Also in April, Zayed University in Dubai, host for our 2016 International NACADA Conference, sent four of their undergraduate peer advisors and their faculty leader to visit Kansas State University and Missouri State University. During their visit, they met with university advisors, faculty, administrators, and students. They discussed academic advising from students’ points of views and learned much about the US higher education systems. I am thrilled to announce that Zayed University will be hosting four Kansas State University College of Education undergraduates to visit their campus in Dubai in November. There is a strong possibility that both the College of Education Dean Debbie Mercer and I will be accompanying the students on this exciting adventure.
By the time you read this, I will have returned from what I know will be a very exciting visit to Beijing Institute of Technology to speak to approximately 150 academic advisors, faculty, and administrators on the role that academic advising plays in student success internationally. While there, I will have the opportunity to meet with a team from across the country on their formation of a NACADA Allied Association in China.
The NACADA Board of Directors and Executive Office have additionally worked hard to build lasting partnerships with other higher education associations that will have a lasting impact on our association and the profession. These include but are not limited to Complete College America, partnering with their 15 to Finish and Purpose First strategies; APLU (The Association of Public and Land Grant Universities), collaborating on two online tutorials for the academic advising communities; Achieving the Dream, working with their iPASS institutions on professional development opportunities; and, the Reinvention Collaborative, establishing their new network on Academic Planning and co-sponsoring an Academic Advising Administrators’ Institute in 2016 and 2017. In addition, NACADA again partnered with Tyton Partners on the 2017 Drive to Degree Survey on Academic Advising. This survey will be extremely important for the NACADA research agenda and possible research activities out of the NACADA Research Center at Kansas State University.
I am also pleased to announce a very powerful partnership with the John N. Gardner Institute and NACADA for the creation of an Excellence in Academic Advising program. This program will provide institutions with the opportunity to conduct first an in-depth, yearlong institutional review and analysis of their academic advising program guided by experts in the field and then implement an action plan developed by the institution based on that analysis. This exciting partnership will have a major impact on the quality of academic advising experiences for students at the participating institutions. I am honored that NACADA has the opportunity to build this partnership with the world renowned John N. Gardner Institute.
As you can tell, it has been a busy but profitable year for our association. NACADA continues to grow in supporting our membership and also in our impact across all of higher education across the globe. Thank you for being a member of this association and driving the change that NACADA is leading for this association and the profession.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Cite this article using APA style as: Nutt, C. (2017, June). From the executive director: NACADA expanding our reach and building new bridges. Academic Advising Today, 40(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]