Ruth Darling, NACADA President
One of my favorite questions to ask students is, 'What's going on?' - with the follow up, 'Tell me about it.' This spring, I have had the privilege of asking many NACADA members this same question during round table sessions at several Regional conferences. I have learned that the membership is facing similar challenges and is asking NACADA to help them meet these challenges in similar ways. I'd like to share with you a few of these concerns and how various NACADA programs and services can be of help to you.
"Budget cuts are killing my travel budget. I need professional development opportunities that are easily accessible and on-line."
- Stay in close contact with your Region and its professional development programs through Regional conferences, State meetings and 'drive-in' conferences.
- Be sure to read the electronic publications sent to you from the Executive Office - the Association Highlights and the NACADA Newsletter.
- Consider the NACADA web site as an opportunity to have a weekly, 30 minute 'professional development session' right in your own office or at home. Read new articles written by our expert members on 'hot topics' or use the Clearinghouse search option to gather information on best practices in an area of interest to you.
- Contact Associate Director Charlie Nutt to ask about the Kansas State University on-line graduate certificate in academic advising (firstname.lastname@example.org).
"'Assessment' is the campus buzz word and a new expectation. I don't have any background in assessment and don't know where to start."
- Go to the NACADA web site and click on the Assessment Commission's web page for information on best practices and assessment programs. Consider joining the Commission's list serve to take part in discussions and to ask questions.
- Consider attending the NACADA Assessment Institute - February 2005 in Florida.
- Watch for the Assessment Monograph on CD-rom that will be available Fall 2004.
"I need to be 'at the table' when decisions are made on my campus about academic advising. How do I get there and then make sure I'm heard?"
- Be knowledgeable about issues, trends and best practices in advising. Read the many NACADA publications (such as the Journal, Newsletter, the new monograph scheduled for release in June reporting on the 2003 National Survey on Academic Advising).
- Build partnerships with other campus units that focus on student learning and development, e.g. other advising units, faculty governance structures, curriculum committees, Teaching/learning Centers, Career Services, Orientation, First Year Studies, Minority Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. One voice with a shared vision is powerful.
- Remember that being political and strategic is not a 'bad' thing!
I have enjoyed the many conversations I have had with our members this spring. These connections have helped me grow professionally and have given me and other members of the Board of Directors, a true sense of the concerns our colleagues face each day. Just as we encourage our students to 'connect' with the communities on our campuses, I encourage you to 'connect' with your community of colleagues through NACADA.
Ruth A. Darling
Cite this article using APA style as: Darling, R. (2004, June). From the president. Academic Advising Today, 27(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]