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From the President: The Changing Tapestry of Higher Education - Do Not Overlook the Important Role of Advising - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf
From the President: The Changing Tapestry of Higher Education - Do Not Overlook the Important Role of Advising - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf
From the President: The Changing Tapestry of Higher Education - Do Not Overlook the Important Role of Advising - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf
From the President: The Changing Tapestry of Higher Education - Do Not Overlook the Important Role of Advising - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf

Joanne K. Damminger, NACADA President

Joanne Damminger.jpgThe first five months of the year were exciting for the regions of NACADA. Conferences were held in 10 regions across the United States and Canada. Three regions, 9, 5, and 1, experienced record-breaking attendance attracting over 500 participants, and regions 8, 4, and 2 exceeded 400 participants! Region 9 had the largest registration in the history of NACADA's regional conferences (as of the publication of this article)! The poster and concurrent sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities provided a beneficial and motivating experience for advisors, administrators, and NACADA!

Juxtaposed with the excitement of learning and developing through regional conferences are reminders of the many challenges in higher education today. Many colleges and universities are experiencing changing prospective student demographics and decreasing numbers of people choosing higher education, resulting in ongoing pressure to meet enrollment goals. Higher education's focus on retention has always been in the forefront of our work, but there is increased emphasis on meeting completion numbers. And perhaps, most importantly, we continually seek ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our student populations: challenges of underpreparedness, the multifaceted responsibilities of our students, and the economic situations across the globe, resulting in decreased jobs and opportunities upon degree completion.

In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 10, 2014), Carey reminds us of a flourishing time for American higher education from the early 1980s to 2001, when the economy was stable and college enrollment realized an additional two million students in higher education. Students recognized the value of a college education, its necessity to get a good job, and the increased earning potential of college graduates. However, in more recent years, disappointing graduation rates, rising student debt, and the low literacy and numeracy skill levels of some college graduates have altered the landscape of higher education. The picture does not shimmer any brighter when coupled with escalating college costs and decreased employability of students with college degrees (Carey, March 10, 2014). All of this is resulting in higher education being called upon to provide concrete evidence of student learning and ability to complete that is proportionate to the cost of a college education.

We must put a student experience in place at every institution that demonstrates the value of higher education. Institutions around the globe are researching best practices for student success, retention, and completion. Following the advice of community college students who participated in McClenney and Arnsparger's study (2012), we as educators must require our students to do what we know is good for them; students depend on us to “make them do” what leads to student success. The message from students who participated in the study is loud and clear: "Students don't do optional" (p. 57). I am sure the quote is true for students at two-year and four-year institutions, private and public, specialty or liberal arts institutions, in the United States and across the globe. So, what is your institution and more specifically you, as an academic or career advisor, requiring of your advisees to help them realize their potential and dreams of degree completion? Is advising required of your students and for how many semesters? In what ways are you streamlining the application, testing, advising, and registration processes so students are not given the runaround or asked to maneuver landmines to enroll? Are your processes and procedures for declaring and changing majors clear and easily followed? In what ways are you helping students to have the strongest start possible?

The role that governmental legislation will play in the changing tapestry of higher education, completion incentives, future higher education policies, and potential college rankings remains controversial, but that does not, and should not, dilute the role that advisors play in supporting students and learning. Advising is now a key player in the arena of student success, and with increased recognition comes increased responsibility. Although the field of advising has come very far since the first National Conference on Academic Advising in 1977, there is more work than ever for us to do. As the familiar adage reads, we cannot continue to do the same things and expect new results.

So, how will advisors lead effective change to enhance the role of advising, meet student enrollment goals, and help students realize their educational and career goals? Advising plays a critical role in improving the college experience, making connections with students, and helping students succeed in their chosen programs of study, earn a degree, and graduate with the competencies required to get into and be sustained in intended career fields. As advisors and advising administrators seek ways to accomplish the aforementioned, participation in networking opportunities within and outside of NACADA is critical to improved practice. Seek opportunities to share ideas and new initiatives with advising colleagues. In the community college sector, in which I work, we are continually thinking of ways to support students from the time they apply, as ideally we only have three years (well, I said ideally) to impact the students who enter our community college doors.

In 2013, Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) put in place a “Front Door Experience” following the lead of Shugart (2008), who reminds us of the need to provide support for our new students from the time they step over our thresholds.  The Front Door Experience at Delaware Tech consists of mandatory advising for all new students, expected attendance at new student orientation, encouraged participation in engaging welcome week activities, and enrollment in a first-year experience Student Success Course.

A recent impact study released by the American Association of Community Colleges (February, 2014) shows both the positive impact of the community college sector on the U.S. economy and the positive effects of graduating students on the local workforce. We must find ways to inform our students that they can realize a return of $4.80 for every $1 invested in education. The same study showed an increased earning potential of graduates with an associate's degree of almost $10,700 more per year than someone with a high school degree or equivalent, but too few students are aware of these statistics.

Although summer sessions at institutions worldwide are no longer "down times" when we can catch our breath and complete unfinished work, I encourage you this season to find at least one area to improve in your own practice or processes of your department. Find a way, no matter how small, to make an initial or returning experience better for the students with whom you interact.

To assist you in enhancing your practice and/or the achievements of your advising unit, consider attending one of NACADA's Summer Institutes in Portland, Oregon (June 22-27) or St. Petersburg, Florida (July 27-August 1) to complete a plan of action and bring positive change to your department or division. 

And now, as with previous articles written during my NACADA presidency, I am happy to provide the membership with an update from the NACADA Board of Directors. Although the Board meets online throughout the year via Adobe Connect, we met face to face at the end of April in Minneapolis. It was a great opportunity, while in the largest city in Minnesota, to scout things to do and see during the upcoming Annual Conference scheduled for October 8-11, 2014.  During our meeting, Board member Karen Sullivan-Vance provided the Board with an update on the work of the Committee for Global Initiatives. The Committee is working on an international conference June 24th to 26th, 2015 at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Start planning to attend now! In addition, Casey Self, chair of the Committee for Sustainable NACADA Leadership, reported that the Committee is moving forward with internship experiences for our Institutes and increased leadership development resources for all members. The NACADA Council met as well in Minneapolis and reviewed the work of our three divisions, Administrative, Regional, and Commission and Interest Group. The results of the work they are currently doing will enhance the organizational structure of the Association well into the future.

May you enjoy the pleasures of the upcoming season, whether it is winter or summer for you, and remember that whatever your advising role and responsibilities, NACADA is here to assist you in any way. Call upon us!

Joanne K. Damminger, President, 2013-2014
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Delaware Technical Community College
joanned@dtcc.edu

References

Carey, K. (March 10, 2014). Why President Obama's rankings are a good place to start. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://m.chronicle.com/article/Why-President-Obama-s/145243/  

McClenney, K. & Arnsparger, A. (2012). Students speak: Are we listening? Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

O'Banion, T. (Oct./Nov. 2012). Be Advised. Community College Journal.

Shugart, S. C. (2008). Focus on the front door of the college. New Directions for Community Colleges. p. 29 - 38.

Wright, J. (February 18, 2014). The economic impact of America's community colleges. Retrieved March 7, 2014 from http://www.economicmodeling.com/2014/02/18/the-economic-impact-of-americas-community-colleges

- See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf

Joanne K. Damminger, NACADA President

Joanne Damminger.jpgThe first five months of the year were exciting for the regions of NACADA. Conferences were held in 10 regions across the United States and Canada. Three regions, 9, 5, and 1, experienced record-breaking attendance attracting over 500 participants, and regions 8, 4, and 2 exceeded 400 participants! Region 9 had the largest registration in the history of NACADA's regional conferences (as of the publication of this article)! The poster and concurrent sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities provided a beneficial and motivating experience for advisors, administrators, and NACADA!

Juxtaposed with the excitement of learning and developing through regional conferences are reminders of the many challenges in higher education today. Many colleges and universities are experiencing changing prospective student demographics and decreasing numbers of people choosing higher education, resulting in ongoing pressure to meet enrollment goals. Higher education's focus on retention has always been in the forefront of our work, but there is increased emphasis on meeting completion numbers. And perhaps, most importantly, we continually seek ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our student populations: challenges of underpreparedness, the multifaceted responsibilities of our students, and the economic situations across the globe, resulting in decreased jobs and opportunities upon degree completion.

In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 10, 2014), Carey reminds us of a flourishing time for American higher education from the early 1980s to 2001, when the economy was stable and college enrollment realized an additional two million students in higher education. Students recognized the value of a college education, its necessity to get a good job, and the increased earning potential of college graduates. However, in more recent years, disappointing graduation rates, rising student debt, and the low literacy and numeracy skill levels of some college graduates have altered the landscape of higher education. The picture does not shimmer any brighter when coupled with escalating college costs and decreased employability of students with college degrees (Carey, March 10, 2014). All of this is resulting in higher education being called upon to provide concrete evidence of student learning and ability to complete that is proportionate to the cost of a college education.

We must put a student experience in place at every institution that demonstrates the value of higher education. Institutions around the globe are researching best practices for student success, retention, and completion. Following the advice of community college students who participated in McClenney and Arnsparger's study (2012), we as educators must require our students to do what we know is good for them; students depend on us to “make them do” what leads to student success. The message from students who participated in the study is loud and clear: "Students don't do optional" (p. 57). I am sure the quote is true for students at two-year and four-year institutions, private and public, specialty or liberal arts institutions, in the United States and across the globe. So, what is your institution and more specifically you, as an academic or career advisor, requiring of your advisees to help them realize their potential and dreams of degree completion? Is advising required of your students and for how many semesters? In what ways are you streamlining the application, testing, advising, and registration processes so students are not given the runaround or asked to maneuver landmines to enroll? Are your processes and procedures for declaring and changing majors clear and easily followed? In what ways are you helping students to have the strongest start possible?

The role that governmental legislation will play in the changing tapestry of higher education, completion incentives, future higher education policies, and potential college rankings remains controversial, but that does not, and should not, dilute the role that advisors play in supporting students and learning. Advising is now a key player in the arena of student success, and with increased recognition comes increased responsibility. Although the field of advising has come very far since the first National Conference on Academic Advising in 1977, there is more work than ever for us to do. As the familiar adage reads, we cannot continue to do the same things and expect new results.

So, how will advisors lead effective change to enhance the role of advising, meet student enrollment goals, and help students realize their educational and career goals? Advising plays a critical role in improving the college experience, making connections with students, and helping students succeed in their chosen programs of study, earn a degree, and graduate with the competencies required to get into and be sustained in intended career fields. As advisors and advising administrators seek ways to accomplish the aforementioned, participation in networking opportunities within and outside of NACADA is critical to improved practice. Seek opportunities to share ideas and new initiatives with advising colleagues. In the community college sector, in which I work, we are continually thinking of ways to support students from the time they apply, as ideally we only have three years (well, I said ideally) to impact the students who enter our community college doors.

In 2013, Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) put in place a “Front Door Experience” following the lead of Shugart (2008), who reminds us of the need to provide support for our new students from the time they step over our thresholds.  The Front Door Experience at Delaware Tech consists of mandatory advising for all new students, expected attendance at new student orientation, encouraged participation in engaging welcome week activities, and enrollment in a first-year experience Student Success Course.

A recent impact study released by the American Association of Community Colleges (February, 2014) shows both the positive impact of the community college sector on the U.S. economy and the positive effects of graduating students on the local workforce. We must find ways to inform our students that they can realize a return of $4.80 for every $1 invested in education. The same study showed an increased earning potential of graduates with an associate's degree of almost $10,700 more per year than someone with a high school degree or equivalent, but too few students are aware of these statistics.

Although summer sessions at institutions worldwide are no longer "down times" when we can catch our breath and complete unfinished work, I encourage you this season to find at least one area to improve in your own practice or processes of your department. Find a way, no matter how small, to make an initial or returning experience better for the students with whom you interact.

To assist you in enhancing your practice and/or the achievements of your advising unit, consider attending one of NACADA's Summer Institutes in Portland, Oregon (June 22-27) or St. Petersburg, Florida (July 27-August 1) to complete a plan of action and bring positive change to your department or division. 

And now, as with previous articles written during my NACADA presidency, I am happy to provide the membership with an update from the NACADA Board of Directors. Although the Board meets online throughout the year via Adobe Connect, we met face to face at the end of April in Minneapolis. It was a great opportunity, while in the largest city in Minnesota, to scout things to do and see during the upcoming Annual Conference scheduled for October 8-11, 2014.  During our meeting, Board member Karen Sullivan-Vance provided the Board with an update on the work of the Committee for Global Initiatives. The Committee is working on an international conference June 24th to 26th, 2015 at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Start planning to attend now! In addition, Casey Self, chair of the Committee for Sustainable NACADA Leadership, reported that the Committee is moving forward with internship experiences for our Institutes and increased leadership development resources for all members. The NACADA Council met as well in Minneapolis and reviewed the work of our three divisions, Administrative, Regional, and Commission and Interest Group. The results of the work they are currently doing will enhance the organizational structure of the Association well into the future.

May you enjoy the pleasures of the upcoming season, whether it is winter or summer for you, and remember that whatever your advising role and responsibilities, NACADA is here to assist you in any way. Call upon us!

Joanne K. Damminger, President, 2013-2014
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Delaware Technical Community College
joanned@dtcc.edu

References

Carey, K. (March 10, 2014). Why President Obama's rankings are a good place to start. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://m.chronicle.com/article/Why-President-Obama-s/145243/  

McClenney, K. & Arnsparger, A. (2012). Students speak: Are we listening? Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

O'Banion, T. (Oct./Nov. 2012). Be Advised. Community College Journal.

Shugart, S. C. (2008). Focus on the front door of the college. New Directions for Community Colleges. p. 29 - 38.

Wright, J. (February 18, 2014). The economic impact of America's community colleges. Retrieved March 7, 2014 from http://www.economicmodeling.com/2014/02/18/the-economic-impact-of-americas-community-colleges

- See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/From-the-President-The-Changing-Tapestry-of-Higher-Education---Do-Not-Overlook-the-Important-Role-of-Advising.aspx#sthash.gl7Vv2xL.dpuf

From the President: The Changing Tapestry of Higher Education - Do Not Overlook the Important Role of Advising

Joanne K. Damminger, NACADA President

Joanne Damminger.jpgThe first five months of the year were exciting for the regions of NACADA. Conferences were held in 10 regions across the United States and Canada. Three regions, 9, 5, and 1, experienced record-breaking attendance attracting over 500 participants, and regions 8, 4, and 2 exceeded 400 participants! Region 9 had the largest registration in the history of NACADA's regional conferences (as of the publication of this article)! The poster and concurrent sessions, keynotes, and networking opportunities provided a beneficial and motivating experience for advisors, administrators, and NACADA!

Juxtaposed with the excitement of learning and developing through regional conferences are reminders of the many challenges in higher education today. Many colleges and universities are experiencing changing prospective student demographics and decreasing numbers of people choosing higher education, resulting in ongoing pressure to meet enrollment goals. Higher education's focus on retention has always been in the forefront of our work, but there is increased emphasis on meeting completion numbers. And perhaps, most importantly, we continually seek ways to meet the ever-changing needs of our student populations: challenges of underpreparedness, the multifaceted responsibilities of our students, and the economic situations across the globe, resulting in decreased jobs and opportunities upon degree completion.

In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 10, 2014), Carey reminds us of a flourishing time for American higher education from the early 1980s to 2001, when the economy was stable and college enrollment realized an additional two million students in higher education. Students recognized the value of a college education, its necessity to get a good job, and the increased earning potential of college graduates. However, in more recent years, disappointing graduation rates, rising student debt, and the low literacy and numeracy skill levels of some college graduates have altered the landscape of higher education. The picture does not shimmer any brighter when coupled with escalating college costs and decreased employability of students with college degrees (Carey, March 10, 2014). All of this is resulting in higher education being called upon to provide concrete evidence of student learning and ability to complete that is proportionate to the cost of a college education.

We must put a student experience in place at every institution that demonstrates the value of higher education. Institutions around the globe are researching best practices for student success, retention, and completion. Following the advice of community college students who participated in McClenney and Arnsparger's study (2012), we as educators must require our students to do what we know is good for them; students depend on us to “make them do” what leads to student success. The message from students who participated in the study is loud and clear: "Students don't do optional" (p. 57). I am sure the quote is true for students at two-year and four-year institutions, private and public, specialty or liberal arts institutions, in the United States and across the globe. So, what is your institution and more specifically you, as an academic or career advisor, requiring of your advisees to help them realize their potential and dreams of degree completion? Is advising required of your students and for how many semesters? In what ways are you streamlining the application, testing, advising, and registration processes so students are not given the runaround or asked to maneuver landmines to enroll? Are your processes and procedures for declaring and changing majors clear and easily followed? In what ways are you helping students to have the strongest start possible?

The role that governmental legislation will play in the changing tapestry of higher education, completion incentives, future higher education policies, and potential college rankings remains controversial, but that does not, and should not, dilute the role that advisors play in supporting students and learning. Advising is now a key player in the arena of student success, and with increased recognition comes increased responsibility. Although the field of advising has come very far since the first National Conference on Academic Advising in 1977, there is more work than ever for us to do. As the familiar adage reads, we cannot continue to do the same things and expect new results.

So, how will advisors lead effective change to enhance the role of advising, meet student enrollment goals, and help students realize their educational and career goals? Advising plays a critical role in improving the college experience, making connections with students, and helping students succeed in their chosen programs of study, earn a degree, and graduate with the competencies required to get into and be sustained in intended career fields. As advisors and advising administrators seek ways to accomplish the aforementioned, participation in networking opportunities within and outside of NACADA is critical to improved practice. Seek opportunities to share ideas and new initiatives with advising colleagues. In the community college sector, in which I work, we are continually thinking of ways to support students from the time they apply, as ideally we only have three years (well, I said ideally) to impact the students who enter our community college doors.

In 2013, Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) put in place a “Front Door Experience” following the lead of Shugart (2008), who reminds us of the need to provide support for our new students from the time they step over our thresholds.  The Front Door Experience at Delaware Tech consists of mandatory advising for all new students, expected attendance at new student orientation, encouraged participation in engaging welcome week activities, and enrollment in a first-year experience Student Success Course.

A recent impact study released by the American Association of Community Colleges (February, 2014) shows both the positive impact of the community college sector on the U.S. economy and the positive effects of graduating students on the local workforce. We must find ways to inform our students that they can realize a return of $4.80 for every $1 invested in education. The same study showed an increased earning potential of graduates with an associate's degree of almost $10,700 more per year than someone with a high school degree or equivalent, but too few students are aware of these statistics.

Although summer sessions at institutions worldwide are no longer "down times" when we can catch our breath and complete unfinished work, I encourage you this season to find at least one area to improve in your own practice or processes of your department. Find a way, no matter how small, to make an initial or returning experience better for the students with whom you interact.

To assist you in enhancing your practice and/or the achievements of your advising unit, consider attending one of NACADA's Summer Institutes in Portland, Oregon (June 22-27) or St. Petersburg, Florida (July 27-August 1) to complete a plan of action and bring positive change to your department or division. 

And now, as with previous articles written during my NACADA presidency, I am happy to provide the membership with an update from the NACADA Board of Directors. Although the Board meets online throughout the year via Adobe Connect, we met face to face at the end of April in Minneapolis. It was a great opportunity, while in the largest city in Minnesota, to scout things to do and see during the upcoming Annual Conference scheduled for October 8-11, 2014.  During our meeting, Board member Karen Sullivan-Vance provided the Board with an update on the work of the Committee for Global Initiatives. The Committee is working on an international conference June 24th to 26th, 2015 at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Start planning to attend now! In addition, Casey Self, chair of the Committee for Sustainable NACADA Leadership, reported that the Committee is moving forward with internship experiences for our Institutes and increased leadership development resources for all members. The NACADA Council met as well in Minneapolis and reviewed the work of our three divisions, Administrative, Regional, and Commission and Interest Group. The results of the work they are currently doing will enhance the organizational structure of the Association well into the future.

May you enjoy the pleasures of the upcoming season, whether it is winter or summer for you, and remember that whatever your advising role and responsibilities, NACADA is here to assist you in any way. Call upon us!

Joanne K. Damminger, President, 2013-2014
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Delaware Technical Community College
joanned@dtcc.edu

References

Carey, K. (March 10, 2014). Why President Obama's rankings are a good place to start. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from http://m.chronicle.com/article/Why-President-Obama-s/145243/  

McClenney, K. & Arnsparger, A. (2012). Students speak: Are we listening? Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

O'Banion, T. (Oct./Nov. 2012). Be Advised. Community College Journal.

Shugart, S. C. (2008). Focus on the front door of the college. New Directions for Community Colleges. p. 29 - 38.

Wright, J. (February 18, 2014). The economic impact of America's community colleges. Retrieved March 7, 2014 from http://www.economicmodeling.com/2014/02/18/the-economic-impact-of-americas-community-colleges


From the Executive Director: Academic Advising – The Next Generation

Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director

Charlie Nutt.jpgBeing 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
(785) 532-5717
cnutt@ksu.edu


A Privilege or A Purpose: Can Higher Education Still Afford to Help Students Discover Themselves and Explore Life’s Meaning?

Michael Rosenfeld and Christine Shakespeare, Pace University
William Imbriale, SUNY Maritime College

Rosenfeld, Shakespeare, Imbriale, jpbAmerican higher education today is at a critical crossroads as many question and debate its continuing value to individual productivity and societal advancement. From Un-College movements to MOOCs, traditional four year liberal arts-grounded brick and mortar university education is being re-examined and re-imagined.  At the same time, that traditional model of higher education is being extolled and defended. So where are we in higher education headed? And at the day-to-day level (which is where most of us work), how do we contextualize for ourselves and our students the current public policy debate about the shape and scope of higher education?

Although we position ourselves differently in the debate and consequently have somewhat different answers to these questions, all of the authors share the belief that these are critical questions not only for educational policy makers and government or corporate leaders, but also for all of us immersed in the reality of helping students understand and successfully navigate their college experience. Each of us needs to understand the role education has played in our own lives especially in its more transformative dimensions and what more generally or globally we believe that its ideal value is in the lives of our students and the larger social world we share.

One of the strengths of the traditional brick and mortar college based on liberal learning has been its commitment to individual exploration and discovery. Its curriculum and vision were deliberately intended to support a developmental process dedicated to increasing the individual student's self-knowledge within a framework of common standards and civic responsibility. As our world becomes ever more atomized and professionalized, some see this traditional humanism as increasing rather than diminishing in value because of the larger and more transcendent values it seeks to instill in students-- values that encourage students to turn a critical and questioning eye on social forces, technologies, and institutions that have the capacity to dwarf individualism and choice.

Yet it is undeniable that the traditional brick and mortar institution is deeply implicated in the very structure of our present social order. Some argue, and quite legitimately, that it is both a tool for the perpetuation of established privilege and a sorting device to offer the veneer of legitimacy to existing power and privilege. While it has provided access, certain beneficiaries have long enjoyed privileged access. Excluded were women, people of color, working adults, single parents, and many others lacking the cultural or financial capital to take advantage of all that a four year residential liberal arts college community had to offer. Thus the prospective de-centering of that institution or model is a positive development that holds out the possibility of greater opportunity of access and mobility for millions who have long struggled for educational opportunity or success.  Today’s technology, through dedicated distance programs or hybrid ones, although presenting a challenge to existing institutions, represents an opportunity for large numbers of those marginalized by traditional higher education institutions.

For some even that change may be too conservative, limiting our choices to what we already know. Could we not, if we really wanted to, "reinvent" college? Could we create a completely new model that more efficiently deployed the resources presently allocated to what students really need and want?   It has been done in the past with educational incubators that have grown hoary with time and are now well established within the educational mainstream (think of A&M Universities, for example, or the Worker Education Movement in England), so might we not do it again? Possibly, for example, by building a model which connected and integrated  such threads as competency-based learning, apprenticeship, and Home College. But where do we find our educational visionaries who understand that what makes for a great university is something different from what makes for a great corporation? (Perhaps it is a little unfair to say, but too much of our current re-thinking about higher education is being pushed from above by corporate leaders.)

Regardless, however, of the educational mission, vision, or structure that we have, advising and advisors will remain central to student success in higher education. Students will still need help with navigating school and life; community, whether physical or virtual, will still need to be created; and new visions will have to be brought down from the clouds and made real. These are fundamental realities and it will be advisors who will operationalize them.

How advisors respond to these questions will of course depend upon their own temperaments, experiences, values, and sense of the future. We move both in operational and philosophical realms, and part of our professional growth involves not only the deepening of our own understanding of our professional culture but also the increasing interpenetration of our values and our work. So to a significant degree our response to the debate about the future shape and purpose of higher education is deeply autobiographical.

To encourage further thinking about this we would like to pose some suggested questions for the reader to consider:

  • What role has higher education played in my life?
  • What role is it serving in the lives of the students I work with?
  • How well do I see college connecting with the backgrounds my students come from and the futures to which they aspire?
  • What changes would I make or advocate for so that higher education is more meaningful and accessible to our students?
  • How do I help students to understand what higher education is/can be, to be alert to its pitfalls but open to its opportunities?

Along with some suggested reading:

  • Clayton Christensen, The Innovative University
  • Andrew Delbanco , College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be
  • Ben Wildavsky, Andrew P. Kelly, and Kevin Carey (editors), Reinventing Higher Education  

Michael Rosenfeld
Director, Center for Academic Excellence
Pace University
mrosenfeld@pace.edu

Christine Shakespeare
Pace University
cshakespeare@pace.edu

William Imbriale
Associate Dean of Students
SUNY Maritime College
wimbriale@sunymaritime.edu


Conversational Advising: An Organic Approach

Trevor Francis, University of Arkansas

Trevor Francis.jpgIn a recent talk about their advising experiences, a group of business students were asked about the purpose of advising. At first, the students were adamant that they were only interested in receiving official degree information from their advisors during their appointments. They clearly expressed that the primary reason for their visits to the Advising Center was simply to receive information about their degree progress. In their minds, they could see no other reason. They were happy with the information with which they had been provided and felt as though their advising appointments had been beneficial. As the discussion moved to specific questions about who their advisors were, they revealed, even if not recognized by them, another reason behind their appointments: they enjoyed talking with their advisors. They felt connected to their advisors. They trusted their advisors. They knew personal information about their advisors. They liked their advisors. Their appointments were more than information injections, more than receiving sound bites like one would receive a vaccine from a hypodermic needle. The discussion was a powerful reminder that there were two realities at work in advising appointments: the receiving of information occurs because of the creation of relationship. Learning was not just happening within the context of a community, but it was happening at a deeper level because of community. Deeper learning was facilitated by how the students felt within their connection to an advisor; advising was a function of the quality of a student’s social connection with an advisor.

Advising appointments should feel natural to our students, like an ongoing conversation in which they feel free to share their voices, explore their talents, frame their current experiences, and think through why they are walking the path that they are on. These appointments should feel organic, like a place where ideas can be openly explored, where deep reflection can take place, and where plans have the liberty to be created and recreated. Conversational advising, on campus or online, should be a place where the emotional climate is just as powerful and freeing to a student’s mind as the information being shared; it should be a place where students experience the freedom to think, collect information, reflect on their choices, and use that information to grow. The more natural the experience, the more powerful the learning. Although, as with the business students, the depth of how learning is taking place may initially go unnoticed.

The word “advising” is powerful. It implies guidance, a transfer of knowledge, and expert recommendations. But the word “conversation” provides a much-needed context for our work with students because it implies immediacy, a sense of togetherness, and a relaxed exchange of ideas. Advising appointments are often heavy on information sharing but light on true conversation. Conversation in its original sense means “to associate with” or “to keep company with,” and if used in the same way that the Greeks used it, conversation refers to identification as a citizen, or citizenship (Merriam Webster, 2012). 

Conversation is the most fundamental of human interactions; we spend our formative years learning informally through conversation – asking questions of caretakers, making sense of our experiences with those around which we feel safest. The act of being in conversation is intrinsic to our existence as people. Conversation, rooted in our core identities as humans, is communication that seeks to create and understand meaning, to value and be valued, and to coordinate social action. As global citizens, conversation, the ability to transcend differences and to connect on a human level, is our primary method for promoting unity and growth. 

Conversational advising is an advising pedagogy in which the advisor foregoes an authoritative position, and, by doing so, actively creates a learning space where knowledge about each student and his or her unique academic and career plan can be discovered through conversation. In this approach, advisors are not the keepers of knowledge. Instead, they become students of inquiry with each college student becoming the primary text. In this way, conversational advising is an organic approach that is focused on creating an environment that allows the unique personalities, strengths, and experiences of the advisor and the student to integrate for the sake of exploration and discovery. By taking a humble, inquiry-based approach to the conversation, the advisor is able to create a context which allows for the development of new ideas. As Hans Georg Gadamer said, “The more genuine conversation is, the less its conduct lies within the will of either partner. Thus, a genuine conversation is never the one that we wanted to conduct…[It is] more correct to say that we fall into conversation, or even that we become involved in it…A conversation has a spirit of its own, and the language in which it is conducted bears its own truth within it—i.e., that it allows something to ‘emerge’ which hence forth exists” (Baker, Jensen, & Kolb, 2002). In this way, finding our way into conversation with students is integral to helping them transform their college experiences into learning. Experience alone does not teach; people teach each other through conversation because no one learns in isolation.

The job of an advisor is to create environments that allow students to learn, and the best way to do this is through quality conversation. Information within the context of relationship is the essence of conversational advising. At best, conversational advising is an organic, natural view of advising. In this context of thinking, the advisor and student are free to learn from each other, communicate effectively, and continually adapt to and plan for new issues and challenges. The advisor works to create a safe space where experiences can be processed while carefully balancing the relational and content aspects of the conversation. A conversational perspective on advising is essential to understanding deep learning and personal change.

Conversational advising encompasses four areas: 1. Community, 2. Conscience, 3. Collection, and 4. Creation. As conversations develop, a student should feel a sense of community, e.g., during New Student Orientation, we can remind our students that they are now citizens of the same community. The challenge is to help them feel like they are part of our college and our university community, so we should continually look for ways to send the message of community and citizenship; deeper learning happens when a student feels like a contributor to the community. Next, it is essential to invoke the reality of conscience in our conversations. We should invite students to align his or her personal strengths with a path. We should ask questions which challenge students to clarify their values and to integrate each area of their lives so that they can learn to own their decisions. Further, it is vital that we teach students how to collect information and store up knowledge so that their minds can use this data to make decisions. The more information they collect, the less they will fear decisions, and the more their unconscious mind can begin the creation process. In many ways, it is important to remind students that having multiple advisors, multiple voices and perspectives in their lives provides a safety net. As students collect information, they can also begin the process of creating and re-creating plans. Students should know that the creation process is ongoing and dynamic, and they should feel perfect freedom as they implement their trial-and-error method.

Advising conversations do not end when a student leaves the appointment. Instead, the product, the creation, of the time together is assimilated into students’ minds and eventually may find its way into their other conversations and, hopefully, if positive, into their actions. Baker et al. (2002) reminded us that conversational learning is a “process whereby learners construct meaning and transform experiences into knowledge through conversation.” A student’s self-knowledge is discovered through the ongoing process of conversation. As students actively communicate their experiences and ideas to an advisor, they make meaning of their college experiences through reflection, which is typically caused by effective advisor questioning techniques. Students then transfer this new knowledge, which was discovered because of a collaborative relationship with an advisor, into their decision-making process. Advising is conversation, and the quality of our conversations can have a dramatic impact on how our students experience life during college and after.

Trevor Francis
Director, Fulbright College Advising Center
J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences
University of Arkansas
tafranc@uark.edu

References 

Baker, A. C., Jensen, P. J., & Kolb, D. A. (2002). Conversational learning: An experiential approach to knowledge creation. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Conversation (2012). In Merriam-Webster online. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conversation


Increasing Motivation in Probation Students

Allison E. Tifft, Texas State University

Allison Tifft.jpgAccording to D.H. Schunk (2012), “Motivation influences learning and performance outcomes, just as what a person does and learns influences motivation” (p. 412). For some probation students, lack of motivation is a primary factor in their poor academic performance.  In turn, their poor academic performance has further decreased their motivation, launching a negative reinforcing cycle.  What can academic advisors do to help?

There are several theories that address motivation and how to increase it.  One of those theories is Vroom’s expectancy theory.  Developed in 1964 to address motivating employees in the workplace, it is also applicable to increasing motivation in college students.

Vroom’s theory states that motivation is a combination of expectancy, instrumentality, and valence (1964).  Therefore, an increase in any of those three factors increases motivation.  By learning about these three factors and identifying practical ways to increase them in college students, academic advisors can become better equipped to increase motivation in probation students.

Vroom’s Factors of Motivation

Expectancy is defined as a person’s estimate that effort will impact performance (Vroom, 1964). An individual has high expectancy if she believes that trying harder will produce a better result.  In contrast, someone with low expectancy does not think performance is dependent upon effort.  A college student with low expectancy doesn’t think studying more will help him earn a higher grade on his test.

This concept is linked with Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy as well as Rotter’s locus of control.  Psychologist Bandura defines self-efficacy as an individual’s self-assessment of her ability to successfully complete a certain task (1986).  Students with low self-efficacy are likely to have low expectancy. Rotter’s locus of control focuses on the extent to which an individual believes she has control over events that affect her (1954).  A student with a high internal locus of control believes that circumstances are derived from his own actions, while a student with a high external locus of control believes that his situation is a result of outside factors and influences rather than his own.  Those with a high external locus of control are likely to have low expectancy.

Vroom defines instrumentality as a person’s estimate of the strength of the connection between a certain performance and a specific future outcome (1964).  Consider the statement, “Rachel was instrumental in acquiring a grant for this project.”  If Rachel is instrumental, she is integral to accomplishing a certain goal.  A student may be questioning the instrumentality of making a certain grade in a class in regard to a larger goal such as graduating or getting accepted into a certain academic program. 

A student may be low in instrumentality if he is unaware of the connection between earning certain grades and future outcomes about which he cares strongly.  For example, a student may have low instrumentality if she does not realize the impact that academic probation may have on her graduation date, financial aid status, or participation in student organizations. 

The third and final component, valence, is explained as the strength of a person’s desire for that specific future outcome (Vroom, 1964).  If a student is indifferent regarding a certain consequence, then motivation is low.  However, if a student cares deeply about accomplishing or avoiding a specific outcome, motivation will be higher.

Increasing Vroom’s Factors in Probation Students

Understanding these components of motivation is just the first step.  It is also important to know what academic advisors can do to increase each factor of motivation.

A student lacking expectancy is lacking confidence in his ability to perform better in the future.  One way an academic advisor can help increase a student’s self-confidence is by discussing past successes.  In most cases a probation student has succeeded in at least one class.  If not, then the fact that the student performed well enough in high school to be admitted to college is an achievement to highlight.  Success isn’t limited to the classroom, so discussing areas outside of school in which a student excels can also be helpful.  This helps re-establish self-confidence and increases a student’s belief that she can succeed academically.

Some students will not be motivated by discussing past successes and will still feel incompetent in addressing their current challenges.  In this instance, referring the student to relevant campus resources can be incredibly beneficial.  Pointing to relevant resources introduces “game changers” to the student’s situation.  A student who failed all his tests despite hours of studying may be more motivated when he learns that testing accommodations are available for him, or that there is an office that can help him develop more efficient study habits.

Academic advisors are especially equipped to increase instrumentality in probation students.  Instrumentality is all about awareness of consequences due to academic performance – a topic on which academic advisors are well versed.  Students, however, can be much less knowledgeable.  Though it seems obvious, reminding a student that failing classes will delay graduation can be motivating if the student does not particularly enjoy school and is eagerly awaiting “the real world.”  Informing a sorority sister that she cannot participate in Greek life if she continues to be on probation may be the impetus needed for her to become motivated.  The information given to the student must be tailored to the outcome he cares most about, which is how valence is incorporated.

Increasing valence is the most difficult.  In order to increase valence, an academic advisor must quickly learn what matters to the student.  For some students, graduating on time is the highest priority.  For others, it is getting accepted to a specific academic program. Sometimes, it isn’t about what a student wants to accomplish, but what she wants to prevent.  The realization that too many semesters of academic probation means loss of financial aid is enough information to motivate some students.  For others, avoiding suspension is a sufficient motivator.  However, there are students who seem to find nothing important.  At this point, an academic advisor must try to make something matter. 

Not every student on academic probation lacks motivation.  Of those who do, there are endless possibilities as to why they are not motivated. Vroom’s theory is a structured approach to guide academic advisors in identifying and addressing these hindrances to motivation. It is by using this information and tailoring each appointment to each individual student that academic advisors can get the answers they need to in turn help probation students increase their motivation and succeed academically. 

Allison E. Tifft
Academic Advisor II
University College Advising Center
Texas State University
aec91@txstate.edu

References

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Rotter, J.B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Schunk, D. H. (2012). Learning theories: An educational perspective. Boston: Pearson.

Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.



Undocumented Students in Higher Education: Beneficial Information

Fai Howard, Virginia Commonwealth University

Fai Howard,jpbImmigration, and especially immigration reform, is a hot button item.  Undocumented students are included in the immigration debate and are steadily gaining more attention.  What has arguably obtained some of the most attention are the laws and policies pertaining to undocumented students pursuing college.  An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate every year from U.S. high schools (National Immigration Law Center, 2012).  About three quarters of the undocumented population are from Latin America and more than half are from Mexico, with significant populations from Central and South America and Asia (Perez, 2012).

The information provided in this article is meant to inform readers about national education equity, laws, and proposed legislation pertaining to undocumented students, as well as provide insight into some of the experiences of this population.  The piece concludes with recommendations for college personnel interested in providing resources for undocumented students.

In-state Tuition for Undocumented Students

The federal government has not specifically addressed or passed any legislation pertaining to undocumented students in higher education.  Consequently, individual states have been taking matters into their own hands since 2001 by passing laws and creating policy that is implemented at the college/university level.

Over the past decade, the majority of states have considered legislation to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students.  Policymakers in many states have not been successful in passing what is known as education equity legislation for undocumented students in higher education.  The Education Commission of States identified 32 states that considered or passed in-state tuition legislation for undocumented students, indicating widespread national interest in this particular area (Russell, 2011). 

According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislators (2014), 18 states currently have provisions allowing in-state tuition rates for undocumented students as of April 2014. Sixteen states provide these provisions through state legislation.  California and Texas were the first states to enact legislation in 2001.  In 2002, New York and Utah passed similar legislation.  During the 2003 and 2004 legislative sessions, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kansas all passed such laws.  However, Oklahoma revoked its law in 2008.  In 2005 and 2006, New Mexico and Nebraska signed undocumented student tuition legislation into law, and Wisconsin enacted a similar law in 2009, but then revoked that law in 2011.  Maryland's governor signed a law in May 2011 allowing undocumented students meeting the specified requirements to pay in-state tuition at community colleges only.  Also in 2011, Connecticut enacted a law allowing in-state tuition for undocumented students.  In 2013, four states, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, and New Jersey enacted laws permitting in-state tuition for undocumented students.  Florida approved in-state tuition for undocumented in 2014 and it is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.   The most recent update is from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Virginia Attorney General, Mark R. Herring, announced that Virginia students approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals now qualify for in-state tuition on April 29, 2014 (Gabriel, 2014).

Howard charts.jpg

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

In June of 2012, President Obama signed an executive order and announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would shield eligible undocumented immigrant youth from deportation and provide them with a pathway to work authorization for a two-year period that is renewable.  An estimated 1.7 million undocumented youth who migrated to the U.S. with their parents before they were 16 years old may be eligible for the new program (Amuedo-Dorantes & Sparber, 2012).

Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

At the congressional level, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which goes several steps further to provide undocumented students with a pathway to permanent residency status and access to federal benefits such as aid for college, was first introduced in 2001 and has stalled on several occasions. 

Psychological Impact

Undocumented students educated in the U.S. face unique challenges and experience differences in adolescent and adult development.  Many undocumented students suffer from serious psychological and emotional distress (Drachman, 2006).  For many undocumented students, the college application process is the first time they ever internalize their illegal status, as college applications demand both residency and financial documents (Vargas, 2010-2011).  Qualitative research conducted by Gonzales (2011) with 150 interviews of undocumented Latina/o young adults in Southern California was quite telling in reference to the lived experiences of undocumented individuals.  Many undocumented persons go through a transition to illegality. Gonzales (2011) determined there were three transition periods.  While scholarly literature defines the early and middle transitions as ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 29, this framework is not applicable to the undocumented population.  Many undocumented students have been protected and integrated through the U.S. public school system.  Gonzales (2011) determined there were three transition periods.  The first is called discovery, ages 16 through 18 years, and during this period their undocumented status is discovered.   The next period, ages 18 through 24 years, is known as learning to be illegal.  The final transition period is coping, taking place from age 25 through 29 years of age. 

Cavazos-Rehg, Zayas, and Spitznagel (2007) hypothesized that undocumented status is a “persistent and insidious pyscho environmental stressor” that increases Latina/o immigrant’s vulnerability to acculturative stress and other socioemotional problems.  Their findings showed that Latina/o immigrants concerned with deportation reported higher levels of stress related to economic and occupational challenges than immigrants who did not express deportation concerns.  Undocumented Mexican immigrants have reported loneliness, disorientation, isolation, feeling trapped, depression, and sadness; their marginality is reinforced by the ambiguousness of being “illegal” on one hand, while being unofficially welcomed through the economic “back door” on the other (Pérez and Cortés, 2011).

Summary

Only a handful of readers work in states that provide education equity for undocumented students.  Hence, it is important to actively seek information about the undocumented population and any laws/legislation pertaining to undocumented students pursuing higher education in each state.  Create an information sheet about general student services which also includes information pertaining to undocumented students in your state.  Share the information with colleagues and students when the opportunity arises.  In this approach, undocumented students receive information without disclosing their status.  Information is also available from the National Association of Student Financial Aid and Administrators, (http://www.ndm.edu/files/resources/nasfaa-tips-for-undocstudents.pdf).  Additionally, advisors may encourage application to the DACA program if a student discloses his or her undocumented status. Finally, all university personal must abide by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This act prohibits school officials from disclosing a student’s undocumented status (Salsbury, 2003). 

Fai Howard
Director, Office of Student Services
College of Humanities & Science, Associate Dean's Office
Virginia Commonwealth University
HOWARDFR@VCU.EDU

References

Amuedo-Dorantes, C. & Sparber, C. (2012). In-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and its impact on college enrollment, tuition cost, student financial aid, and indebtedness. IZA Working Paper No. 6857, September.

Cavazos-Rehg, P. A., Zayas, L. H., & Spitznagel, E. L. (2007). Legal status, emotional well being and subjective health status of Latina/o immigrants. Journal of the National Medical Association, 99, 1126-1131.

Drachman, E. (2006). Access to higher education for undocumented students.  Peace Review:  A Journal of Social Justice, 18, 91-100.

Gabriel, T. (2014, April 29). Virginia attorney general opens in-state tuition to students brought to U.S. illegally. New York Times.  Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/us/dreamers-eligible-for-in-state-tuition-virginias-attorney-general-says.html?_r=0.

Gonzales, R. G. (2011). Learning to be illegal:  Undocumented youth and shifting legal contexts in the transition to adulthood.  American Sociological Review, 4, 602-619. doi:  10.1177/0003122411411901.

National Conference of State Legislators. (2014). Undocumented student tuition:  State action. Retrieved from  http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/undocumented-student-tuition-state-action.aspx.

National Immigration Law Center. (2012). Basic Facts about in-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrant Students.  Retrieved from http://www.nilc.org/basic-facts-instate.html.

Pérez, W. (2012). Undocumented students in higher education.  In Banks, J. A., Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (pp. 2215-2218). Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE Publications, Inc.

Pérez, W. & Cortés, R.D. (2011). Undocumented Latina/o college students their socioemotional and academic experiences. El Paso, TX:  LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.

Russell, A. (2011, March). State policies regarding undocumented college students:  A narrative of unresolved issues, ongoing debate, and missed opportunities.  A Higher Education Policy Brief.  Retrieved from http://www.congressweb.com/aascu/docfiles/2011.marchpm.pdf

Salsbury, J. (2003). Evading “residence”:  Undocumented students, higher education, and the states. American University Law Review, 53(2), 459-490.

Vargas, E.D. (2010-2011). In-state tuition policies for undocumented youth. Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 23, 44-58.

 

Ten Skills Advisors Need for Promotion to the Next Level

Barbra J. Wallace, University of California, Riverside

Barbra Wallace.jpgI am a college administrator at my institution.  Like many of my generation, it wasn’t my ultimate career goal to become a college administrator, but 25 years later I’ve managed to climb the college administrator career ladder.  At this stage of my career, a number of colleagues have asked me how I did it.  As a result, I sat down to try to “reverse engineer” my path.  Below I’ve cataloged 10 of the most important skills I’ve learned over the years.  I believe these skills are essential to success in college administration and perhaps other careers as well.  I’m sure everyone has their own list, but here are my top 10.  I hope those who are interested in promoting will find this list of important skills helpful.

Research Librarian. The goal of the research librarian is to become the expert in his or her field.  Great administrators may not initially be content experts, but they learn quickly.  There is no substitute for diving into the research and using what is learned in one-on-one conversations, meetings, and citations in written reports.  Those who studied their field in graduate school revisit textbooks and journal articles.  Those who didn’t teach themselves the theory behind their practice.  They commit to their own continuing education.  The final outcome is to become known as someone who values the experts and ties his or her own practice to those who’ve been successful before.

Surveyor.  The goal of a surveyor is to determine boundaries and ownership.  In higher education, there are a lot of “owners:” the students, campus partners, faculty, and the public at large.  It can be confusing to determine who has primary responsibility for what.  Weighing in and trying to take over a task when ownership isn’t clear may not be a success strategy.  Great administrators get to know their campus rules and regulations, access organizational charts, meet and greet to get to know the campus culture.  The final outcome is to understand when to take the lead and when to merely offer support. 

Astronomer. The goal of an astronomer is to search the heavens to see the big picture.  Great staff members focus on the details to make sure that the job is done correctly the first time, but great administrators focus on the big picture: “what are we doing and why are we doing it?”  They work with their staff members to craft the mission, vision, values, and goals for their office, making sure that they align with the goals of the campus.  Great administrators learn to effectively summarize and communicate essential information that will help higher administrators make important decisions to move forward.  They also regularly review and revise office policies to make sure they align with changing goals.  The final outcome is to ensure that every day work products align with the office and campus mission.

Teacher. The goal of a teacher is to educate.  Great administrators serve as partners who are invested in their staff’s success, work together to translate goals into a common philosophy, create benchmarks that show when those goals are reached, provide opportunities for staff to independently practice what they’ve learned, and reward excellence.  Great administrators understand the difference between style and substance and provide staff the freedom to determine their own work style within the established culture and philosophy.  They give constructive feedback.  The final outcome is to create an office philosophy, communicate expectations, review performance, give feedback, and reward accomplishments.

Fire Fighter.  The goal of the fire fighter is to quickly and efficiently extinguish fires.  Great administrators respond to concerns in their constituencies as quickly and accurately as possible.  And just like fire fighters, effective administrators must be accessible and available.  They must be thorough, reacting only after performing due diligence to secure complete information and expert consultation.  If their office makes a mistake they apologize and make it right.  They never fail to follow through and communicate resolutions to interested parties as quickly as possible.  The final outcome is to be accessible, empathetic, and to respond appropriately to the concerns of others.

Public Relations Specialist. The goal of a public relations specialist is to communicate success to outside constituencies.  Great administrators understand that while it is important to quickly and appropriately respond to “bad press,” it is also vital to generate “good press.”  They create a proactive, positive communication cycle by tracking office achievements, encouraging and rewarding innovation, and proactively disseminating their successes to their constituents.  The final outcome is to proactively advertise the staff’s accomplishments to communicate their value to the campus at large. 

Concierge. The goal of a concierge is to determine and fulfill needs.  To paraphrase Abraham Maslow, staff can’t shine if their basic needs aren’t met.  At the very core, staff need to feel safe.   Nowadays great administrators must create a safety plan to foster security.  They create and maintain dialog with their staffs to foster open communication.  They train their staff to understand the difference between “need” and “want.”  With limited resources, they must often prioritize needs and must then communicate those priorities broadly to ensure transparency and equity.  They must also communicate campus policy so staff members understand what administrators can and cannot provide and why.  The final outcome is to recognize and adequately provide for staff needs and, when possible, even a few wants.

Engineer. The goal of an engineer is to build bridges.   Each individual office can be an island; there are a lot of things we need that we don’t have the resources or expertise to provide for ourselves.  Great administrators can help their staffs accomplish great things due to personal relationships that cross intracampus boundaries.   By getting to know and working collaboratively with campus partners, they’re able to prevent duplication of effort while amplifying the impact of their staff’s effort.  The final outcome is to build relationships and rapport with campus partners to ensure necessary resources, assistance, and support.

Fortune Teller. The goal of a fortune teller is to tell the future.  College administrators are required to effectively react to national trends, constituents’ concerns, and student needs.  But great administrators examine and quantify past trends in the student population, access institutional research resources, develop basic analytical skills so they can perform some analysis themselves, and forecast coming trends.  They access those with institutional memory focusing on what’s been done before, why, and what the outcomes were.  They extrapolate future trends while remaining mindful of the changing landscape.  The final outcome is to create an evidence-based vision of the future and to communicate it to appropriate stakeholders.

Juggler. The goal of the juggler is to keep all of the balls in the air.  Managing an advising office with limited resources, in an atmosphere of changing priorities, without letting important things slide, is very challenging.  Great administrators “keep all the balls in the air” by making sure they understand their bosses’ primary concerns, organizing and prioritizing their work, delegating to those who can assist, and keeping their cool.  The final outcome is to make sure everything is done, done well, and done in advance of looming deadlines.

Barbra J. Wallace
Director, Undergraduate Academic Advising Center
College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
University of California, Riverside
barbra.wallace@ucr.edu

 

Keeping Advising Sessions Energized

Kristina Allemand, Nicholls State University

Kristina Allemand.jpgThe Doc Is In!

Advising, like any other profession, goes through phases. Over time, our jobs became more monotonous.  This not only diminishes the job satisfaction we experience but also makes us less effective advisors.  Just because we have become expects at what we do, we shouldn’t lose that energy and excitement we felt when we began!

I often feel tempted to function on “autopilot” during the peak of advising and have learned to avoid it through several methods.  My peak advising times are those weeks before registration begins, and these are the times that I am most susceptible.  It seems that every appointment is booked, and I have a few students waiting to hopefully be seen between my scheduled appointments.  Although it is tempting to just sign off or list courses that students may take in the next semester, this is not comprehensive advising.  As we all know, there is much more to advising than this!

I try to think of myself as an academic doctor during these times.  Picture a doctor during the peak of cold and flu season.  It would be easy to treat every patient based on his or her own diagnoses but the doctor needs a more complete picture.  Records must be surveyed and questions must be asked to make a full assessment.  Patients may not even be aware of circumstances that could be causing their symptoms.  As advisors, we are our students’ academic physicians.  Whether the student is just in for a check-up or a more serious affliction, we should try to gain the most complete picture possible.

First, I survey the student’s transcript to see if anything presents itself to me.  For example, I recently had a student who failed the same math course twice.  I noticed that on both attempts, he took this course late in the afternoon.  This led to a discussion about his daily routine and energy levels.  By his own admission, his energy level is almost nonexistent after lunch.  I naturally made the suggestion that he attempt the course earlier in the day.  Although this is no guarantee he will pass the course, he is increasing the possibility and potential for a better outcome.

Other observations I have made from quickly surveying the student’s transcript are interests the student may not know how to utilize.  If I notice that a student has chosen the same discipline for several elective courses, this pattern may present a possible minor for the student to pursue.  I have found that many students never considered or didn’t know how to pursue a minor.  Most assumed that it would add another year to their studies, but this not necessarily the case.  Discussions about career goals and interests almost always lead to the discussion of minors, but sometimes elective courses can lead to the discussion as well.

I also keep a list of several questions on my desk to make sure I ask them of each student.  Are you an athlete? If so, when is practice and when are you most likely to be traveling to games?  Do you work? What is your work schedule like?  Is it flexible or fixed?  Do have family responsibilities?  Are there any other types of restraints on your time and school schedule that I should know?   These types of questions can help an advisor guide students to electives and specific courses that meet the student’s individual needs.  As experienced advisors in our area of expertise, we know the rotation and format in which many courses are offered and can help students plan ahead and meet their scheduling needs and goals.

Perhaps the most important strategy to remember is simply to be energetic and involved in each appointment.  Just as a student can tell when a teacher is not excited about the course or course content they are teaching, advisees can tell when their advisor is not fully dedicated to assisting them.  Regardless of all of my circumstances and deadlines, that student is my first and most important priority when he or she is in my office.  This is the best way to let the student know and feel that I am here to help guide them to success!

Kristina Allemand
Assistant Professor
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Nicholls State University
Kristina.Allemand@Nicholls.edu


NACADA Summer Institute Experience

Miranda M. Sloan, Summer Institute Scholarship Recipient

Miranda Sloan.jpg I have been a proud NACADA member for a number of years and an enthusiastic attendee of several NACADA annual conferences and webinars.  I have enjoyed these events and have found them all helpful and relevant.  My experience at the NACADA Summer Institute, however, is easily one of the most profoundly insightful professional development opportunities I’ve ever had.  It allowed me to examine how to approach my work in support of the student success goals on my campus and has deepened my respect and admiration for my colleagues in the field.

I was honored to be one of the Wesley R. Habley Scholarship recipients for the 2013 NACADA Summer Institute.  It was a blessing given when I truly needed it most.  I had been an academic advisor for graduate students for 10 years and, with the retirement of my supervisor, I became the longest tenured member of my office team.  It became my responsibility to lead our team and set a new vision for our office.  I believed that the Summer Institute would allow me the chance to take a look at the strengths and assets that help us to support our students and faculty well.  I also needed some fresh ideas to help us work through the inevitable challenges. 

The most immediate of those challenges was funding.  As is surely the case on many campuses, budget constraints had reduced the amount of professional development funds available for advisors.  Were it not for the scholarship, I would not have been able to go to Jacksonville.  Now, this many months later, I can say that the things I learned at the Institute helped to give me the confidence and vision to lead our team.

The Institute brings together advisors and administrators from all over the country and around the world, from institutions large and small.  In spite of these differences, most everyone I met seemed to be addressing one or both of two major challenges: improving the quality of the advising activities on their campuses and finding ways to advocate for academic advising to faculty and administrators on their campuses.  Though we had common concerns, the Institute’s virtues are not of the grousing, “misery-loves-company” variety.  Rather, they are of the “we’re-in-this-together” sort, powered by the belief that our collective experiences, research, and perspectives will reveal solutions and strategies that we can use to meet the demands of our various stakeholders.

Sloan poster.jpgThe workshops and talks inspired ideas and revelations that seemed to flow as freely as the complimentary coffee outside the ballroom where we met each morning for our foundational sessions and workshops.  I particularly enjoyed the session by Rich Robbins on conducting research in advising.  Rich impressed upon us that research is vital to both the growth of academic advising as a field and in advocacy for resources for the advising done on individual campuses.  Data is the language spoken by those who hold the pursestrings.  We are charged as members of our campus communities and our field to continue to prove the effectiveness of our efforts with data.  As he says in the presentation, “He or she with the data wins.” 

Marsha Miller’s session on creating effective advising handbooks and websites was excellent.  Her presentation emphasized that our online and print resources are most successful when they are created with a mind to be accessible to our students both in terms of timeliness and the student’s ability to retrieve the information that they need when they need it.  As she flipped through a few websites of advising units that had done things correctly, I at one point let out a small groan.  I was thinking about our office’s website—and knew we had some work to do.  By the end of the session, I knew we had the information to create the best resources for the students we serve.

NACADA’s support of both the role of advising and the role of the advisor on college and university campuses is one of the reasons I remain a member and encourage colleagues to join as well.  NACADA is the one place where our work is affirmed and, as is increasingly necessary, defended.  My time at the Summer Institute was an enlightening and focusing opportunity that has renewed my commitment to this field and has encouraged me to continue to grow as an advising professional.

Miranda M. Sloan
Coordinator of Graduate Support Office, College of Education
University of South Florida
mmsloan@usf.edu



Making Sense of Advisement in a Dr. Seuss World

Amanda Baldridge, Murray State College

Amanda Maldridge.jpgFrom Biffer-Baum Birds to Bingle Bugs, Collapsible Frinks to Fiffer-feffer-feffs, and Long Legger Kwongs to Nerkles, Whos and Plain-Belly Sneetches --   I think we get the picture and now I’ll stop!

In the cleverly spun world of Dr. Seuss, where things don’t make sense and yet seem to come together, the lessons presented are really quite clever. 

Beginning college can be a daunting task for most people.  Maneuvering through the minefields of the application process, understanding and filing for financial aid, applying for scholarships, choosing a major, deciding what courses to take, thinking about credit hours and GPA, understanding syllabi, majors and minors…it’s enough to make a person’s head spin! 

And yet, it is during all the chaos that the vision and mission of the academic advisor becomes clear: to help students navigate these cleverly spun worlds and find the clarity that will provide the opportunity for lifelong learning.

“ASAP.  Whatever that means.  It must mean, “Act Swiftly Awesome Pachyderm!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

Students can experience a lot of confusion with the lingo of higher education.  As advisors, it is our job to make sure students understand the verbiage so they don’t walk away lost or make up information as they go.  Students support and talk with each other, and if the correct information is not readily available, we may have an epidemic of misinformation circling through our campuses!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.

It can be frustrating working with students who just can’t seem to get all their ducks in a row.  They always have an excuse ready, attendance is an issue, they don’t appear to have school as a priority, and I wonder how I am going to help retain this student to degree completion.  I have tried the phone calls, the e-mails, the Facebook messages and the letters.  I have tried referring to programs, spoken with faculty and provided resources.  Just when I am about to wash my hands of the whole situation, I remember, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  Advisors make the difference, one student at a time. Advisors plant those seeds, and it is advisors who continue to water the ground in hopes something beautiful will grow.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

When working with students on degree plans and mapping out courses needed to complete programs, I have found students often question why they have to take certain courses, such as humanities or liberal arts or algebra.  Often I hear, “but I’m never going to use it!”  It is during these times they need to be reminded of how important it is to constantly be looking to learn more information.   Reading and being introduced to new information causes creativity and thought processes to soar. Students may never know what bit of information will take them exactly where they want to be.

“Oh, the thinks you can think!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Academic advisors have the unique responsibility to encourage students to think: to think through their goals and plans, think through their scheduling, think through the course requirements, think through their actions and consequences, and to think about their futures.  It is at this time in their lives they can explore the world of possibilities that are open to them for future careers and experiences.  The thinks they are thinking now can determine the altitude their thoughts will take them!

“My trouble was I had a mind but I couldn’t make it up!” – Dr. Seuss, Hunches in Bunches.

According to wiki.answers.com, the average college student changes his or her major three times.  How many of us started out knowing what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives?  Some exploration in college is healthy, especially when students try new things, research potential careers, and find new interests.  It is our job as advisors to channel these explorations in a pattern that makes sense, to assist students on clear paths that plan for curves and detours.  Advisors set the tone, they provide the thought-provoking questions that determine the course of action, and they provide alternate routes should they be needed to maximize the stops on the academic road trip.

“And this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up.  There is no way at all!” – Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat.

It is during a time like this when the strengths of an academic advisor shine: when students feel they are in over their heads, life has caught them unaware and academic courses seem like unsurmountable obstacles.  It is during this time that academic advisors can be the calm voice of reason that provides an anchor.  We listen, we sympathize, we rationalize, we provide insight, and we encourage students to stand up tall and identify what factors helped create the mess; then we help pick it up, one issue at a time.

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Academic advisors have many proud moments when working with students.  One of these moments is when our “success stories” overcome the academic hurdles set before them and they walk across our stages.  At the community college level our students may be fearful of transferring to a four-year school; our job is to send them on with confidence and assurance they have what is needed to be just as successful at their new school.  At the four-year level, the workforce looms, creating new anxieties.  Some of our final acts as advisors include one last confidence booster as they head out the door.  It is time, you are ready and the choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Amanda Baldridge
Director of Academic Advisement
Murray State College
abaldridge@mscok.edu

 

Posted in: 2014 June 37:2

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