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Voices of the Global Community

Supporting Academic Advising: Serving our Stakeholders

Carol A. Cartwright, 2004 NACADA Pacesetter Award Recipient

Public universities exist for the public good. That statement of our historic role implies a social compact based on trust: Students realize that, regardless of tuition prices, higher education is the best investment they will make in their long-term economic futures. Those students trust the university to provide an education that is not only of a high quality but also adaptable to changing employment conditions and capable of improving the quality of their lives.

At Kent State University, to meet the demands of state budget cuts, we have reallocated resources and streamlined processes, but always with the goal of protecting that public trust by keeping our academic programs strong and nourishing student success. Our studies show that students succeed most often when we have made some personal connection that ties them to the university. Academic advisors play a crucial role in linking this human touch with our university mission.

We all have a story of someone who supported us, gave us inspiration, looked out for our well being, and generally encouraged us to achieve. Advisors, whether they are full-time professional advisors or faculty in an advising role, represent the direct contact that is so important to promoting student success and connectedness to the institution. At Kent State, the influence of our advisors is obvious. We feel it is essential in turn to provide systematic approaches that ensure our academic advising continues to assist us in supporting and retaining our students.

Kent State's current strategic plan focuses on meeting the needs of the people served by the university - 'stakeholders' that include everyone from students to the businesses that hire them. In order to provide leadership on the objectives, we must understand the needs. When we attempt to specify the desires of the student body we find that students respond best to individuals and offices that offer direct, instant contact. It is for this reason that we have worked diligently for a strong advising network at Kent State University. Advisors represent direct communication and outreach to the student body, and the relationships they create with students promote educational as well as lifelong success.

Since my arrival at Kent State in 1991, we have established the Student Advising Center with eight full-time advisors to assist exploratory students, created the Retention Advising Initiative with eight advisors who focus on freshman students, developed a Faculty Advising Workshop Series to enable an annual cohort of 30 faculty members to hone their advising skills, and established the Kent Academic Support & Advising Association to encourage professional development and research for all advising staff and faculty.

With our priorities driving decision-making, we reallocated resources to substantially enhance advising services. These efforts primarily benefit students through higher educational achievement. But when we enhance our educational mission, we also better serve the institution, community, and state. The result is a better informed public that understands the importance of education and its positive role in society. Effective advising fosters students who are more likely to be advocates about the need for educational funding, more likely to stay active with the university, and more likely to share their views on education with future generations. As graduates, they also contribute to the social, economic and cultural climate of the nation. The entire process begins with the initial relationship.

A university's senior leadership cannot interact with every student as much as we would like to. Our best course as a university is to maintain a strong academic institution and to support advisors and advising programs. As a public university whose mission is improving the economic and cultural life of our state, we depend on the important contributions academic advisors make to student success.

Carol A. Cartwright, President
Kent State University
2004 NACADA Pacesetter Award Recipient


From the President

Ruth Darling, NACADA President

Ruth Darling.jpgDear Colleagues:

By now, each of you have received a copy of the 2004 NACADA National Conference Brochure in the mail or have reviewed the information on the Association’s web site. I hope you are clearing your calendars and making plans to attend our 28th National Conference where we will celebrateNACADA’s 25th anniversary! Over the past 25 years, NACADA has grown from a young organization with a charter membership of 429 to an association with over 7,800 members, serving critical roles in the development of the profession and the implementation of quality academic advising on our campuses that focus on student learning.

The conference theme “Building Bridges: Advisors as Architects for the Future” is particularly meaningful as we reflect on the role NACADA plays in the professional lives of our members and ultimately in the academic success of our students. Under the leadership of Tom Grites (Academic Advising) and Maura Ivanick (Core Values), task forces have been focusing on two key areas for our Association, the development of a statement on the definition of academic advising from the Association’s perspective and the review and update of our Core Values Statement. These two documents along with our strategic plan should provide the vision (or the “Bridge!”) for NACADA, our membership and the institutions we serve as we engage in our daily work.

An important part of this development and review process is to obtain feedback from you on the drafts of these documents. Please note the brief article in this newsletter concerning the statements on defining academic advising and the core values. Click on the link that will take you to the drafts where you can provide feedback on-line to the task forces. Also, at the National Conference, a roundtable session has been scheduled for Friday, October 8 at 10 am, where Task Force members will be present to review the process of writing and updating the statements and to share in a discussion of the various issues. These types of discussions are critical to the Association’s vitality and the sense of vision we share as members of NACADA.

Best wishes to you as the summer orientations and academic terms come to a close and you prepare for another academic year. Remember that NACADA is an ever present resource for you via the web site, telephone or in person! I look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati, October 6 – 9!

Sincerely yours,

Ruth A. Darling
President


From the Executive Office

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director

BobbieFlaherty.jpgHappy New Year! Yes, those of us in academe get to celebrate a second time as we begin the new academic year. This is a time of renewal also, as the majority of our memberships renew in September, and our leadership “renews” at the end of the national conference when our newly elected leaders assume their responsibilities and begin their work for the New NACADA Year.

Through the dedicated work of our members, NACADA has made great strides in promoting advising as a profession, raising awareness of the value of effective advising for our students, and providing professional development for advisors and administrators. With a record membership of over 7800, the Association relies on volunteer leaders to provide ideas, feedback, and leadership.

Complete information regarding the NACADA leadership positions to be elected in early 2005, along with a request for nominations for those positions, is available on the NACADA Web site.

Now is the time to step forward! Nominate yourself or someone you know for a leadership position. Our goal is to provide members with a choice; as such, we need at least two candidates for each position. Whether you are new to the association or a veteran member, check out “About NACADA” on our Web site to select from the myriad opportunities available to contribute to your Association and our profession. Visit with your current region or commission chair about ways you can get involved.

Volunteers are the heart of this Association. Those choosing to volunteer often express as benefits of their involvement – opportunities to learn from others, creation of a network of colleagues for advice and support, professional growth through the exchange of ideas, insight regarding operations at other institutions that can translate to enhancements to their own programs, validation that what they are doing is “right on”, a network for employment opportunities, and most often, new and deep friendships!

The association management literature I read advises that members of differing generations often have different participation goals. Most notably, “baby boomers” tend to participate in an association in a sequential manner, committing to long-term continuous service to the Association. However younger association members tend to be more “cyclical” in their involvement, wanting repeated short and brief involvement (give me a task, I’ll do it, and that’s the end for now). There is a place in NACADA for both. So, no matter how, or how long, you want to be involved, consider starting now.

Check out the leadership opportunities available and volunteer to serve. NACADA needs you!

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, Executive Director
National Academic Advising Association
(785) 532-5717
nacada@ksu.edu

Member Input Needed!

Two major initiatives of President Darling this year have been the review and revision of the NACADA Core Values for Academic Advising and the development of a NACADA Definition of Academic Advising. Task Forces, chaired by Maura Ivanick and Tom Grites, have developed drafts for the review and discussion by the membership before approval by the Board of Directors.

Review these important documents, and then please connect to the NACADA Discussion Board and provide input and comments on the drafts. In addition, there will be an opportunity for discussion and input at the national conference in Cincinnati.

NACADA Journal

The NACADA Journal Editors, Terry L. Kuhn and Gary M. Padak, have worked hard to put the Journal back on schedule without skipping any issues. In October/November of 2004, you may expect to receive a double issue (Volume 24, Issues 1 & 2) which will accomplish this goal! We thank the Co-Editors, Copy Editor Nancy Vesta, and Marsha Miller, from the NACADA Executive Office, as well as the many authors and book reviewers for making this possible!

First Graduate of the Kansas State University / NACADA Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising

Congratulations to Ben Chamberlain, who is the first graduate of the K-State/NACADA Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising. Ben, also a recent graduate of the College Student Personnel program at K-State and Graduate Assistant in the NACADA Executive Office, will be an advisor in the College Business at Iowa State University beginning in September. Congratulations, Ben!


We are pleased to announce keynote speakers for this year’s NACADA National Conference. Nancy L. Zimpher, first woman president of the University of Cincinnati, will speak at the opening plenary Wednesday evening. Her research in education will set the tone for an excellent conference. John Wagner, humorist and professional speaker, will speak Friday morning on how our sense of humor can help us find more joy in our important work of helping students succeed in higher education and life.

Humor Helps Us Build Bridges

John Wagner

Advising higher education students is important work and is fast becoming stressful work. Students have higher service expectations while administration applies cost containment pressure: ’do more with less, faster, with higher quality’. Information technology conversions, new releases, and upgrades constantly challenge us to use IT to better to serve students. The positive power of humor can help us avoid stress, stay balanced and ready to have fun designing and building bridges to success for our students.

Let’s look at “The Three R’s”---Responsibility, Relationships, and Recognition in using humor in our important work.

Responsibility:
Each of us has a choice about all that we do. Because we have a choice, we have response-ability: the ability to choose our response to the challenges we will face. But we can take ourselves lightly while we take our jobs, life, and responsibilities seriously. If you experience a failure or setback, accept responsibility, laugh it off, learn from it, and do all you can to make it right quickly. If you experience a conflict, don’t turn it into a contest with a win or lose outcome. Use your sense of humor to become flexible enough to use the energy of the conflict to creatively generate positive possibilities. Laughter helps us flex and loosen-up; it is healing. When you choose to laugh more, all you can loose is some body fluids. Remember to LAUGH!

Relationships:
Positive, supportive, and cooperative relationships are essential for success. We can control only ourselves; we can only influence others. When we try to control or force others to change, we risk loosing control of ourselves. Positive humor is a powerful influence. Be happier by being an encourager of others; believe in and encourage yourself. It is more fun, productive and efficient to work playfully with others toward a common goal. Choose to accept that each of us is a unique and special person with our own view of life. Learn to celebrate the uniqueness and look for the common thread of humanity that connects us all. Positive humor and smiling enhances communication. When you smile, get your whole face into it; raise your eyebrows, it will make you look taller. Remember to SMILE!

Recognition:
High self-esteem will enhance achievement. Build self-esteem by recognizing all positive efforts. (Especially those little efforts, they add up.) Be an encourager. The best way to raise your self-esteem is to raise someone else’s. Use positive humor to make recognition more acceptable and meaningful. Use humor to accept reality, maintain a positive perspective, and build bridges to a future success reality. Be optimistic, and joyful. Replace all pity parties with effort recognition events. Recognition only works with three types of people - men, women and children. Remember to CELEBRATE!

There is a choice in everything you do. Keep in mind the choices you make - make you. Choose to Laugh, Smile and Celebrate as you build those bridges.


Issues in Advising Graduate and Professional School Students

Virginia Hueske, Advising Graduate and Professional Students Commission Chair

In her recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, Catherine Stimpson, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University, declared the graduate school to be “the most important stadium on any research-university campus (Stimpson, p. B7).” Of course, we who advise graduate students and students at professional schools agree. We sometimes think that teaching and research assistants are the oil that makes a university engine run, an unrecognized truth that would be evident only if grad students suddenly ceased to exist. Nevertheless, as Dean Stimpson points out, things are somewhat better for graduate students now than when she was a pursuing her Ph.D.

Diversity, interdisciplinarity, and professionalism are gauges by which we measure improvement over the last several decades. Part of the improvement is due to faculty and professional advisors who support these changes. The classic relationship between a faculty research supervisor and a master’s, doctoral or professional student is still the essential relationship. Built around that, whether at the large research institution, a small college, or the professional school, those who advise strive to meet the needs of today’s graduate and professional students.

What do our students need? At a minimum, they need accurate, timely and transparent information about program admission requirements, course and degree requirements, professional licensing, and certification. They need to understand such things as the culture of the institution in general and the department in particular; how to teach undergrad students and how to navigate research labs; how to apply for grants and project funding; how to prepare for, attend and present at conferences. Hard work and a high level of expertise in advising, data management and administration are required of us all.

Is the master’s student fresh from undergraduate school? Maybe a little hand-holding is in order, especially if this person is young and moved directly into the program without ‘real world’ experience. Is the new law school student coming back from the workforce with spouse and children in tow? Practical advice about health and childcare may be in order. Is the Ph.D. student nearly finished with course work and facing qualifying exams? Providing clear directives about how to navigate the process will lessen anxiety.

Just as for those advising undergraduates, the ways in which we support our graduate and professional students are myriad, complex and becoming more so. We work hard to define the realities of our profession and seek colleagues with whom to communicate and commiserate. In this process many discover that while we may be seen as individual “angels of mercy” in our own programs, there are people who do just what we do in most graduate programs. Both faculty and professional advisors of post-baccalaureate students face similar challenges, regardless of the discipline or the university. We must find each other and learn best practices for serving our students and our profession.

In her article, Dean Stimpson eloquently identifies the mission, or “deep purpose,” of graduate education as three-fold. 1. “… a place where the most promising and lively minds of several generations come together to work on the central problems of the time and of the disciplines” and “breaks through conventional wisdom.” 2. Graduate school educates the “next generation of scholars, researchers, intellectuals, artists, and educators.” We can include with this doctors, lawyers, and all other graduates of professional schools. 3. Graduate schools “embody an ideal of a community of advanced inquiry (Stimpson, p. B7)

It is incumbent upon those of us close to the “oil in the engine,” i.e., the students themselves, to find the best ways possible to help to fulfill this mission.

Virginia Hueske
Advising Graduate and Professional Students Commission Chair
The University of Texas at Austin
avvh@mail.utexas.edu

Reference

Stimpson, Catherine R. (June 18, 2004). Traditions and Winds of Change in Graduate Education. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B6.

If you would like to find out more regarding advising graduate students, please visit the Advising Graduate and Professional Students Commission Web site.

Connect with colleagues and discuss this article on the Graduate student advising electronic list.


VantagePoint.jpg

Advising at a Small, Remote Campus

Kevin M. Anderson, Coconino Community College

The blue of Lake Powell dominated the horizon as we dropped off the last hill approaching Page, AZ, but it was the ribbon of green wrapped around the plateau on which the town sat that caught my attention. After 135 miles of reds, browns, yellows and grays of the landscape north of Flagstaff, the green of the new golf course really stood out. Off to the right, on the edge of the plateau just above the fifth hole, was the college. The buildings were new, modern architecture--all glass and brick and steel—and looked like a church.

Advising at this remote branch campus was exciting not only because of the natural beauty, but also because of the variety of cultures and duties. Page is surrounded by the Navajo Nation, but although the population of the town was 65% Native American, they made up only 26% of 400 in the student body. Compared to national norms, a larger percentage of students were female and non-traditional. The economy of the area relied on tourism and the power plant that supplied electricity to Phoenix. Each year Page’s 6000 residents hosted three million visitors from all over the world. One was as likely to hear French, Japanese or Navajo as English at the supermarket. As an advisor, it was also likely that a student would have a question for you in the canned goods aisle.

My job description included recruiting, community outreach, student activities, coordinating financial aid, disability resources, and career services as well as academic advising. Of course there were endless committees at the college’s main campus in Flagstaff that wanted a representative from Page. (Somehow, it was further from Flagstaff to Page than it was from Page to Flagstaff!). The reality was that I was always on duty representing the college. Whether making a presentation at the high school’s college night, promoting registration on the local radio talk show, running a booth at one of the numerous events in the city park, or helping to organize the college foundation’s fundraising golf tournament, it was fun to be so involved in the community.

Geography is important to understanding the advisor’s role in this situation. A small town and a small campus mean that you get to know the students (and they you) very well. It also meant limited resources, limited job opportunities, and limited programs. Problems like childcare, transportation, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, poor academic preparation, unemployment, underemployment and seasonal employment presented hurdles for students and those who advise them. Some students demonstrated amazing creativity, flexibility and persistence in dealing with these issues; some were unable to overcome them and became part of the negative side of retention statistics. Their stories are beyond the scope of this column. At issue here is the role of an advisor in these circumstances.

Just as each student is unique, so every advisor brings a particular mix of experience, skills and education to the table. My style is to let the student set the agenda. As I listen to their concerns (after all they dropped in or made an appointment for some reason!), I ask the appropriate question(s) to help determine their interests and goals, try to help them explore whatever options exist, and encourage them to take the next step to pursue their chosen path. During this discussion, I also try to ensure that they are clear on degree requirements, course selection and other “nuts and bolts” issues. But the decisions are the students’ responsibility. It’s their education.

This routine could be the same at a large university. What makes advising at a rural, isolated community college different is that the advisor does it all. You are the guide, the coach and the cheerleader. You do the placement testing because there is no testing center; you interpret the Strong Interest Inventory and MBTI because there is no career services specialist; you do the orientation program because there is no separate department for that. The whole student services process from recruiting to graduation is in your hands. The job requires good listening and problem-solving skills, organization and communication, and the exercise of good judgment when faced with counseling situations that are beyond your training and expertise. Most importantly, it requires genuine care for students. The advisor is really on the front lines, but the rewards are great. When you see a student achieve his or her goal—which may or may not include graduation—the experience is priceless.

It was just starting to snow when we left Page. In fact, the first major winter storm of 2002 followed the exact route across the Midwest I had planned for our move Michigan. Even though my new position there would be at a larger college with a different mix of responsibilities, I knew what I had experienced in Page would help me continue to serve students in any small town environment.

Kevin M. Anderson
(Formerly of Coconino Community College, Page, AZ)
Bay De Noc Community College, Escanaba, MI
andersok@baydenoc.cc.mi.us


Who are you Seeking to Retain and Why?

Brian Stanley, Multicultural Concerns Commission Chair

It is well known that retention of every student is simply not possible. As academic advisors we understand that, for some students, transferring or stopping-out is a legitimate strategy for attaining long term personal or professional success. Yet, on many campuses, talk of retention focuses on retaining “all” students. As a result, some colleges have developed overly-broad retention strategies that disjoint campus units and ignore the role of identity in the retention of at-risk ethnic and cultural minorities. A more effective alternative is the development of a focused retention framework that utilizes assessment to identify those most at risk for early institutional departure and then seeks to develop culturally relevant programmatic interventions for their success.

Before I continue, I need to stress the importance of assessment in any well structured retention program. Quantitative and qualitative assessments of student needs and outcomes are key in the identification of those most at-risk, tracking changes in at-risk populations, and providing important benchmarking information for evaluating the strengths and potential growth areas for any retention program. If your retention program does not do assessment then your institution probably is not doing retention as well as it could be.

Swail, Redd, and Perna (2003) suggest that student retention is the result of an interaction between cognitive, social, and institutional factors that impact students positively or negatively. Successful students are able to attain equilibrium between these variables.

Cognitive factors are the intelligence, knowledge, and academic abilities students bring to the collegiate environment (p. 78). Cognitive factors are central to students’ abilities to comprehend and complete the academic portion of the college curriculum, understand their experiences, and develop and utilize effective decision-making and problem solving capacities. Social factors encompass the broad array of issues that allow or inhibit student integration into the social fabric of the institution and include related issues such as cultural fit, peer group influence, career goals, educational legacy, and coping skills. Institutional factors include the institution’s ability to provide students with academic and social support throughout the collegiate experience. Institutional factors are equivocated with cognitive and social factors due to the importance of institutional support in student decisions to persist through degree attainment. The institution’s ability to leverage the cognitive and social services needed to support students through their college experience is critical in helping students compensate for cognitive or social weaknesses (p.79). Within this model, it is important to note that students with serious deficiencies in both cognitive and social skills are the most at-risk and will need the most institutional support to persist to degree completion (Swail et. al., 2003, p. 81).

What does successful institutional support look like for at-risk cultural and ethnic minorities? Tierney (2000) posits that the “negotiation of identity in academe as central to educational success”(p. 219). The challenge is not for students to fit into an alien culture at the expense of their own; rather, it is to challenge the organizational culture to adapt to students’ cultures by developing “…ways in which an individual’s identity is affirmed, honored, and incorporated into the organization’s culture” (p. 219). To accomplish this, Tierney (2000) proposes that retention and achievement programs should (1) develop innovative programs and activities that seek to affirm and validate individual student cultural identities (Collaborative Relations of Power); (2) develop contextualized social and academic activities which create connections between home, community, and schooling (Home, Community, and Schooling Connections); (3) Be locally grounded in student experience and reality, thus providing students with an opportunity to integrate their local lives into the fabric of the institution while challenging them to use their university education to make positive change in their home and local environments (Local Definitions of Identity); (4) foster a spirit of academic excellence within target populations by maintaining high academic expectations of student performance (challenge over remediation); (5) have strong, validating, holistic support structures which, instead of narrowly focusing on any real or perceived skill gap, emphasize the development and utilization of academic support structures (formal and informal) which view students, especially at-risk students, as individuals with the capacity for academic success (p. 218 - 224).

The research completed by Tierney (2000) and Swail, Redd, and Perna, (2003) provide important insight into effective retention. First, effective retention is collaborative insofar as it requires a strategic alignment of institutional resources for the purposes of retention success of those most at-risk of early departure. Second, effective retention is conscious of the impact of race, class, and culture in the life of the at-risk student and actively seeks positive ways to validate and integrate culture into institutional support. Finally, effective retention is assessment driven and evaluates programmatic activities for alignment with assessed student needs.

Brian Stanley
Saint Mary's College of California
bstanley@stmarys-ca.edu

References

Swail, S. W., Redd, E. K., & Perna, W. L. (Eds.). (2003). Retaining minority students in higher education (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report). San Francisco: Wiley Publishers.

Tierney, W. G. (2000). Power, identity, and the dilemma of college student departure. In J. M. Braxton (Ed.), Reworking the Student Departure Puzzle (pp. 213 - 234). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.


Advising Transfer Students

Tom Grites, Co-Editor, Advising Transfer Students: Issues and Strategies NACADA Monograph

Students who transfer from one institution to another constitute a significant portion of the current college population, and they consume a considerable amount of the time and effort of advisors at both two-year and four-year institutions. While transfer students bring some higher education experience with them, they are new to the (receiving) transfer institution. They are, in a sense, an anomaly in that they are first-year students with some experience in higher education. This article serves as an overview and provides a brief description of the forthcoming NACADA monograph about this important student population.

In reviewing the literature there seems to be an overgeneralization about transfer students. Two specific observations become apparent. First, the data reported regarding transfer students sometime appear to be inconsistent or in conflict. The data sources, the timing of the data collection, and the varying definitions of “transfer students” all contribute to these inconsistencies. Therefore, it is essential that institutions clearly and accurately define their transfer populations when attempting to develop or modify their programs and services for these students.

Second, it is clear that most articles and studies found in the literature (in fact, most of the literature itself) about transfer students are limited to the community college transfer student and process. However, “transfer students” include not only those who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions, but also those who transfer from four-year to four-year institutions, and reverse transfers (four-year to two-year). Therefore, it is essential that institutions examine their policies and programs to insure that they reflect equity and comparability for the full complement and variety of their transfer students, especially if these efforts are to be based upon what is reported in the literature.

The various authors of the chapters in the monograph have identified several broad considerations that need to be addressed on many campuses in order to enhance the success of transfer students. These are summarized as follows:

  1. Recognize that “transfer shock” really exists. All transfer students enter a new and different institutional environment, which has different policies, different procedures, different advising structures, different terminology, different faculty and academic expectations, etc. Improving application materials and resources, strengthening Orientation programs, and expanding campus programs for transfers will all serve to overcome this “transfer shock” syndrome.
  2. Strengthen articulation agreements. The real value of articulation agreements has somewhat eroded as a result of recent trends toward legislated Statewide mandates, common course numbering systems, and other seemingly well-intended guarantees for transfer students. However, most of these trends have diminished value if they are not articulated within specific degree programs, that is, the student’s major academic program of study. Without this context, some agreements have served as no more than public relations and recruitment functions. Program-to program articulations better serve the transfer student and both institutions.
  3. Use technology wisely. On-line admissions applications, course equivalency determinations, electronic transcript submission and retrieval, and advance registration capabilities have improved the transfer process quite readily. Institutions should maximize the opportunities and capabilities of these technological improvements in order to serve transfer students more effectively, more efficiently, and more successfully.
Finally, the monograph editors observed a variety of recommendations that are provided throughout the document. They have attempted to synthesize these recommendations into a “common” set. These are:
  1. Enhanced communication must occur. Both two-year and four year-institutions need to improve upon this critical aspect in the transfer process. ; clearly publicized articulation agreements, course-to-course equivalencies, enhanced Websites and other technological media, and on-site campus visits at other institutions are just some of the ways that this recommendation can be realized.
  2. “Transfer Centers” should be established. The communication links suggested above can only be positively facilitated if a specific unit, office, or individual person is identified as the primary contact for transfer students. The concept of “one-stop shopping” has already been implemented for various student service areas on many campuses; the Transfer Center should simply become an extension of this concept. Where a smaller population of transfer students exists, an individual or specific office should be designated as the primary resource for transfer students.
  3. Orientation Programs must be improved and/or Transfer Courses should be developed. The seamless transition will not occur only on paper; students must be prepared for their planned transfer to a specific school (orientation out of the community college, for example), and the receiving transfer institution must provide a full and complete orientation to the new environment for all transfer students. The course format, similar to many First-Year Seminars, offers a more systematic and sustained way to acculturate all transfer students into their new environment.
  4. Similar opportunities should be afforded transfer students as are native students. Access to Honors Programs and curricula, scholarships, restricted upper-division majors, early entry to graduate and professional schools, and even individual course selection opportunities should be afforded the transfer students who meet or exceed the same criteria as native students.

A full description of these, as well as other recommendations, examples, and resources, are provided in the monograph. The authors, the editors, and the NACADA leaders look forward to this new monograph and trust that you will find it useful as well, as you monitor, review, and revise your services for transfer students. Find out more about resources for advising transfer students in the NACADA Clearinghouse.

Tom Grites
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Tom.Grites@stockton.edu


Member Career Services Committee

Dear Career Corner:

I am looking forward to attending the NACADA National Conference in Cincinnati this Fall. Although I am not looking for a new position right now, I plan to consider new job opportunities within the next five years. What services does the Member Career Services Committee offer at the National Conference and how can I make the most of my time in Cincinnati?
– Signed, Cincinnati-bound Advisor

Dear Cincinnati-bound Advisor:

All of us on the Member Career Services Committee are looking forward to attending the 2004 NACADA National Conference in Cincinnati, OH October 6-9, 2004. We will have a table near the registration area that will be hosted by Member Career Services Committee representatives. At that table you will find information on current advising-related positions that are available as well as helpful handouts on how to successfully advance your career. Our representatives will also be available to give you constructive feedback on how to improve your cover letters and/or resumes/CVs, so remember to bring them with you to the conference. Be on the lookout for us and stop by to say hi and find out more about the services we have to offer you.

As far as making the most of the National Conference, one of the most important things you can do in Cincinnati is expand your professional network. The American Heritage Dictionary (1997) defines a network as, “An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support.” Remember that you have a lot to offer the rest of us, so be bold and strike up a conversation with someone as you are waiting for the next presentation to begin. NACADA members are some of the most friendly people I have ever met, so introduce yourself and ask questions of the people you meet. Here are some suggestions of things you can ask people to get the conversation started:

  1. How long have you been a member of NACADA?
  2. Where do your work?
  3. What population of students do you work with?
  4. What is the best part of your current job?
  5. What is the biggest challenge that you and/or your institution face?

Make sure that you bring plenty of business cards and ask for a card from each person that you meet. Then when you get back home, take the time to send a quick e-mail to let the person know how much you enjoyed meeting them at the conference. Add his/her contact information to Outlook or to whatever software you use to track your contacts. See you in Cincinnati!

Do you have a career related question? If so, submit your questions on-line at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/AdministrativeDivision/career.htm. Questions will be answered anonymously.

Jennifer L. Bloom, Chair
NACADA Member Career Services Committee
jlbloom@uiuc.edu

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