How Technology Complements Academic Advising to Impact Student Success
Joshua M. Larson, University of Utah
I recently applied for the position of Coordinator of Technology in Advising at my university. For the interview I was given the presentation topic, How Technology Complements Academic Advising to Impact Student Success. Initially, I was sure there would be lots of ways technology used in
academic advising impacts student success. But after talking with
others, writing down my ideas, and creating a storyboard using a
flip-chart and crayons, I reached the conclusion that advising
technologies do not impact student success.
Isn’t it amazing that students have access to the same information we
do? They can see major requirements, the Credit / No Credit policy,
withdrawal procedures, success tips, degree audit reports, and so much
more. So how does this access to information complement advising and
impact student success? Do students ask us better or different
questions? Do they contact us less? Are they getting more from
advising? Are they graduating quicker or with fewer problems? Are they
more self-confident or self-sufficient? In general, the answer is “no.”
I thought this might be an anomaly, so I sought another example. Has the 24/7 access to technologies, (e.g., email, Twitter™, Skype©, text, or Facebook©) done anything to impact student success? Are students doing more
internships, going to career services more, appreciating general
education more, or petitioning less? Again, I could not conclude that
these technologies complemented academic advising or impacted student
At a loss for my interview, I reviewed the definition of the word “impact”. The Encarta dictionary (2001) defines the word “impact” as “a powerful or dramatic effect” (p. 722). This means that technology must make a real difference. I wondered, when presenters stopped using markers, flip-charts, whiteboards, scissors, and glue and moved to PowerPoint®, did this technology make presentations more powerful, dramatic, or
more successful? Did all presentations become more interesting, more
to the point, or more relevant? No. Poor presentations are as poor as
ever and good ones are still rare. Sometimes technology may actually
hurt, distract, confuse, or be an obstacle to success. After thinking
about the definition, I could not say that technology has a “powerful
or dramatic effect” and was left with the conclusion that technology
does not impact student success.
This could not be true. I had given presentations on technology in
advising, advocated and used technology in many more places, and
regularly received requests to discuss technology in advising. Yet I
was going to walk into my interview and say, “Technology doesn’t
complement academic advising to impact student success.”
…but then I took a broader view and
asked, “Why are students successful?” Using the PowerPoint example, I
asked, “what makes a successful presentation?” Good presentations take
hard work, creativity, motivation, and inspiration. Presentations are a
success because the presenter has acquired skills and behaviors that
make the presentation good; the technology is only a tool. So, how do
advisors assess whether students are successful? We use Student
Learning Outcomes (SLOs).
Technology only complements academic advising to impact student success
when it is used as a tool to achieve a SLO. It is important that
technology is used within an assessment rubric because though
technology is ubiquitous in today’s institutions, I could find little
evidence that technology impacts student success.
When a student sits at my computer and, with my guidance, generates his
DARS report, explains his report to me, and decides what he needs to
do to graduate, the student meets an advising SLO using technology.
When the student asks about a job after graduation, I refer him to the
Career Services webpage and he makes an appointment. The student again
achieves a SLO. When we teach students how to access and use
information themselves via technology, we use the technology tool to
achieve the institution’s academic advising SLOs (e.g., student is proactive, student can generate a DARS report, student knows where to
find graduation information, student has investigated career
opportunities, and student values advising). If, at the end of a
session we review and agree on the appointment notes, and I send the
notes and all documents to the student, we use technology to achieve
the SLO for the student and advisor for keeping accurate, up-to-date, and relevant
records of all academic appointments. Finally, because the student can
use technology to find information, I can expect more from the student
in preparation for a second appointment: “Now that you know how to
generate and evaluate your DARS report, bring a list of the
requirements you still need to fulfill and the courses you want to take
to fulfill those requirements. Because you are interested in
internships, be prepared to show me two opportunities you want to know
Because technologies are nearly an infinite resource in today’s world,
finding cool technologies is easy but relatively unimportant to student
success. It is more important that advisors understand how, why, and
when to implement technology in advising. Implementation of technology
can be effortless when advisors understand that technology complements
academic advising when used as a tool to achieve Student Learning
Outcomes. When we view technology as a tool, great innovation is not in the technology itself but in how it alters or
impacts how we advise. Thus, the greatest impact technology has on
academic advising is that it leads us to find new ways to achieve our
outcomes and help students succeed.
Joshua M. Larson
Athletic Training Education Program Manager
University of Utah
Soukhanov, A.H. (2001). Microsoft’s Encarta College Dictionary. New York City: St. Martin’s Press.
From the President: Our Association Reaches Out to Involved Members Across Higher Education
Kathy Stockwell, NACADA President
As my year as President comes to an end, I am still honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve our Association in this capacity. This has definitely been the highlight of my professional career. I want to thank Vice President Glenn Kepic, the Board of Directors, the Council, the staff in the Executive
Office and all division leaders for the leadership they have provided.
My goal for this year was to keep the organization moving forward for
the benefit of all in our global higher education family; the NACADA
leadership team along with you, our members, have helped accomplish
This has been an exciting and productive year for NACADA; a few of the year’s highlights include:
- Two webcast series, Academic Advising for Student Retention and Persistence and Foundations of Academic Advising, which were a huge success. I am pleased to announce that NACADA is switching to a new web platform for the upcoming AdvisorConnect series. Adobe© Connect™ is an interactive platform that allows participants
to see presenters and be involved “live” in the discussion. We hope that
all members will give this new webcast platform a try!
- Our winter events—Utilizing Research and Data to Increase Student Persistence and Retention Seminar, the 9th Annual Academic Advising Administrators’ Institute, and the 7th Annual Assessment of Academic Advising Institute—all received rave reviews from participants.
- As reported previously, all 10 Regional Conferences were highly successful. Planning already is under way for next year’s
conferences, so check out the dates on the NACADA website. We should
mark our calendars now so we don’t miss out on these great conferences!
- Colorado Springs and New Orleans were the sites for this year’s sessions of the 25th Annual NACADA Academic Advising Summer Institute. This “boot camp” for academic advisors attracted a large number of
advising teams from around the globe who spent a week preparing action
plans for implementation on their campuses. Those interested in
networking with advising colleagues from around the world while being
immersed in academic advising will find this is a great event. Watch
the NACADA website for the dates and locations of next year’s Summer
- Three hundred members were published this year in one of our offerings (the NACADA Journal, Academic Advising Today, the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources, or one of our new monographs). Those interested in submitting
an article about their completed advising research or a best practice
on campus should contact Marsha Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Executive Office; she is happy to help potential authors get started.
The NACADA Board of Directors continues to focus on the following initiatives as we strive to fulfill our strategic goals:
- Continue to address the needs of higher education globally. The Association is making an impact globally. President-elect Jennifer Joslin spent a week in Australia at the invitation of the University of Melbourne. While there, she visited with the provosts and advising officials and presented a one-day advising workshop for campus advisors. Past-president Jayne Drakespent a week in Hong Kong assisting advisors as they transition to an “advising as teaching” model. Executive Director Charlie Nutt was invited to the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands to conduct an advising workshop (see article below). In addition, the globalization subgroup continues to address the
webpage recommendations of our global members and is working on a
global glossary of academic advising terms. The Membership Committee
continues its work on developing a guidebook for international allied
associations, and the Council is assessing how our current regional
structure can best meet the needs of international members.
- Assess the technology needs of the Association. As reported
previously, the use of social media has taken hold within the
Association. During the Summer Institutes, pictures and updates were
posted daily on Facebook© and Twitter™, and several faculty members and
participants blogged about their experience. The website review
committee is hard at work examining the functionality of our site. Committee members are reviewing contents,
navigation, and presentation; a full report will be presented to the
Board in October.
- Educate university and college decision makers about the role of quality academic advising in higher education.
The committee charged with investigating the best and most efficient
ways to make connections with institutional decision makers drafted a
survey that could be distributed to campus administrators. Board of
Directors members piloted the survey by visiting upper level administrators on their campuses to learn their perspectives on
advising and to share information about NACADA. Results for the pilot
survey will be shared with the Board in October, and a plan for the
future use of this tool will be discussed.
- Ensure the effectiveness of the Association. The annual
assessment of the Board, Council, and Executive Office was conducted in
June. Results will be shared with leadership during the annual meeting
In my welcome speech in Orlando, I invited all members to stand up and join me as an advocate for student success and academic advising on all campuses in our global higher education family. I hope each of us will continue this effort under the leadership of incoming President Jennifer Joslin and Vice President Joshua Smith.
Again, it has been an honor to serve as president of the world’s
premier organization for academic advising and student success. Thank
you for providing me with the opportunity to give back to the
Association that has helped me so much throughout the years. Good luck
to all members as we begin the fall term. I hope to meet many of you in
Kathy Stockwell, President
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Fox Valley Technical College
From the Executive Director: Prepare to Connect in Denver and Beyond
Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
In just a few short weeks, NACADA members from across the globe will gather for our Annual Conference held this year in Denver. It is an exciting time for the Association
each year as we share best practices in the field of academic advising
and student success, hear results of the latest research and its
implications for the field, and network with old friends and new
colleagues. Each year the NACADA Annual Conference enlightens the profession and
demonstrates the integral role that academic advising plays in the
success of our students.
Annual Conference is also a time when the Association’s leadership
meets to continue the outstanding work they do to ensure our vitality
today and in the future. NACADA continues to grow and prosper for many
reasons, but the main one is the strength, dedication, and hard work of our leaders as they work hand-in-hand with an extraordinary
Executive Office staff. Their efforts provide NACADA members with the
most cost effective professional development opportunities in higher
education and the most comprehensive review of what works in the field of student success.
This year our Board of Directors, led by President Kathy Stockwell (Fox Valley Technical College), has taken major steps in planning for
the future of NACADA by focusing on our technology needs and outreach,
developing plans for connecting with chief administrators on behalf of
the profession and our members, and furthering our outreach to the
global community of academic advisors. It is very exciting working
closely with our outstanding leaders as they ensure that NACADA will
continue to be the premier association for student success.
In addition to the excellent work of our Board of Directors, Council leaders, led by Vice President Glenn Kepic (University of Florida), have worked to strengthen our Commission and Interest Group system, to include our global colleagues in our Region system, and to determine new strategies that will help our institutes, publications, and webcasts reach a broad spectrum of professionals. For example, the Webinar Advisory Board was focused this year on expanding the access and presentation of NACADA webinars and recordings. On September 14th, in-coming NACADA President Jennifer Joslin (University of Oregon) and Technology in Advising Commission Chair-Elect Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas) will present the first webinar from our new AdvisorConnect platform, Leading Forward: Technology Planning for Sustainable Advising.
Leaders in our regions, commissions and interest groups, committees,
and advisory boards ensure that the quality of all NACADA events and
resources is the highest possible. The Association’s structure provides
members with the opportunity to be the “content experts” while the
Executive Office staff implements the plans developed by our members.
This continued partnership between our members and our Executive Office
staff makes NACADA unique in the field of higher education as well as
highly successful. I find it the greatest professional opportunity to work with you, our membership, and the Executive Office staff.
This year’s Annual Conference in Denver promises to be superb in no small measure due to the leadership of Conference Chair Dawn Fettig (University of Colorado) and the entire conference committee. Not only will “in person” connections and sessions be outstanding, but the technology “back channel” discussions and conversations on the NACADA Blog, Facebook©, Twitter™, and other social media outlets will add heighten excitement and energy to our conference. Both conference participants and those who cannot join us this year will actively connect. Thanks goes to Rhonda Baker and Michele Holaday in the Executive Office, Brad Popiolek (University of Texas at Austin), Laura Pasquini, and Jennifer Joslin for all their work in bringing NACADA into the world of technology!
I look forward to connecting with all of you in Denver! Please stop and say hello, find me on Facebook at Charlie Nutt, or tweet me @charlienutt. It will be wonderful to connect with all of you in Denver!
Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Save Green by Going Green: Technology to the Rescue
David Bucci, Mary Gabrielsen and Amy Shannon, East Carolina University
Sarah Eberhart, University of Florida
Editor’s Note: The following article was developed from a presentation
given at the NACADA Annual Conference in Orlando, October 2010.
“Technology” and “going green” have become prominent buzzwords for today’s academic advisor. Academic advising conferences and listservs are inundated with technology-based techniques and suggestions aimed at assisting advising, easing financial burdens, and minimizing environmental impact. With the current economy directly affecting higher education funding, and today’s tech-savvy student population, the implementation of technology has become important not only for the advancement of the field but for advisor survival. However, the implementation of technology in advising
can be likened to giving advisors two sticks and expecting us to
eventually make a fire: through trial and error a fire may eventually
start, but it will happen sooner with guidance.
Some advisors find it difficult to change work habits. Maintaining the
path we know is easier than exploring new ways to approach work
responsibilities. Nevertheless, the combination of increased student
caseloads and declining operational budgets necessitates change for
many advisors. Research has examined the importance of technology
integration in advising through lenses focused on students (Wilson,
2004), faculty and staff, and the academy (Paulson, 2002). However, the vastness of information on the topic provides a strong case for
information overload and contributes to uncertainty among advisors.
Though the advent of technology has provided new avenues for advisors
to reach our students, a holistic approach to best technology practices
in advising (e.g., the “how to”) often is lacking.
Advisors may want to implement change
through a “baby-step” or individualized approach to incorporating
technology and green practices in our jobs. The first step is to “know
thy enemy” -- decide whether change is worthwhile. When “going green” through the use of new technologies, advisors can reduce
expenses, lessen the need for physical storage space for files, and
reduce our negative impact on the environment. All of this can be done
while meeting student expectations and reducing advisor stress.
Conversely, advisors must be aware of the consequences instilling technology can have on our daily operations. These consequences include time and expertise needed to set up technology, the time and energy needed
to train staff, what must be done to address privacy concerns, and how
best to confront and overcome staff fear of change.
Successful implementation of technology in advising hinges on access to
available and reliable resources and advisor willingness to seek means
toward a positive end. A well-funded institution may provide
campus-wide resources and technologies that enhance the advising
experience but advisors at lesser-funded institutions may be required
to “fend for themselves” to install new technologies. Simple
technological endeavors (e.g., e-mail and e-folder based advising) offer results that can be as
effective as more labor intensive technologies found at larger,
well-funded institutions. The prominence of free cloud technologies
(e.g., use of online applications, such as Google™ Docs rather than
proprietary software such as Microsoft™ Word) has further increased
resource availability and provides other avenues for cash-strapped
Before worrying about the finer points of “green” resources, advisors
should seek basic information that will allow them to take the first
step towards a paperless world. We suggest three basic considerations
for advisors seeking effective methods for “going green”:
Know the institution and the budget. Simply stated, advisors must become aware of the resources provided by
their institutions. Before recreating the wheel, advisors should
research the availability of campus programs and personnel that may be
readily available. This may also require a realistic understanding of
funding limitations. For example, an advising group will likely be
unable to purchase a $20 million system, although it may be possible to
use existing programs in new ways (i.e., institutional e-mail, social
media, and standard documents).
Consider the challenges. When considering the implementation of a “green” technology plan, it
is important to broach the topic of challenges. Beyond initial costs,
resource needs, the fear of change, and the daunting task of developing
green practices, technology integration must address records security
concerns. With implementation of third party sources (e.g., Google™),
it is common to fear a loss of privacy. Before implementing third party
technologies, advisors must be aware of their partnerships and the
security levels of these applications and programs. Advisors must be
cognizant of who has access to electronic records; e-files must meet
the same security standards as paper files.
Advisors must consider both institutional challenges and challengers.
Are advisors completely restrained by the institutional budget? Are
advisors within a department against this change? Is the administration
supportive of this effort? Careful navigation is required at each
level; effective leadership is needed to find common ground that will
allow for the enactment of new procedures.
Take the first step. The first step is often the most difficult. Just
as each advisor employs technology in an individualized manner, so too
will implementation glitches require modifications to a plan. Advisors should be
prepared for backlash if an idea does not initially succeed. Keep in
mind that initial steps do not require a huge leap; it may be best to
simply implement small and slow changes. Small changes can help
minimize staff fears and provide sufficient time to effectively train
personnel who need more guidance. The integration of small pieces of a
plan provides a testing ground for detractors and may bring a balance between growth and the continued satisfaction of all involved parties.
Despite a variety of concerns about the implementation of
technology, green advising methods are becoming prominent fixtures on
college campuses. It is important that advisors embrace new technologies
and understand the benefits of these technologies while remaining
cognizant of concerns. When we are open to change and are willing to
explore new options we can take the first steps towards “going green.”
College of Technology & Computer Science Advising Center
East Carolina University
College of Technology & Computer Science Advising Center
East Carolina University
College of Technology & Computer Science Advising Center
East Carolina University
College of Health & Human Performance
University of Florida
Paulson, K. (2002). Reconfiguring faculty roles for virtual settings. Special Issue: The Faculty in the New Millennium, 73(1), 123-140.
Wilson, E.V. (2004). A standards framework for academic e-advising services. International Journal of Services and Standards, 4(1), 69-82.
Using Technology to Enhance Advisor Training
Naomi Craven and Kimberley Rolf, University of Texas-San Antonio
A brief glance at NACADA’s Annual Conference schedule reveals that
advisor training and development is a hot topic in the advising field.
This hardly is surprising given that a 2005 NACADA member survey found
that 29% of those responding were over 50 years of age, suggesting that
within the next decade, a significant number of veteran advisors will retire. Nor, at that time, was any substantive training program in
place for an influx of new advisors; only 10% of respondents reported
receiving any formalized or in-depth training despite many recognizing
the need for structured initial training and more extensive
developmental opportunities (Folsom, 2007). This training need is also
identified by Brown (2008), who argued that although informational
training is important, “greater emphasis must be placed on conceptual
and relational elements if advising is to be viewed and valued as more than a clerical activity
directed at helping students to schedule classes” (p.311). However, the
nature of the advising profession means that new-hires undoubtedly
need large amounts of informational training in their first few weeks
on the job. Trainers must then determine how to incorporate relational and
conceptual aspects into training without neglecting necessary
This problem was faced by the College of Sciences Undergraduate Advising
Center (COSUAC) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA
operates a decentralized advising system in which sophomores, juniors
and seniors are advised through the college of their major, with COSUAC
advisors serving approximately 4000 upperclassmen with declared majors
in the sciences. COSUAC advisors are ultimately trained on nine degree
plans. Almost all advisor training takes place in-house, and is offered by COSUAC advisors who receive
limited time away from their day-to-day duties to spend with new-hires.
We needed to ensure that the limited face-to-face time new-hires spend
with trainers is maximized, and that advisor training goes beyond
policies and procedures to explore the more conceptual and relational
elements of advising.
To quickly deliver the large amount of required information in an
efficient and user-friendly format, trainers turned to Blackboard™.
Trainers created a Blackboard class that contains much of the
informational material previously covered in face-to-face meetings. For
example, new advisor training now includes Blackboard modules on
policies and procedures, incorporating PowerPoint® presentations that
cover details related to each degree plan. Each module is organized in a
similar fashion, beginning with learning objectives and a PowerPoint
covering the subject material. Schwenn (2010) noted the effectiveness
of such a structure when he stated that “step-by-step directions
detailing the specific execution for every task are beneficial especially as references after the training session has ended” (p.145).
Each COSUAC online training module is followed by a quiz that gauges the
new advisor's basic understanding of university functions, policies and
procedures, and office issues. Making information available in this
format has several advantages:
it is easy to update and search
since advisors review the modules before meeting
with trainers there is more time for discussion of the developmental
aspects of advising, and
online modules do not only serve new-hires since updates also can be posted and used by veteran advisors.
The COSUAC online advisor training confirms Pasquini’s (2010) hypothesis
that “advisor training and development programs that incorporate
online resources enhance self-directed learning, provide consistent instructional methods, and include ongoing professional-development initiatives (p.123).
Conversely, one of the strengths of COSUAC’s online training program
was initially perceived as a potential weakness. When trainers first
proposed moving portions of the training program to an online format,
some advisors suggested that the move might lead to a lack of
communication between team members. The program was designed to ensure
that this did not take place, as new hires are allotted time to meet
with their trainers. Because the informational training component is covered online, new advisors have time to discuss the more relational
and conceptual elements of advising. Similarly, as Schwenn (2010)
noted, tools such as the Blackboard discussion board can be used to
give advisors a forum to discuss professional issues (p.145). Pasquini
(2010) argued that the use of interactive online tools means that
“training and development evolve to become social and connected”
(p.123). Rather than reducing communication between advisors, the
integration of online learning into the advisor training program
ensured that the connectivity between advisors occurred on a more meaningful level,
focusing on relational and conceptual issues rather than the intake of
Leonard (2008) asserted that “there is nothing else that has had as
significant an impact on advising in the past ten years as the
introduction of new technologies” (p.292). However, Leonard only
examined the role new technologies play in services to students. The
program developed by the COSUAC demonstrates that Schwenn (2010) and
Pasquini (2010) were correct in suggesting that technology can also
play a role in advisor training and development by providing an easier
and more efficient way for advisors to absorb the informational
component of the job. Online informational training allows trainers to spend more time focusing
on conceptual and relational aspects of advising, thus moving advisor
development closer to the ideal envisioned by Brown (2008).
(formerly) College of Sciences Undergraduate Advising
University of Texas-San Antonio
College of Sciences Undergraduate Advising
University of Texas-San Antonio
Brown, T. (2008). Critical concepts in advisor training and
development. In Gordon, V., Habley, W.R., & Grites, T. (Eds.). Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook (2nd ed.). (pp. 309-322). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Folsom, P. (Ed.). (2007). The New Advisor Guidebook: Mastering the Art of Advising Through the First Year and Beyond. (Monograph no. 16). Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association.
Leonard, M.J. (2008). Advising delivery: Using technology. In Gordon, V.N., Habley, W.R., Grites, T. (Eds.), Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook (2nd ed.). (pp. 292-306). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Pasquini,L. (2010). Emerging digital resources: Easy and accessible
online tools. In Givans Voller, J. Miller, M. A., & Neste, S.L.
(Eds.). Comprehensive Advisor Training and Development: Practices That Deliver (2nd. Ed). (Monograph no. 21). (pp.123-129). Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association.
Schwenn, C. (2010). Techniques for teaching advisors to use technology.
In Givans Voller, J. Miller, M. A., & Neste, S.L. (Eds.). Comprehensive Advisor Training and Development: Practices That Deliver (2nd. Ed). (Monograph no. 21). (pp.145-149). Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association.
Build Better Relationships Through Blogging
Katie McFaddin, Brandeis University (formerly University of Oregon)
Becca Schulze, University of Oregon
Editor’s Note: The following article was developed from a presentation
given at the NACADA Annual Conference in Orlando, October 2010.
Since 2009, the Office of Academic Advising at the University of Oregon has maintained an advising-themed blog designed for undergraduate students in academic jeopardy. In this
article, we share what we have learned over the past two years about
blogging in advising, beginning with our inspiration for the project.
The Office of Academic Advising includes ten advisors and three support
staff who work together with faculty to advise the University of
Oregon’s 19,534 undergraduates. Each term, the Office of Academic
Advising electronically notifies students whose term GPA places them on
academic warning, probation, or disqualification. The emailed letter
outlines the terms and limitations of academic standing and invites students to make an appointment with an advisor.
The idea for a blog evolved from a discussion after a particularly emotional appointment with a student who had just received notice she was academically disqualified. The advisor was struck by the student’s vulnerability and confusion when, with tears running down her face, the student asked, “Does anyone ever come back?” In a 2009 NACADA podcast about working with students in academic jeopardy, Shelly Gehrke and Jeanette Wong explained, “As advisors, we should understand the various emotions and
feelings that the student [on probation] is experiencing—and we should
be prepared for the likelihood that the student will be feeling
embarrassed, disappointed, vulnerable and judged” (¶ 34). After the
appointment we brainstormed ways to reach students, especially students
in academic jeopardy, in a familiar but more personal manner than an
official notification email.
First we discussed familiar media – Facebook© and our office website. While Facebook is interactive and easy to update, it is designed for quick messages and content is not searchable. Our office website allowed for lengthier content, but we had only minimal control over the structure and look of the site. We each had personal experience with blogging and determined that it best combined desired qualities: searchable content, the ability to insert tags, and blog creator control of the look, structure, and content of the site. The most popular blog hosting sites (e.g., Wordpress, Blogger©) are free and feature user-friendly templates and site visit tracking.
We spent part of our lunch breaks over the next couple of weeks developing the idea; first with notes on paper, and then by actually playing around in Wordpress. It didn’t take long to create the framework and write a few posts. Part of blogging’s appeal is that content can be created in a relatively short time and is immediately accessible. When we pitched the idea to our supervisor, we had a tangible product in hand; we were able to say with certainty how big (or in this case, small) of an investment in time and money it would be. We were fortunate that our supervisor, NACADA President-Elect Jennifer Joslin, embraces innovation. In a 2011 interview with Eric Stoller on Higher Ed Live©, she said, “Sometimes whether you’re in student affairs or academic
affairs you can really benefit by a supervisor who says, ‘Go for it!
This sounds great – let’s try something.’”
While developing the blog, we kept in mind two main goals: create
original and relevant content, and provide a welcoming and empowering
virtual space to help students academically succeed. We first created an “About Us” page to introduce ourselves and tell stories of our own
academic challenges. We also included a page with descriptions and
links to important campus resources. The main blog page is updated once
or twice a month with posts about study skills, favorite academic resources, and current student stories. As we grew more comfortable
with blogging, we experimented with multimedia, using podcasts and
vodcasts to add voice and video to the posts.
Since the start of the blog, we have tracked visits and clicks, and
while they have been steady and significant, they are not our most
powerful success indicators. Rather, we are encouraged and inspired by
the student from another institution who emailed us for advice on how
to overcome disqualification, the mothers who mention the blog as a
source of comfort, and the student with repeated semesters on probation
who was empowered to meet weekly with an advisor featured on our blog.
For readers new to blogging but interested in using this format on
their campuses, our top four tips for building and maintaining a blog
Tip 1: Be a blog lurker
Follow a handful of blogs over the course of a couple months. Bookmark
the sites and check them often, or subscribe to an aggregator (i.e.,
Google Reader), which collects updated posts from selected
websites/blogs and presents them in one place. Pay attention to which
blogs become favorites and keep notes on preferred aspects of the
Tip 2: Develop a brand
Use the notes to develop a vision for the blog. Who is
the intended audience? What is the blog’s purpose? What tone will the
What will be the source for content? Create a blog name and logo that
accurately reflects this vision (call upon colleagues with graphic
design experience to assist with the logo).
Tip 3: Get behind the wheel
Check Back Soon.” Start experimenting with the tools,
tracking features, and widgets, then draft a few posts. Ask friends and
colleagues for feedback on everything from the blog’s name and logo, to
the length and content of the posts.–Until the blog’s web address is
shared, practically no one will come across it. On the rare chance that someone does, type a short post to the effect of, “Site in Progress
Tip 4: Provide original content not found elsewhere
Avoid creating the digital version of a crowded college bulletin board -
quick re-posts of deadlines, reminders, and dates. We call this the
“info-dump phenomenon.” Although it may take longer to create original
content, which may mean posting less frequently, readers will appreciate
it. Some of our favorite creative projects included a podcast
interview with an academically disqualified student who had recently
been reinstated to the university and a series of vodcasts highlighting
UO’s Teaching and Learning Center.
When we talk about this project with fellow advisors, the most common
response is, “I would love to try something like that but I’m not much
of a tech person.” Let us be clear – we weren’t either – but we adopted a
“learn as you go approach” and took advantage of NACADA resources such
as pre-conference technology workshops that featured hands-on
learning. We hope that our experience encourages other advisors to reach beyond their comfort zone when brainstorming solutions to meet student needs.
Academic Advisor, Academic Services
Academic Advisor, Office of Academic Advising
University of Oregon
Gehrke, S. & Wong, J. (2009). Students on academic probation. NACADA Podcasts [Audio Podcast Transcripts]. Retrieved from www.nacada.ksu.edu/clearinghouse/advisingissues/prob-podcast.htm
Stoller, E. (Producer). (2011, June 8). Academic advising. Higher Ed Live. Retrieved from http://higheredlive.com/academic-advising-acadv/
LinkedIn: Expanding NACADA Network Connections Online
Jim Peacock, Kennebec Valley Community College
Kristina Ierardi, Cape Cod Community College
Editor’s Note: The following article was developed from a presentation given at the NACADA Region 1 Conference in March 2011.
LinkedIn© (LI) is one of many online social networks designed to communicate and advance relationships between people. What makes LI unique is its focus on developing professional relationships. LinkedIn (March 2011) connects 100 million professionals in over 200 countries. NACADA members who seek professional development and recognize the importance of networking with others in the field will find LI to be a valuable resource for themselves and their students.
There are three key reasons to create or expand an existing LI account:
to develop and maintain a professional network that is “active” throughout the year,
to seek advice from others in the field or in ‘like-minded’ groups, and
to find employment or to assist students in finding employment.
Networking. One of the benefits
of attending a NACADA conference is the opportunity to meet people
facing similar challenges in advising. Generating ideas, information,
solutions, and support from colleagues is energizing and effective.
Unfortunately, the opportunity to make these face-to-face connections
happens only a few times a year at national or regional events. With LI,
advising professionals can maintain and grow their networks year-round
and frequently communicate on topics of interest.
LinkedIn advertises that 100 million professionals already use the site
and one million new members join every week. As of June 2011, over 1,600
individuals belonged to the NACADA group on LI. By creating a LI
account and performing a “People” search, NACADA members can connect
with people they already know. Before sending an invitation to connect,
LI members are prompted to identify how they know each person they
invite into their network, and each person must agree to accept an invitation before a connection is established. By design, this
process attempts to maintain LI as a true ‘professional networking’
Each LI member receives update notifications about their connections on
their Home page. Updates may include book review posts, new group
memberships (see below), new position listings, updated credentials, or
informational posts. LI is an “active” network because of these frequent
updates. Members are continually informed about the people in their
network and what they are doing throughout the year. It is easy to begin
a discussion, share information, and stay current about colleagues’
Groups. LinkedIn features
thousands of groups tailored to a variety of subject areas, including
NACADA and other higher education groups. Each group has a purpose and
attracts like minded members. The discussions can be lively and
informative. With a free LI account, members can join up to 50 groups.
Each group member can follow discussions of interest, can ask questions, and can initiate and
participate in discussions. Every discussion post or response is seen by
all group members. This process provides a mechanism for a member to
become a familiar face and resource for those within the group. LI
statistics even indicate the most influential group members. So, simply
discussing common issues can introduce members to each other and expand
networks. Additionally, group membership enables each LI member to invite any other group member into their network without sharing another
common connection or previously knowing each other. This feature
enables group members to exponentially expand their network with
Recently NACADA member Jim Peacock received
more than a dozen great suggestions from one LI group. He was working
with a student at a small community college in Maine who was interested
in exploring career options in the adoption field. Jim posted a question
in one of his groups and within minutes received ideas and leads from
numerous group members. To gain this same information would have taken
days of .research and probably would not have resulted in the same quality of information.
Sample LI groups we are involved with include: NACADA, College Career
Expert, Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, and the National Career
Development Association. The LI “Groups” tab allows members to easily
explore their own groups and potentially interesting groups, the “Groups
Directory,” and even create a group of their own.
Seeking Employment. Job seekers are able to use LI to develop
their online presence, market themselves to employers, and take control
of online content that might be viewed by potential employers. LI
members can post one professional picture, easily import a resume,
upload a portfolio, and receive written recommendations from
connections. A complete LinkedIn profile with active connections also
increases “PageRank” which then lists LinkedIn search results in search
engines (e.g., Google©) before results from other online sites (e.g.,
Facebook©); this allows members to showcase their professional
LI also provides great resources for job searches. LI automatically
shows member-posted positions targeted toward experiences listed on
their resumes. Members can conduct general job searches using the “Jobs”
tabs. The “Companies” tab allows LI members to search jobs by company
and follow companies of interest. Members who follow companies receive
automatic updates about new job postings, new hires, and news from the
companies they follow.
LI groups provide a unique means to connect with someone at a company of
interest. For example, a college or university alumni group member
list may show other members who currently (or previously) work at a
desired place of employment. Job seekers may choose to contact that
group member and ask about the company culture or request an
Some advisors work with students on career development and placement
matters. LI can be a resource for students to explore career options,
develop job search marketing materials, brand themselves, and find jobs.
Advisors should encourage students to join LI and utilize its resources
for career advancement.
Only three of the primary benefits of LinkedIn have been discussed
here. There are many more LI advanced features, uses, and tools to
discover. To find out more about LinkedIn try the following resources:
Director of Advising, Career, and Transfer Center
Kennebec Valley Community College
Coordinator, Career Services
Cape Cod Community College
LinkedIn. (2011). About LinkedIn. Retrieved from http://press.linkedin.com/about
Collaboration - A Win, Win, Win Situation
Jo Stewart, Brock University, Canada
Collaboration is a word we use in higher education practically on a daily basis. Collaboration can be defined in two ways. “1…the act of working with another or others on a joint project”, and “2. something created by working jointly with another or others” (Farlex, 2011). Bennis and Beiderman (1997) argue that “one is too small a number to produce greatness.” I propose that if academic advisors around the world foster greatness in our students, then they will in turn generate great things. No one can do this alone; we must collaborate within and between departments and institutions if we are to bring a well-rounded education to our students.
Here at Brock University, we collaborate with colleges in the province
of Ontario to provide students with educational experiences with both a
strong theoretical and applied base of knowledge. In the province of
Ontario, most higher education institutions are public; there are two
types of public institutions – traditional degree-granting universities
and colleges that offer a variety of diplomas, certificates and applied
degrees. Our university degrees are typically four-year degrees, with
the liberal arts degrees offering students a broad range of theoretical
knowledge. Our colleges, on the other hand, offer technical training
and applied/practical diplomas and degrees. As I often tell Brock
University students, our university programs teach students the five
“W’s” – what something is, when it occurred, who was involved in it, where it
happened, and why it took place – but do not teach students how to do
it. Teaching the “how” is left to our colleges. An example is the
discipline of psychology where students come to university and learn
what psychology is (the “what”), when major theories were developed (the
“when”), the theorists who conducted the research in the discipline (the
“who”), the country/lab where the research took place (the “where”),
and what led various researchers to develop their theories (the
However, if the student wants to be a counselor, the five W’s offer no
training. On the other hand, Ontario’s colleges do offer innovative and
outstanding diploma, certificate, and applied degree programs that
allow students to learn the techniques involved in effective individual
and group counseling (the “how”).
About ten years ago, it became apparent that many Brock students wanted
to obtain the applied/practical experience that would give them an
edge when entering the job market. Many arrived at advising sessions a
few months before graduation with one big question – “Now what do I
do?” In school for as long as they could remember, many suddenly realized that the light at the end of the educational tunnel was
getting brighter, and felt they did not have marketable skills in their
chosen field. After these “just-before-graduation” advising sessions,
students often decided to pursue the practical knowledge and training
they needed by attending one of our provincial colleges for a diploma or certificate.
This meant additional years in school and additional tuition dollars
to receive the training they felt needed to succeed in the work place.
Sasson (2011) noted that “collaboration saves time and maximizes curriculum.” In the Brock University Faculty of Social Sciences, we realized that our liberal arts approach to education was not providing our students with all of the tools needed to successfully enter the work force. Advisors and faculty members realized that our students were interested in learning about the who, what, where, when, and why of their discipline, but also needed to learn the how; thus many headed to our provincial colleges upon completion of their degree studies. Given the primary mandate at most universities does not involve providing applied knowledge, we realized that collaboration with the colleges in Ontario would allow us to develop unique educational programs to give our students not only a strong theoretical base of knowledge but the applied/practical knowledge the colleges provide. A maximization of the curriculum would provide students the opportunity to gather information from the five W’s plus the H. We also recognized that students’ time and money would be maximized in collaborative programs.
For example, one very popular collaborative program was developed for
Film Studies majors. Brock’s Film Studies degree program is very
theoretical with no film-making opportunities. Students in this program
indicated a strong interest in learning film production techniques, so
a collaborative program was developed with the Advanced Film-Making
program at Fanshawe College. Interested and qualified students are accepted into the
collaborative program at the end of their first year of studies. At
that point, one year’s worth of upper-year elective credits are removed
from the students’ degrees, and the fourth-year required courses are
shifted to years two and three. This frees up one entire year for
students to attend Fanshawe College where they receive advanced
standing and complete the program in a year. Upon completion of the
Advanced Film-making program at Fanshawe College, students receive one
year’s worth of elective credits at Brock University and complete a
university degree and a college certificate program in only four years.
Besides the Fanshawe College program, we have an additional 13
collaborative programs with ten different Ontario colleges in such
areas as Police Foundations, Public Relations, Behavioural Science
Technology, Emergency Management, Paralegal, Geomatics, and Social
Service Work. Besides providing practical/applied training, these
programs allow students to network in their chosen field as they
complete their field placement requirements. This often leads to their
first job upon completion of their studies.
The collaborative programs we have developed are a true “win, win, win,
win” situation. Brock University wins because these programs bring
very good students. The colleges win because collaborative program
students bring critical thinking and research skills that provide
leadership in their classes. Parents win because the tuition they pay
for their children is drastically reduced. Most importantly, the
students win because they receive an education that will allow them to
reach the greatness to which they aspire. Fostering greatness in the next generation is possible
because of the collaboration that takes place across so many Ontario
Faculty of Social Sciences
Bennis, W.G., and Biederman, P.W. (1997). Organizing genius: The secrets of creative collaboration. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Farlex (2011). The free dictionary. Retrieved from www.thefreedictionary.com/collaboration
Sasson, D. (2011) “Should you collaborate? The benefits of collaboration for new and seasoned teachers”. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Should-You-Collaborate?-The-Benefits-of-Collaboration-For-New-and-Seasoned-Teachers&id=2519655
Helping Students Help Themselves: Advising as Empowerment
Charlie Nutt visits Maastricht University in the Netherlands
Editor’s Note: This is an adapted version of an article in De Observant (May 19th, 2011), Maastricht University’s weekly newsletter.
One of the most important tasks of an academic advisor, according to Charlie Nutt, Executive Director of NACADA: the Global Community for Academic Advising, is to teach students appropriate strategies with regard to learning. “We need to focus more on student learning as opposed to helping students,” he says. Charlie is a charming, energetic, and seemingly tireless American with a true passion for academic advising and improving students’ college experience, and he recently spent four days in Maastricht on the invitation of Nicolai Manie and Oscar van den Wijngaard (both members of NACADAand academic advisors at University College Maastricht – see Oscar’s December 2010 AAT contribution). Charlie gave several inspiring workshops, sharing his insights and strategies on increasing study success and improving student retention with the academic advisors and administrators of Maastricht University. In addition, he reserved time for individual meetings with the deans of the various departments.
Academic advising is gradually gaining a stronger foothold at
Maastricht University, reflecting a growing awareness of its importance
for student success, and aided by a recent Dutch policy that can
result in significant cost to both university and students when the
allotted time to complete a study program is exceeded.
At University College Maastricht (UCM), students can choose from more
than 130 courses, with the guidance of academic advisors, and Charlie’s
visit to Maastricht couldn’t have come at a better time, says Nicolai
Manie, coordinator of UCM’s Academic Advising Office. “At the
moment,” Nicolai explains, “UCM is re-evaluating its advising system,
planning to make some significant changes to it.” Other faculties are
also implementing new advising strategies this year: the psychology
faculty introduced a new mentoring program, and the Department of Knowledge
Engineering is piloting a faculty-based academic advising system for
first year students, which most likely will be adopted by other
departments of the university as well.
With the development of new program structures, many important
questions arise within Maastricht University’s academic advising
community, such as what is the role of an academic advisor and in what way is it different from a study advisor? Charlie Nutt cautions that it is very important that each faculty defines these roles for themselves, making clear distinctions between the tasks of study and academic advisors. One word that is crucial to academic advising was heard repeatedly in Charlie’s workshops: connection. Making sure that the students can identify with their studies, that
they can relate to the philosophy of the faculty and the university, is
key for a pleasant and successful college experience.
What is the most important factor for students during their studies, and what distinguishes students with a successful career from those who are less successful? The quality of teaching? Having a rich social life? Richard Light, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, conducted a survey with 1800 Harvard graduates and found the answer: the relationship with the academic advisor is the key to success. Or as Light put it (2001): Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience (p.81).
“Think about your own time as a student,” Charlie Nutt urges. “Perchance you met a professor who was truly inspiring and gave you guidance. But such an encounter should not be left to chance. We need to build a relationship between the students and the advisor before the students realize they need someone to help them out. Because once
they realize they are in trouble, they’re already in so much trouble
that they have difficulties getting out by themselves.” However,
Charlie says, it is not the task of the academic staff to hold the
students’ hands and solve all their problems for them. Rather, advisors
should help students learn from their mistakes and “provide them with
strategies and techniques to take success into their own hands, which
is the student’s responsibility.” Advisors should help the students
What do we need to teach students? According to Charlie Nutt, without a doubt, we need to “teach them how to make choices because they don’t know how to do that. Up until they enter university, decisions have been made for them. We need to teach students the important difference between choosing a certain study program and choosing a career. When asked: why do you want to study a particular subject? And how did you arrive to this conclusion? students’ most cited answers are: ‘I thought this subject was
interesting in high school,’ ‘my friends study the same,’ ‘my parents
wanted me to,’ and ‘I didn’t like anything else better.’ It’s not about
helping, it’s about teaching: teaching to think, teaching to make the
right choices.” Some students have no idea what courses to choose in
their first year. It takes time to get used to being a university student. Charlie adds, “Don’t
forget that these young people are standing on their own feet for the
first time; it’s often the first time they leave their parent’s place.
They need time to get used to this.”
To many freshmen the university is a different world. Many have a hard
time adjusting to it; some of the students who had high grades in high
school are now barely passing their classes, panicking that they might
fail. “It is important that they realize that it is normal, that they
can relax” Charlie says. “I share my own story with them,” says someone
in the audience. “I too had good grades in high school, but was not
doing so well in my first year of college. It helps sharing these
stories with students; they instantly open up to you, they can
At the end of one of his workshops, Charlie provides a list of helpful
tips for future advisors: “Know your students! Who are they, what are
they telling you? Are they ready to study at university? Have high
expectations. If they are too low, students will only make very slow
progress. Set up a team of professionals and staff members with
different skills; jointly take up the responsibility of ensuring study
success. Motivate students to reflect. Give valuable information.
Integrate academic advising in the first year and focus on university
culture sooner than later. If we don’t, students will assume that we are not
interested in them and their stories, which is just the opposite of
what a good academic advisor should be.”
Coordinator Academic Advising
Faculty of Humanities & Sciences
University College Maastricht
University College Maastricht
Oscar van den Wijngaard
Coordinator Academic Advising
University College Maastricht
Light, Richard. (2001). Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Distance Advising: An Invitation to Join the Discussion
Steven Starks, University of Phoenix
Online education is growing so fast that by 2018 it is paced to
supplant face-to-face instruction as the preferred learning modality
(Nagel, 2011). In this new era of online education, traditional models
of academic advising may not be suitable for advisors serving
nontraditional students. Consequently, the relevance of distance
advising to institutional retention efforts is greater than ever
before. Steele (2005) noted that topics relevant to distance advising
can be divided into three primary categories: (a) distance learners,
(b) distance advising
considerations, and (c) the use of technology in advising. Ranging from
cross-cultural communication at a distance (Keller, 2011) to best
practices for advising online students (Gravel & Esposito, 2010),
NACADA’s distance education and advising (DEA) commission has led the
way in generating resources on such topics. For NACADA to continue
anticipating “the academic advising needs of twenty-first century
students, advisors, and institutions” (NACADA, 2011, ¶ 2), members must
contribute to the current discussion on distance advising. In particular, information regarding the unique characteristics of online students and strategies for advising them is much needed.
Key Characteristics of Online Students
The concept of the traditional college student between the ages of 18
and 22 who lives on-campus no longer exists (Stokes, 2006). In fact,
Siegel (2011) stated that “more than 50% of all entering college
students are nontraditional” (p. 10). With online learning driving
nontraditional student enrollments, students who are over the age of 24,
who have full-time jobs, and who have children are fast becoming the
norm in higher education. Distance advisors should know that the
demographic characteristics of nontraditional students are also risk
factors that can impede their progress toward graduation (Kantrowitz,
2010). Thus, retention rates for online students tend to be
significantly lower than their face-to-face counterparts (Varney,
2009). As champions of institutional retention efforts, distance advisors
have a responsibility to understand the students they serve; they must
know that online learners who succeed are self-driven experts in time
management who are technologically savvy (Steele, 2005).
Considerations for Communication Skills at a Distance
In an environment devoid of face-to-face contact, building strong
relationships with online students warrants special considerations.
Nutt (2000) observed that communication skills are among the most
significant competencies for developing close advisor-advisee
relationships. An empirically-based model of interpersonal communication
skills particularly helpful to academic advisors is the microskills
model (Barnett, Roach, & Smith, 2006). Microskills are the specific
behaviors that constitute active listening (e.g. attending behaviors, open-ended questions, paraphrases, summaries); they are
observable and can be learned in a relatively short amount of time. In a
recent survey of student affairs professionals regarding the most
important helping skills related to working with students, microskills
were among the top 15 (Reynolds, 2011).
Distance advisors practice microskills when they are mindful of three
important considerations. First, for distance advising scenarios that
require verbal communication, vocal qualities should be considered
analogous to body language. When speaking to students through various
communication technologies (e.g. phone, voice chat), distance advisors
must use their voice to convey emotion, empathy, and sincere interest.
The tone, rate, pitch, and volume of one’s voice can dramatically
change the intent of the message, especially without the ability to add
a warm smile or a make appropriate eye contact. Even the timing in
which one adjusts certain vocal qualities can influence the way a
message is transmitted and received.
The second consideration for distance advisors is that the words one chooses can impact the development of the advisor-advisee relationship. Kramer (2011) indicated that the words one chooses can be punitive or positive depending on how statements are constructed. For example, an advisor who uses punitive language might say to a student "you failed your math course and must retake it.” On the other hand, an advisor who uses positive language might say “although you received a non-passing grade, you have an opportunity to retake the course to improve your GPA.” Kramer (2011) pointed out that interpersonal communication should focus
on strengths, reflect feelings, clarify concerns, and use open-ended
questions to elicit student responses. Although these skills apply to
traditional advising models, their significance is amplified in
distance advising sessions because of the increased opportunity for
The third consideration for distance advisors is sequence. Sequence
refers to the order in which advisors respond to student concerns. For
example, when a student requests tutoring for fear of failing a class,
the advisor who realizes the importance of sequence attends to the
student’s anxiety first and provides information second. The advisor can
make an empathic statement (e.g., “I can tell you really care about learning the material”) prior to providing instructions for accessing tutoring services.
Distance advisors must pay special attention to the order in which they
attend to concerns if they want to build strong relationships.
In a few years, online learners will no longer be
considered a subpopulation of students, but rather the majority within
higher education. Clearly, distance advising will be a central element
to retention strategies, especially considering the risk factors
associated with nontraditional students. By practicing sound
communication strategies such as microskills, distance advisors can
overcome the challenge of building relationships in the absence of
direct, face-to-face contact. Moreover, when we pay attention to three
important considerations, vocal qualities, word choice, and sequence, distance advisors can
interact with students more intentionally. In a distance advising
model, every student interaction should be considered an opportunity to
strengthen the relationship. NACADA members who have experience with
distance advising should share their ideas on how to achieve this goal.
In doing so, NACADA will continue to shape the future of academic
advising into the 21st century.
Senior Academic Counselor
University of Phoenix
Barnett, S., Roach, S., & Smith, M. (2006). Microskills: Advisor behaviors that improve(1), 6-12. NACADA Journal, 26 communication with advisees.
Gravel, C., & Esposito, A. (2010). Best practices in advising
students in online degree programs [NACADA DEA Commission Webinar
2011]. Retrieved from http://bpdistanceeducationadv.pbworks.com/w/file/25475868/Best%20Practices%20in%20Advising%20Students%20in%20Online%20Degree_GRAVEL.ppt
Kantrowitz, M. (2010). Calculating the contribution of demographic differences to default rates. Retrieved from: www.finaid.org/educators/20100507demographicdifferences.pdf
Keller, B. (April 26, 2011). Cross-cultural communication at a distance [NACADA DEACommission Webinar 2011]. Retrieved from http://bpdistanceeducationadv.pbworks.com/w/file/39465461/DEA%20Commission%20Webinar%204.26.11-%20Cross%20Cultural%20Communication%20at%20a%20Distance.pdf
Kramer, R. E. (March 31, 2011). Faculty voice in online education: Enhancing relationships between faculty and students for learning success [Campus Technology Webinar Series 2011]. Retrieved from http://event.on24.com/event/29/14/45/rt/1/documents/slidepdf/bb331_faculty_voice_in_online_education _enhancing_relationships_between_ faculty_and_students_for_learning_success_final_033111.pdf
National Academic Advising Association. (2011). Membership. Retrieved from www.nacada.ksu.edu/membership/index.htm
Nagel, D. (2011). Online learning set for explosive growth as traditional classrooms decline. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2011/01/26/Online-Learning-Set-for-Explosive-Growth-as-Traditional-Classrooms-Decline.aspx?Page=1
Nutt, C. L. (2000). One-to-one advising. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, & Associates (Eds.), Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (pp. 220-227). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reynolds, A. L. (2011). Helping competencies of student affairs professionals: A Delphi study. Journal of College Student Development, 52(3), 362-369.
Steele, G. (2005). Distance advising. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/adv_distance.htm
Siegel, M. J. (2011). Reimagining the retention problem: Moving our thinking from end-product to by-product. About Campus, 15(6), 8-18. Retrieved from onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/abc.20043/pdf
Stokes, P. (2006). Hidden in Plain Sight: Adult learners forge a new
tradition in highereducation. Retrieved from U.S. Department of
Education at www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/reports/stokes.pdf
Varney, J. (2009). Strategies for success in distance advising. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/adv_distance.htm
Holland Revisited: A Self-Authored Approach to Major Exploration
Art Esposito, NACADA Commission on Undeclared & Exploratory Student Advising Chair
One of the first questions undeclared/exploratory students ask is
whether there is a personality test they can take to help them select a
major. There are, in fact, many such tools, although an argument can be
made against their unqualified use: matching a student’s personality
with a major is far too teacher-centered and not in keeping with
academic advising as a teaching activity.
Those engaging in career advising through the use of Holland’s Career
Theory—one of many assessment platforms available in the field of
undecided/exploratory and career advising—can help students match their
three-letter Holland Code to majors and/or careers. However, some
assertions that Holland’s theory prescribes matches between codes, majors, and/or careers are misleading. Further, when we focus on
students’ deductive and holistic research into their own multi-facetted
set of reasonable sensibilities, we shift from an advisor-focused
process to a learning-centered model.
Two definitions are helpful to our discussion:
1. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking: a
reasonable solution to the problem (American Heritage, 2003).
Sensibility, pl. n. sen·si·bil·i·ties
1. Mental or emotional responsiveness toward something, such as the feelings of another.
2. The quality of being affected by changes in the environment (American Heritage, 2003).
With these definitions in mind, we can view personality traits referred
to in Holland’s theory as students’ reasonable sensibilities. In so
doing, we empower students to understand their reactions to academic
subject matter and world of work realities not as genetic programming
beyond their control, but as critical thought-based responsiveness to
external stimuli. This less prescriptive approach also allows us to
encourage students to identify their own meaning in education and career choices.
Students will display a greater sense of ownership of their decisions,
and enjoy greater connection to their selected majors, rather than
struggling through programs of study selected under the pressure of
external definitions (i.e. parental/familial influence).
John Holland’s career theory indicates a connection between personality
and environment that makes his RIASEC codes effective for classifying
personality traits, majors, and work environments (Holland, 1997). Many
assessment tools use surveys to identify students’ personality types as
either Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S),
Enterprising (E), or Conventional (C), thereby claiming to identify for
students the best ‘fit’ for college major or career field. And while
many, including Holland, appreciate that most individuals represent more than one of the six
personality types, the use of the RIASEC indicators is strictly applied
to disciplines of study and occupations. An example of this is that
most Holland-based assessment tools indicate that Investigative
disciplines are limited to science and technology fields, suggesting these as the
best disciplines for students with a high number of traits in the “I”
category. Likewise, majors and careers labeled as Artistic often are
limited to applied arts fields—this all but disavows creativity within
science fields and investigation in humanities and liberal arts-based
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Discovery Advising program focuses
solely on advising undeclared and exploratory students. The program has
found success encouraging students to treat these assessment data as a
jumping off point rather than a prescribed conclusion on the question
of major selection. Discovery advisors encourage students to identify
what the data are indicating and how they, the students, personally
express the suggested temperaments. By doing this, Discovery advisors
allow students to identify not only that they process external stimuli a certain way, but also why and how their behavior represents the results of the assessments. This also
allows students to identify how their way of responding to certain
situations may fit within one major as opposed to another, thereby
identifying their 'best fit' for a major from a personal or
In his NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources article on Transformative Theory and Undeclared/Exploratory Students (2009), Kerry Kincanon observed the importance of transformation and self-authorship in the
advising process. By citing such authors as Frier, Keegan, Mezirow and
Baxter Magolda (to name but a few of a terrific number of sources cited
in the piece), Kincanon reminds us that these authors have long
indicated the importance of situating learning in students’
experiences, thus empowering students to reflect about their
experiences, goals, and values, and encouraging them to self-author
meaning for their educational experiences. When we encourage students to define their
own meaning from Holland theory observations, rather than prescribing
meaning for them, we guide students to self-authorship, we challenge
them to derive deeper meaning from their choice of major, and thereby
improve their chances of academic success and persistence.
Pizzolato (2006) indicated that self-authored students will not blindly follow parental expectations or request advisors to tell them which major to select. It seems counter-intuitive to expect such students to simply follow the sometimes narrowly defined recommendations of assessment instruments when making education planning decisions such as major choice. Specific to major exploration, we can strip away prescriptive observations by encouraging students to identify how they personally display characteristics of any of the six Holland types. Just as self-authorship encourages defining
one’s own meaning, so should we encourage students to identify their
own reasonable sensibilities and decide which of their multiple facets
they choose to pursue in degree programs that bear the same indicators.
When we encourage students to understand how they uniquely represent
aspects of the Holland Codes in their reasonable sensibilities, we
empower them to not only make thoughtful decisions about their major,
but to become self-authored and more thorough decision makers in every
aspect of their education.
Director of Discovery Advising
Virginia Commonwealth University
Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: a theory of vocational personalities and work environments. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
Kincanon, K. (2009). Translating the Transformative: Applying
Transformational and Self-Authorship Pedagogy to Advising
Undecided/Exploring Students. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources: www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Transformative-Theory.htm
Pizzolato, J. (2006). Complex partnerships: self-authorship and provocative academic advising practices. NACADA Journal 26(1), 32-45.
reasonable. (2003). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved from www.thefreedictionary.com/reasonable
sensibility. (2003). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved from www.thefreedictionary.com/sensibilities
Why Choosing a Major is Not Choosing a Career (...and not the end of the world)
Kyle Bures, Neosho County Community College
Making the decision to attend college is no small task for many of our
students. Yet, advisors often forget to remind students -- and
especially adult learners and first-generation students -- that they
should take a moment to applaud themselves for making it this far. Today’s college
student population is increasingly diverse; students from all
generations and backgrounds enter college after work lay-offs, career
changes, and family pressure to earn a degree and get a good job. Often
lost in the transition to becoming a student is the student’s decision
to take control and improve his or her life.
Unfortunately, some students do not get the chance to appreciate their
journey to becoming a student. Well-meaning individuals often burden
students with questions surrounding their major: “Why are you going
to college?” -- “What is your major?” -- “What job are you going to get
with that?” These common questions can create stress and anxiety for students. Especially in today’s economy, there is a spike in this line
of questioning. Students may seek majors that will lead to well-paid
careers rather than those that fit students’ interests and abilities, a
point illustrated beautifully in an article by Keyes (2010). As
advisors we should be cautious, as we may be guilty of asking some of
these questions ourselves.
Perhaps one of the biggest student misconceptions is that choosing a
major locks students into one career for the rest of their lives.
Students fear that if they make the wrong decision now they will waste
thousands of dollars and be stuck in a career they hate. This
misconception is often fueled by parents and family who pressure
students into “following the money.” Obviously if a student wants to be
a nurse, then a nursing degree is needed—but a nursing degree (or any degree, for that matter)
also equips graduates with a set of skills and abilities that can be
applied to any number of employment opportunities.
Rather than picturing the selection of a major as locking them into one career, students should be encouraged to see it as unlocking a number of career opportunities. A career can include several jobs
over the course of many years with each new job influenced by a variety
of factors (e.g., previous jobs and experiences, increased education,
life changes). Being new to advising (less than two years), I would not
have predicted as an undergraduate that I would pursue advising as a
job and possibly as a career. Thus, it is an unnecessary burden when
students think that choosing a major is locking themselves into
something for the rest of their lives. However, selecting a major should still be a well-researched decision.
Suggesting that students do not need to stress over choosing a lifelong
career as an undergraduate does not mean that they should ignore
career exploration. Career exploration is an important part of the
undergraduate experience and should be presented to students as part of the developmental process. Advisors can reference O’Banion’s (1972)
model of developmental advising. Later additions by Habley (1994)
posit that students should explore life, career, and educational goals
before selecting and scheduling courses. When doing this, students will
be able to work with advisors to select courses more relevant to their
developing goals, which in turn should increase attendance and improve
Our lives are full of unplanned events and opportunities that impact
our career paths. Knowing this, advisors should encourage the
transformation of these “unplanned events into opportunities for
learning,” and suggest that students “generate, recognize, and
incorporate chance events into their career development,” ideas
proposed by planned happenstance theorists Mitchell, Levin, &
Krumboltz (1999, p. 117). Students should take a moment to consider
what led them to this particular point and appreciate the events that
got them here. When students recognize these events and “spin” them in a positive way, they make a profound impact on how their careers play out.
What can advisors do now to help students prepare to make the most of their education? Advisors
should work with students to complete appropriate career assessments
and assist in interpreting the results of these assessments. When we
use developmental advising theory, we equip students with an awareness
of their skills, abilities, and values – and how each of these relates
to their education, career, and life goals.
Advisors should help students choose activities that accentuate their
coursework and individualize their education. Students who choose
biology as their major should be encouraged to apply to become a
Biology department student worker, to get involved in the Science Club,
or to find a business where they can job shadow. The information
gained from such experiences can be extremely valuable in ultimately
deciding their career path. Plus, combined with a degree, these experiences
will help students’ build a resume to land that first (or next) job.
When advisors embrace student development theory, students are better
prepared to answer the difficult questions from family and friends;
they are able to discuss with more confidence why they are taking their
chosen path. Advisors should remind students (and themselves) to take a
deep breath and appreciate where they are and what they have done to
get to this point. Then we should challenge students to get involved
and take control of their career path. Advisors should not let the
stress of choosing a lifelong career rob students of their creativity. We should
remind students that their major does not determine the rest of their
Student Support Services
Neosho County Community College
Habley, W.R. (1994). Administrative approaches to advising undecided students. In V. Gordon (Ed.), Issues in advising the undecided college student (Monograph No. 15) (pp. 17-23). Columbia, SC: University of South
Carolina, National Resource Center for the Freshman Year Experience.
Keyes, S. (2010, January 10). Stop asking me my major. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Stop-Asking-Me-My-Major/63453/
Mitchell, K.E., Levin, A.S., & Krumboltz, J.D. (1999). Planned
happenstance: Constructing unexpected career opportunities. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77, 115-124.
O’Banion, T. (1972). An academic advising model. Junior College Journal, 42(6), 62-69.
Peer Advisors and the Major Exploration Process
Ellen Murkison, Georgia Southern University
Choosing a major is a major problem for many students. At Georgia Southern University, Peer
Academic Advisors (PAAs) help make the major exploration process more
enjoyable and less stressful for students. PAAs’ positive attitudes
help counteract many fears, concerns, attitudes, and motivation issues
displayed by students who begin college without a major. Peer advisors
play both formal and informal roles within the advising center as they
assist undeclared students.
Academic advising centers at Georgia Southern provide intrusive
advising to students. As defined by Glennen (1984) “the intrusive
advising approach is based on the philosophy that schools should not
wait for students to get in trouble, but should continually call them
in for advising and counseling throughout the year” (pp. 604-605).
While intrusive advising practice encompasses many strategies, mandatory
advising meetings are a hallmark of our university’s commitment to
frequent student/advisor contact. These practices support the
university’s larger retention, progression, and graduation goals for
In support of Georgia Southern’s student success goals, First-Year
Experience (FYE) became the first advising center on campus dedicated
solely to advising undeclared students. With student success in mind,
FYE created the PAA program to provide roughly 800 undeclared students
with assistance in major exploration each fall. FYE staff members (one
full-time coordinator and two part-time graduate assistants) were stretched to devote the time each undeclared student
required for major exploration and course advising. Clearly additional
staffing was necessary if we were to provide the quality of assistance
our students needed to make good progress toward degree completion.
Peer advisors helped us meet the needs of our undeclared students and
PAAs continue to be an important component of our major exploration
efforts even after gaining two additional full-time professional
Peer academic advisors are undergraduate students recruited, hired, and
trained by the FYE assistant director. From summer orientation,
through first semester advising sessions, to the intensive pre-advising
program designed for sophomores who are still undeclared, PAAs are a
constant presence. Peer advisors do not take the place of fully-trained
academic advisors, rather they “enrich faculty or staff advising by
offering a different but complementary point of view from faculty or
staff advisors’ perspectives…” (Koring and Campbell, 2005, p. 11).
PAAs first interact with undeclared students during a small-group
orientation activity. A version of the Cocktail Party exercise (Bolles,
2001) is distributed and students self-select the Holland Codes that
best match their abilities and interests. Each PAA facilitates a series
of exercises with the small group, discussing potential majors linked
to the traits in each of the six codes. PAAs help relieve many
anxieties new students have as they explore majors, meet with advisors, and register for classes.
During each semester, students meet with a PAA as a component of their
scheduled advising time. PAAs administer an initial questionnaire to
students, collect important data on student success activities (or lack
thereof), provide referrals to campus services, and help students
become comfortable as they engage in the advising process. PAAs guide
undeclared students through major exploration and provide specific suggestions for students on ways to explore various majors. PAAs
enthusiastically encourage students to complete exploration activities
after the advising session.
Special pre-advising appointments are required of undeclared sophomores
(students yet to declare after earning thirty to forty-four credit
hours) during the initial weeks of the semester to expedite these
students’ major declaration. With only forty-two hours of general
education required at our institution, undeclared sophomores are
at-risk of delaying their progress to graduation the longer they fail to
declare a major. A worksheet details activities sophomores must
complete to be eligible for a regular advising appointment later in the
semester. Typical activities include attendance at the Majors Fair,
completion of a majorexploration program, individual consultation with a professor or
expert in a field, or completion of personality/skills assessments
sponsored by Career Services.
Quantitative data suggests that students are not delaying declaration
of a major at the rate seen prior to the creation of the FYE advisement
center. The percentage of undergraduate students who are undeclared
dropped from a high of 12.9% (1999) to a rate of 3.6% (2010). Likewise,
the number of students reaching the 45-hour mark still undeclared
continues to drop. The number of students in this undeclared cohort
fell from 57 students (spring 2007) to only 11 students (spring 2011). Since the
45-hour mark is the required declaration point, this progress is
Qualitative data describes informal benefits students found from their
interactions with PAAs. When asked to rate agreement to the following
statements (fall 2010), students responded:
- The PAAs directed me to appropriate resources for major exploration. --
100% Strongly Agreed or Agreed
- The PAAs improved my overall advisement experience. --
96.6% Strongly Agreed or Agreed
The Peer Academic Advisor program at Georgia Southern University has
made a significant impact on the ability of staff within the First-Year
Experience advising center to support the broad institutional goals of
retention, progression and graduation of students. Additionally, the
positive atmosphere and empathetic attitude displayed by PAAs encourages student engagement in a cohort which is traditionally less
likely to feel connected to the institution by virtue of their
undecided-ness. These benefits will continue to improve the Georgia
Southern campus and community for years to come.
Georgia Southern University
Assistant Director, First-Year Experience
Bolles, R. (2002). What color is your parachute?: A practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.
Glennen, R. (1984). Is counseling’s bottom line at the top? Personnel and Guidance Journal, 62: 604-606.
Koring, H. & Campbell, S. (2005). An introduction to peer advising. In H.Koring, S.Campbell (Eds.), Peer advising: Intentional connections to support student learning (Monograph no.13) (pp. 9-19). Manhattan KS: National Academic Advising Association.
2011-13 NACADA Emerging Leaders Class Announced
The Diversity Committee developed the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program to encourage members from diverse backgrounds to get involved in
leadership opportunities within the organization, outfit participants
with the skills and tools necessary to pursue elected and appointed
leadership positions, increase the number of leaders from diverse
groups, and encourage and assist members of underrepresented
populations to attend State, Regional, or Annual Conferences.
Members of the Emerging Leaders Classes currently serve, have served, or have been elected/appointed to serve as Region 7 Chair, Multicultural Concerns Commission Chair, GLBTA Concerns Commission Chair, Two-Year Colleges Commission Chair, Canada Interest Group Chair, Native American and Tribal College Interest Group Chair, New Advising Professionals Interest Group Chair, Membership Committee Chair, Diversity Committee Chair, Member Career Services Committee Chair, and Webcast Advisory Board Chair. Emerging Leaders have served or are serving on the Awards Committee, the Diversity Committee, the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the Member Career Services Committee, the Professional Development Committee, the Research Committee, the Webcast Advisory Board, the Annual Conference Advisory Board, the Summer Institute Advisory Board, the Publications Advisory Board, the AACSS Advisory Board, and the Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board. One Emerging Leader initiated the Interest Group for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A number of Emerging Leaders have presented (some with their Mentors) at Regional and Annual Conferences, and several have served on Region or Conference
Steering Committees. One served as the Exhibits Chair for the 2009
Annual Conference in San Antonio and another as Chair of the 2010
Annual Conference in Orlando. Emerging Leaders have written for Academic Advising Today and NACADA monographs, taken part in Webinar broadcast presentations,
and been awarded NACADA Research Grants. Emerging Leaders also report
that they have become more involved at their home institutions. One
said, “We’ve taken what we’ve learned through the program back to our
home school. This program has not only made an impact on NACADA, but
also on the institutions where the NACADA ELP participants work.”
The 2009-2011 Emerging Leaders and Mentors, who began work at the 2009
Annual Conference in San Antonio, have been diligently pursuing their
goals over the past two years and look forward to receiving their
Certificates of Completion at this year's Conference in Denver, where
they will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony.
2009-2011 Emerging Leader Adam Duberstein (Ohio Dominican University) says, 'Undoubtedly, the NACADA Emerging Leaders’ Program is the most valuable
professional development opportunity in which I have ever
participated. The program truly allows academic advising’s Emerging
Leaders to showcase their strengths, while challenging them to broaden
their perspectives on advising and related activities. From serving as
a member of the NACADA Diversity Committee to working with the NACADA
Website Review Committee to presenting at conferences, I have enjoyed
the opportunity to see how advising operates in multiple contexts.
Additionally, the relationships that I have built with my mentor and
fellow ELPers have proven beneficial, as we can all learn about
advising from each other. Through the opportunities that I have enjoyed
and the relationships that I have built through it, the ELP has
inspired me to become a serious student of academic advising practice, and to be the best advisor that I can be.'
Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board Chair Sandy Waters (Old Dominion University) is pleased to announce the 2011-2013 NACADA Emerging Leaders and Mentors.
Melinda Anderson (College of William and Mary)
Lizette Bartholdi (St. Catherine University)
Johnika Dreher (Prince George’s Community College)
Salawati “Sally” Garner (University of Oregon)
Ross Hawkins (Missouri State University)
Monica Jones (University of Arkansas)
Mandy Metzger (University of Wisconsin-Parkside)
Chrissy Renfro (Laramie County Community College)
Kristan Venegas (University of Southern California)
Angie Walston (Barton College)
Art Esposito (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Art Farlowe (University of South Carolina-Columbia)
Susan Fread (Lehigh Carbon Community College)
Gayle Juneau (University of Nevada-Las Vegas)
Nancy Markee (University of Nevada-Reno)
Rodney Mondor (University of Southern Maine)
JP Regalado (University of Texas-Austin)
Marion Schwartz (Penn State University)
Nora Scobie (University of Louisville)
Peg Steele (Ohio State University)
New Emerging Leaders and Mentors will meet at the Annual Conference in
Denver to create partnerships and begin development, conversation, and
group building. Partners will develop goals pertaining to leadership in
NACADA over the next six months and continue their work together over
the two-year program.
Visit the Emerging Leaders Program website for more information.
Advisor Wellness - Coming up for air!
Dear Career Corner:
I am an academic advisor in a bustling central advising office
where the work seems to never end! We continue to see increased
workloads with no end in sight. I am very passionate about what I do as
an advisor and want to be there for all of my students, co-workers,
parents, supervisor, etc. I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed and
haven’t been taking care of myself. I am looking for some suggestions
on how to find that “balance” that everyone talks about.
Thank you for submitting your question, an incredibly
relevant one during these times of budget reductions and increased
enrollment. So many of us as advisors come into the profession because
we are passionate about working with students and love to help others!
The satisfaction of seeing our students learn and grow makes all of the
hard work worthwhile, but it is easy to lose sight of ourselves when
we are always focused on how we can serve others.
Some key components of overall well-being can support us in finding
ourselves more revitalized and rejuvenated on a daily basis. In much
the same way that flight attendants remind us to put on our oxygen masks
before assisting others, if we take care of ourselves first we will be
better equipped to help our students. Perhaps this is a silly analogy,
but when we put it into practice, it really works! Here are a few
Healthy = Happy. Research shows that healthy people are happier and happy people are
healthier! The positive loop is important to remember. Lifestyle and
mental changes can increase our basic happiness level. Having a healthy
diet, a regular amount of exercise, and a positive mental attitude all
support our wellbeing.
BREATHE! This sounds so simple, but it is important to take those few moments
throughout the day to breathe. Take a ten minute break in the morning
and again the afternoon. And yes, we can find ten minutes! Packing our
own lunch can often be healthier than restaurant eating, but is is
also a good idea to get out of our offices during our lunch break. If
we spend some time outside and get some sun, we will have the added
benefit of getting some much-needed Vitamin D. (A sunshine lamp is a
good alternative for not-so-sunny locations.)
Time Management. Like our advisees, many of us struggle with time management and
self-care. We may find ourselves talking to our students about good
time management habits and school life balance but not ’practicing what
- Meditation can be very beneficial to our overall well-being. We
should each take a few minutes in the morning, at lunch, or before
going to bed just for ourselves. There are many different styles of
meditation – such as guided, silent, trance, movements, chants, or
sacred texts – and researching to see which one works best for us can
be an enjoyable journey. We should also consider our intentions for
meditation, such as health & well-being, personal development,
self-mastery, or identifying spiritual path.
- Writing down our thoughts and feelings can be
helpful for many of us. The act of putting pen to paper can relieve
quite a bit of stress. We should not think of this exercise in terms
of a typical academic paper needing evaluation, but instead, write
about what is true for us at the moment. We might want to write about
what went well today, the glitches we experienced, what we are grateful for, or goals for the next day.
The key to incorporating these daily practices is to focus on the
journey and not the destination. These are not one time events; they are
practices that we incorporate into our daily routines so that they
come as naturally as brushing our teeth. According to Thomas Merton,
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm
and harmony.” We just need to get started!
Work/life balance is important. Deschene (n.d.) offers some suggestions on achieving work/life balance:
- Keep your approach flexible. Every day, there are new
problems and new solutions. Sometimes, one solution works and other
times other solutions work. ~Amit Bhatia
- Define the things that are non-negotiable. Exercise every day, eat healthy, and sleep at least 6-7 hours a night. Consistency is the key for me. ~Billie Joe Heller
- Embrace imperfection and chaos. Give up perfection in one area to have the other in your life. ~Melanie Greenberg, PhD
- Let the little things go. We need to remember
that this life is just a ride. Sit down and enjoy. When we are less
worried we can finally live our lives, and balance will show up when we
don’t expect it. ~Kim Van Biezen
- Allow yourself to achieve flow. To be engaged at whatever I am doing, whenever I am doing it. What I do wholeheartedly energizes me,
no matter what that is. It is only when I get into the pattern of
getting through one thing in order to get to the next thing that I feel
exhausted and overwhelmed. ~ James McMahon and Lauren Rosenfeld
- Don’t put all your eggs in your inbox. The
key is to not expect more than work can actually provide. While it’s
important to enjoy work, you can’t expect it to fulfill every aspect
(passion, social, entertainment, etc.) ~Melissa Mizer Wilhel
The bottom line… taking care of ourselves makes us better, happier
human beings! Isn’t that the model we want our students to take with
them into their educational experience and career?
Member, Member Career Services Committee
Washington State University
NACADA Member Career Services Committee Chair
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Deschene, L. (n.d.) 6 Tips: Work/life balance for people with big dreams. Retrieved from http://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-tips-work-life-balance-for-people-with-big-dreams-2/