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Entries for 'Jill'

Budgetary reductions and constraints; Dealing with technological change; Understanding and implementing assessment strategies; Accommodating students with disabilities; Increased role of advising in retention; Changing student demographics; Institutional recognition for advising; Providing for professional development needs of staff; Encouraging and rewarding faculty participation in advising.

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As you can see, there are exciting things happening within our association. Many people all over the country are contributing to the development of new programs that will enhance your profession and your professional development opportunities. I thank them all. Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Come to Salt Lake City in late September and share in our excitement. We know that being there will 'light the fire within!'

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This is always a busy time of the year for us, but with the arrival of Charlie Nutt as Associate Director, things are really hopping! We received 382 presentation proposals for the National Conference in Salt Lake City and 336 have been accepted for presentation! The topics are wide-ranging and will provide an excellent program in addition to the wonderful venue provided by Salt Lake City. Thanks to all the proposal readers and evaluators for their efforts in selecting the presentations. Las Vegas (Paris and Ballys Hotels) has been selected to host the 2005 NACADA National Conference. Sites in the Midwest and East are currently bidding to host the 2006 conference.

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Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) is the third largest of the 16 colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System and offers 70 technical diploma and associate degree programs. FVTC's advising program grew out of a 1992 Counselor Task Force report that described a developmental model for advising and counseling. Faculty advising was initiated in 1996 as a result of an administrative effort to improve student retention.

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Academic advisors are often positioned to address the holistic needs of students. As such, their role in promoting student success is key. However, in order to be most effective, the role of the advisor must be purposeful and intrusive. Advisors at University College, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), work in collaboration with other campus partners to provide a comprehensive set of programmatic activities that provide on-going support and interventions through the first semester of enrollment. Additionally, intensive advisor interaction with students allows for the continuous development of an inclusive profile of each student that promotes on-going advising that meets each students individual needs.

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Quality advising is so much more than knowing curriculum requirements or being able to recite institutional policies and procedures. It involves a personal touch, the ability to put a face on the institution for students. True quality advising requires the advisor to be human, not bureaucratic. I would like to think that my students view my office as a safe haven. It is a place where they can come for what we think of as typical advising services such as major exploration and course scheduling, but also to share accomplishments, concerns and frustrations, and to seek advice on things outside the confines of their academic lives.

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A student walks into my class the first day of class and sits down. The class starts, and I begin reading names off my roster. I ask four questions of each student. I ask where they are from, what activity they are involved in on campus, if they are on a certain scholarship, and whom their advisor is. The last question usually answered by, 'I don't have an advisor.' This is where the relationship between teaching and advising comes together....

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The election of NACADA leadership positions for terms beginning in October 2002 began in January when ballots were mailed to all NACADA members. The positions for which candidates were seeking election included Board of Directors members, Regional Chairs, and Commission Chairs. The election process for these positions concluded in mid-February after all valid votes were tallied.

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When we think of adult learners and how to approach them as admissions counselors, program advisors and instructors, several aspects of their adult status usually come to mind. Among these are the fact that adults play multiple roles in their lives, that they often have anxiety about returning to school and that many times they are experiencing some sort of life transition at the time they decide to return to school. One characteristic of current and prospective adult students that is often overlooked, particularly by the administration, is the fact that they are consumers and are generally looking for the most out of their time and money.

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As you consider where you are and what your professional development needs are, I hope you will share your ideas. If you have a need, I know that there are many others within NACADA that have that same need. Together we can make a difference. We are limited only by our ideas. I have lots of those, as I am sure you do as well... please let me know what they are.

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The world of NACADA continues to revolve and spin! We are working diligently to continue to expand, enhance, and improve the services we provide to our members, their institutions and students.

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Advising students with disabilities presents many challenges to the college advisor. However, skilled advising can go a long way towards ensuring the success of a student with a disability. To effectively advise a student with a disability requires a thorough understanding of the student’s goals as well as the student’s disability, the barriers the institution may have inadvertently created, and the resources the college provides that can be used to assist the student in pursuing his or her educational aspirations.

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Say “assessment” to most people and they think it’s like taking cough syrup—you don’t particularly like the taste, but you know it’s good for you. As the Assessment of Advising Interest Group (AAIG) co-chairs, we’d like to change this somewhat negative view of assessment. (Those of you already on the assessment bandwagon can stop reading now.)

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I wonder how many of us have the kind of job that puts us in contact with those we consider to be heroes on a daily basis. I have a job like that. I’m a college advisor and many of my heroes are the students who come in to see me for direction every day.

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The adoption of electronic communication technologies over the past decade has changed the nature of advisors' daily work. Voice mail, e-mail, and Web sites were introduced with the promise of helping us connect to our students. Judging from the flood of student contact these technologies produced, it can be said they have been successful. Most of us are drowning in incoming e-mail messages with overflowing inboxes and blinking lights on our voice mail. Responding effectively to student inquires requires an integrated managed use of these technologies.

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We owe a great deal to those members and leaders who created this wonderful association. We are very proud of our past. It is the foundation upon which we will move into the future. On behalf of the NACADA Boards, past and present, we appreciate your support as we seek new ways to serve you and your students.

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What a conference! Thanks to the many volunteers who worked so hard to deliver an outstanding professional experience for conference participants. The conference evaluations indicate that the sessions were top-notch, the facilities were first-class, the city was exciting, and the overall conference experience was much appreciated!

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Whether you come to advising as a new hire or as a veteran faculty member, the first few weeks advising students can be overwhelming. It can be a challenge to organize the various demands so that you will not only survive advising, but thrive doing it. Since students' academic futures depend upon your advice, you need to understand what students expect from you.

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Unlike our grandmothers, most women currently in administrative roles were reared with a social message that 'you can do anything you want.' While that message has brought many exciting opportunities, many women have found that the unpredictable challenges can outweigh the opportunity. This is particularly true if one is 'the first woman' or 'the only woman' in a particular role. Therefore, it becomes essential that women in administration be active mentors to others in our community.

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In tough economic times, higher education administrators are obliged to seek cost-saving measures and/or to conduct cost-benefit analyses of programs. Academic advising programs have often been the targets for such reviews. Academic advising administrators, therefore, must be prepared to respond to these challenges before they occur.

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It seems that everywhere I turn these days, there is news of another state or system that is experiencing budget cuts. And unfortunately, in many of these cases, our students are the ones who are most adversely affected when the dollars disappear.

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It is my hope to keep you all apprised of significant projects within NACADA that may impact your professional life at some point in the future. These projects may simply be “exploratory” or they may be providing the framework for a new service or understanding within the field of advising. My point is, though, that much is happening beyond what the members usually see, and that there is a multitude of volunteers diligently addressing a number of issues at any given time. Without the work of these willing volunteers, NACADA would never be able to accomplish its goals related to enhancing the development of students through effective academic advising. A BIG new year THANKS to all who have contributed (and will contribute) to NACADA’s successes!

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Research and best practices in academic advising can be valuable to new and veteran advisers looking to improve their effectiveness in serving students. However, if academic advising as a profession is to realize its deserved value and status on our campuses, we must find ways to spread the good word about advising to faculty, administrators, and decision-makers beyond the existing advising community. As Richard Light, in his book Making the Most of College (2001) stated, “good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience” (p. 81). Academic advising plays an important role in student success and retention. Therefore, we must strive to collaborate and build partnerships to further research and assessment and spread the good word about academic advising to the broader higher education community.

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An advising portfolio provides a rich and diverse way to document advising expertise. Portfolio use is increasingly prevalent in higher education. Student portfolios are used to demonstrate that students have met the desired outcomes of a given major or program. Faculty use teaching portfolios to illustrate their mastery when they apply for promotion or tenure. Universities create portfolios for a number of purposes and audiences—such as accreditation or student recruitment. Portfolios provide flexibility; advisors can use both quantitative and qualitative measures and can customize their portfolio to fit their particular advising situation. So using a portfolio to document advising performance puts advisors in the mainstream of assessment activities which are becoming more demanding as well as more sophisticated in their call for accountability.

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The issue of student retention and persistence has continued to grow in importance throughout the history of higher education in our country. Early studies (Astin, 1977) focused on the characteristics of those students who did not persist. Beginning in the 1970s, the research began to focus on the reasons students remained enrolled and how colleges and universities could make changes or develop programs to increase the retention of their students.

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Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience as noted by evidence gathered from 1,600 one-on-one undergraduate interviews. Several of the overarching findings from these interviews are 'actionable' by advisors. I look forward to sharing details from these findings with you at the NACADA national conference. However, since June brings freshman enrollment in many areas, I thought that you might benefit from a brief summary of the findings most applicable to advising incoming students.

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Independent of the individual positions that we each hold on our campuses, we all are seeking to create an environment where we can support each other and our students. I encourage you to seek out your colleagues…faculty, full-time advisors, administrators….and celebrate the great things you are doing in your corner of the world. Then tell others about those successes. We all enjoy hearing more 'good news'.

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So, the next time you are wondering what you get for that $50 (one of the lowest dues amounts among higher education associations), I encourage you to think beyond the obvious and continue to support the work of the association as it strives to impact the positive development of students through the support of academic advising. I invite you to please join us at any or all of our events and get involved with the work of the association. I promise you that the more you give to your association, the more you will receive!

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According to research conducted by Philip Gardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, many of today’s college students are the product of parents who have protected and sheltered their children from a dangerous world and have raised their children to see themselves as very special. These millennial students are confident and achievement-oriented, but feel pressured to succeed both academically and professionally (2003). As a result, many young adults enter college today with a sense of entitlement, a strong dependency on their parents, and the expectation that the university will hold their hand throughout their college career. What many of our academic advisers find during the Freshman Academic Orientation Program at Michigan State is that parents want to continue to hold the hand of their new college student and the student doesn’t necessarily want to let go.

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Something had to be done about the advising practices at Sam Houston State University. In the years before research and scholarship became focal faculty achievements, students were assigned to faculty advisors across campus. But the days when faculty could devote the time necessary to adequately advise students were soon over. As the emphasis on research increased, faculty service areas became back burner items. This shift occurred even as it became increasingly apparent that we must provide closer and more intrusive advising for students struggling in their college courses.

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As you think about your own situation and reflect on your daily activities, consider the students you see who are experiencing a new beginning, an ending, or some type of change. Many face all three at the same time….especially the new students and those getting ready to graduate. Even though many of these changes are positive and self-initiated, there is still very often some degree of anxiety. In your advising role you encourage, support and sometimes challenge which gives many students the courage to grow and develop in very exciting ways.

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The annual NACADA National Conference will be here soon and has the Executive Office buzzing. The National Conference was the first professional development activity offered by NACADA and remains as a firm foundation upon which to build new activities and resources to meet the needs of our members. NACADA has been fortunate to have consistently introduced successful new activities and resources based on informal feedback among the leadership and the members. To continue this success, however, it is important that we continue to hear from the members exactly how the organization can assist in continued professional development and enhancement of academic advising.

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The first NACADA Task Force on Advisor Certification was established in 2001 to explore the feasibility of creating a “program to award certificates in academic advising to NACADA members.” That group recommended that certificates be awarded and standards leading to such certificates be established.

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Some international students may also feel they are discriminated against because they may pose a security threat to the United States. Ultimately, advisors can intervene this fall to identify international students and assist them in adapting to a new environment and new security measures. Often an understanding voice or face can do more than we know in helping international students make the necessary adaptations as they study in the United States.

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Is your job a source of stress in your life? Do you feel overworked and unappreciated? Do you feel irritable about minor things at work, or need a huge effort to complete the simplest tasks? Does it seem like you are always geared up, need to hurry up, catch up, or shut up? Are you fed up? If you answered yes to these questions, you could be the victim of too much stress.

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Good assessment/evaluation can be expanded into good research. Good research should lead to even better assessment procedures. Good assessment makes use of the best conceptual and theoretical models and the best research measures or methods. With valid and reliable measures, campus-specific questions may have national implications. A phenomenon identified on your own campus may be the cutting edge for an issue of significant importance.

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After every NACADA National Conference, I return to my campus with a true sense of belonging to a profession that has student learning and development as its core value. I am reassured that I associate with a diverse group of advising colleagues who approach their life's work with this point of view or perspective. I am also reassured that there is a professional association that has as its focus the promotion of academic advising within higher education along with the professional development of its members. These beliefs shape how I think about NACADA, my colleagues and my work.

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CERTIFICATION - the much used word within NACADA these days and the most often confused. As the Association strives to bring greater professional recognition to advisors, it is exploring a number of ways to recognize the knowledge and skills that advisors attain and utilize in providing effective academic advising.

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Training and development of advisors becomes ever more central to the effectiveness of the advising process with the increasing diversity and complexity of our students' environments. While there is no 'one-size-fits-all' method for advisor training and development, case studies are among the most useful items in the trainer's tool box.

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Why do some students fail to succeed in college? What interventions are most successful with these students? There is great demand for research revolving around these questions. As chair of the Probation, Dismissal & Reinstatement (PDR) Issues Interest Group, I challenge you to approach your PDR students from a research perspective.

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Happy New Year and best wishes for a fulfilling and healthy 2004. As we begin a new year, it seems appropriate to provide the NACADA community with an update of current initiatives, and a review of the professional development opportunities available throughout the coming year.

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As a means to assess how well this association is meeting the needs of its members, we have initiated a series of three surveys seeking member feedback. The first survey, completed in November and early December 2003, was directed toward persons who had been members for one or more years, while the second survey in December 2003, was completed by new members (less than one year). A third survey, to be completed in late February, will go to individuals who have not renewed their membership.

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Native Americans have always valued education and learning, and many are accomplished science and mathematics practitioners (traditional healers, herbalists, astronomers, builders, etc). Even so, it is ironic that today approximately 50% of Native Americans will graduate from high school, and only 17% will attempt college (National Science Foundation, 2000; Pavel, Swisher, & Ward, 1994). There are many cultural and social reasons for these low rates including reservations located in remote areas, a lack of successful Native American role models, English as a second language, and the low socioeconomic status of many Native Americans (Cajete, 2000).

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In these economic times, meeting the needs of so many diverse student populations can be a challenge. However I believe there are steps a college or university can take to effectively, and efficiently, provide quality services.

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This year, I've met with a group of colleagues to discuss Maryellen Weimer's Learner-Centered Teaching. The book has spurred fruitful conversation about teaching. It has also prompted me to consider whether some of its ideas may apply to faculty advising, especially at small colleges....When we consider advising in a learner-centered framework, we discover fruitful and challenging opportunities to involve faculty in advising and to support learners. The Small Colleges and Universities Commission plans to offer several sessions about faculty advising at the 2004 conference in Cincinnati. Hope to see you there! Until then, let conversation continue on the small college and university list-serve.

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One of my favorite questions to ask students is, 'What's going on?' - with the follow up, 'Tell me about it.' This spring, I have had the privilege of asking many NACADA members this same question during round table sessions at several Regional conferences. I have learned that the membership is facing similar challenges and is asking NACADA to help them meet these challenges in similar ways. I'd like to share with you a few of these concerns and how various NACADA programs and services can be of help to you.

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Each year, the NACADA Board of Directors and the Council meet at the site of the upcoming National Conference on Academic Advising. So, March 19 & 20, they met in Cincinnati and discovered a vibrant downtown setting that should please conference goers in October. They tasted Cincinnati barbeque, chili on spaghetti, and some German fare. They discovered an entertainment area across the river in Kentucky and they checked out the hotels that will be hosting the conference attendees. All are excited about their return in October and look forward to another tremendous National Conference!

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To be successful, those responsible for advising students with disabilities must look beyond what would be considered the normal scope and range of advising office responsibilities. This requires flexibility, coordination, and a willingness to step outside prescribed administrative roles.

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I have learned to work with a population who will one day live on the outside. Without education, many will find their way back to prison. With education, many more will lead productive lives and contribute to society, rather than take from it. If you have the opportunity to work with incarcerated students, reserve judgment for later. View your opportunity as an investment in the betterment of society. Most likely it will be an investment that returns more than any Wall Street bull market.

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How can a student reach this point in the program without meeting the basic admission requirements? If we permit students to begin taking education classes, where is the line drawn beyond which the student cannot enroll in additional courses without meeting admission requirements? Do we, as advisors and educators, have a responsibility to help students meet the admission requirements? What approaches have been utilized and how effective are these strategies?

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The election of NACADA leadership positions for terms beginning in October 2004, began on January 9 when the new online voting system was made accessible to all eligible voting NACADA members. Candidates were seeking election to a variety of positions, including NACADA President, Vice President, Board of Directors members, Region Chairs, Commission Chairs, and Committee Chairs. The election process for these positions concluded on February 6 after which all valid votes were tallied. Julia Wolf and Bob Maddula in the Executive Office were responsible for developing and implementing the successful on-line voting system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Critical to a defined and successful university advising program is keen administrative support that is manifest in the articulated expectation of quality advising. Certainly a reward system which includes advising as a priority is appropriate within a university culture which values and supports advising. Further, as administrators, we frequently have deep concerns about retention, when our primary focus should be the quality of advising.

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This is my first newsletter column as your president for this next year. First, I would to like to let you know how much of an honor it is to serve you in this capacity. I have been actively involved in NACADA since l983 and have witnessed its tremendous growth, but perhaps more important, watched as NACADA, as a professional association, has taken on a vital role in higher education. Quality academic advising is as important as ever for the success of our students. NACADA, as the premiere association devoted exclusively to encouraging the very best of academic advising practices, has a most important part to play in this success. I believe that as a professional association we have risen to the challenge, but there is still much that needs to be done.

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Barbara Walters conducts great interviews. Shaquille O’Neal is a great basketball player. Emeril is a great chef. Everyone wants to be recognized for his/her expertise and it is easy to recognize the talents of these examples. But, how do great advisors and administrators get noticed?

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One of the most innovative and beneficial programs NACADA sponsors is the Assessment and Administrators’ Institutes, held mid-winter for the purpose of congregating administrators to share ideas and programs for the enhancement of our profession. Working in small groups, administrators from all types of educational institutions discuss the nitty-gritty of advising in order to establish positive programs that will be of use in their own unique environments.

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Many institutions struggle to integrate accreditation criteria for assessment with their efforts to improve and enhance programs for their students. In this climate, the interest in and need for assessment of our students’ academic advising experiences has become a major issue on our campuses.

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The Assessment of Advising Interest Group became a commission in part as a consequence of the growing interest in, and awareness of, the importance in assessment of advising. This change coincided with the Commission’s national survey on the status of the assessment of advising. Although the results of this survey are currently being prepared for submission to the NACADA Journal, it might be useful to look at some of the responses to the survey question, “What could the Assessment of Advising Commission/NACADA sponsor to assist your assessment efforts?”

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As I reflect upon my three years as an academic advisor, I realize that I have learned a lot that may help new advisors quickly transition into their advising roles. I hope that new advisors will read carefully and learn from my experiences. I also hope that senior advisors will review this and take a minute to share your wisdom and encourage new advisors.

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Many advising programs strive to connect faculty, student advising, and learning in an effort to move from “advising as class scheduling” to “advising as teaching.” Likewise, many instructional development programs assist faculty with learner-centered instructional methods that better serve our under-prepared or under-served student populations. It would seem likely that the advising and teaching strategies that better serve these students would have significant overlap (Hemwall and Trachte, 2003).

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A short while ago I was talking with a student about academic advising. I casually mentioned that it is important that students become familiar with the degree audit system at Penn State and use it often. The student first responded by agreeing that the Penn State system was good, but then said (much to my surprise and I paraphrase): But if we encourage students to use the degree audit, they won’t ever see their advisors. And then it hit me—how often advising is confused with scheduling and registration procedures and how easy it is to assume that some form of technology can replace human contact and interaction.

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The reorganization of the Association in 2002 has led to a more efficient and dynamic governance structure which in turn is more quickly generating ideas and authorizing more projects in support of the members. Coupled with the premise that the volunteer leaders should be able to rely on the Executive Office staff to manage or implement projects, the day to day operations in the Executive Office have changed significantly. I thought it might be helpful for the members to read about what a typical day might entail.

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Embarking on a journey into the unknown... Boldly going where no relative has gone before... Blazing new trails. These are brave and exciting statements, but to any student who is first in the family to have the experience, it is an intimidating venture. First Generation College Students (First Gens) often receive mixed messages from their families—make us proud/don’t leave us. These students are “breaking,” not “keeping” the family tradition. Without guidance, First Gens often get lost in the maze of college life.

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Without fail, institutions claim to value diversity. Yet institutions often limit their understanding of diversity to the inclusion of individuals from racial or cultural minorities. While seeking out under-represented individuals is an admirable response to a symptomatic lack of diversity, real enrichment is achieved not by counting heads, but rather through learning to prize individuals whose origins, viewpoints, values, and traditions may not be consistent with those of the campus majority. In this sense, transfer students are one of the most commonly encountered yet frequently overlooked sources of diversity.

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We know that the most worthwhile discussions about diversity can be filled with disagreement and contradiction. Yet, we believe that as representatives of higher education institutions, we must model behavior where issues of diversity are discussed frequently and with increased ease. In turn, practicing such behavior is certain to inform our work as advisors and administrators, giving us something truly powerful to take away from NACADA and bring back to our campuses.

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Like many academic advisors, I occasionally receive email messages from former students who are somewhat disillusioned by their first post-graduation jobs and speak with some nostalgia about their alma mater. After all, finding a job, meeting workplace expectations, relocating, seeking new friends, and planting roots are all hard work. This unsettling life transition is the theme of the Broadway musical, Avenue Q (Lopez, Marx, and Whitty, 2003), which was written for the twenties generation finding their way in an uncertain world. Avenue Q can be fictitiously found in the furthest and least expensive borough of New York City.

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Over the past few decades, eighty-five percent of all immigrants to the United States have arrived from either Asia or Latin America; today Latinos are the largest American minority group. These demographic trends have impacted the recruitment efforts of many institutions and caused many campus administrators to incorporate diversity into their strategic plans. Furthermore, recognizing that diversity extends beyond race to include ethnicity, traditional/non-traditional status, military experience, disabilities, etc., administrators have increased recruitment efforts to attract an increasingly diverse population to our campuses. However, while administrations have focused on recruitment, the efforts to retain these students has largely become the responsibility of others, particularly those involved in academic advising.

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It was recently announced that the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) is closing its doors. As president of NACADA, this stunning announcement gave me reason to think about NACADA’s future. While I can only speculate as to the reasons for AAHE having to shut down (much of the public statement had to do with declining membership and the concomitant financial issues), it seems like a good time to raise some questions about how NACADA functions and what our future can look like.

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We attempt to have a NACADA Officer and Executive Staff member at every regional conference to enhance communication with the membership. We find this very helpful in identifying new issues facing our members, in identifying members who want to get more involved in the association, and in hearing what the members want from their association.

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Academic advisors face increasing challenges each year. What are the most effective ways to deal with enrollment increases when there has been little or no increase in budget? How do we handle the advising needs of these students? How can colleges effectively cope with the increasing numbers of transfer students? How can we use orientations to enhance advisement? These are just a few of the many challenges faced every day by advisors at most colleges, but particularly at two-year colleges.

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Increasing numbers of high school graduates with learning disabilities are enrolling in colleges and universities each year. A learning disability may be manifested by deficits in the student’s reading ability (dyslexia), speech ability (dyspraxia), writing ability (dysgraphia) or math ability (dyscalculia). A student with a learning disability may also have difficulty with sustained attention, time management, and/or social skills. Some students think that when they transition to college they will “outgrow” their learning disabilities and be able to handle their studies on their own. Individuals do not outgrow a learning disability, although they may develop a host of strategies for compensating for the disability. Still, these students find that when they transition to college they continue to need academic accommodations.

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For each of these three visitors the adviser plays a critical role. It is much more than course selection and graduation requirements. The relationship with Mike, Selina, and Caroline and many others like them can become a key ingredient in their undergraduate experience, and the success of the relationship depends on a full range of talents. In truth, Mike, Selina, and Caroline are drawn from advising experiences I have had over the years. While they may be literally fictional, I have seen such students, and so have you. They are a daily reminder of the challenges and rewards of our profession.

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Since Fall 2003, over 180 learners have taken courses in the Graduate Certificate program. Originating faculty member Charlie Nutt, NACADA Associate Director and Assistant Professor at Kansas State University, stated, “All the students have been so dedicated and hard working – this teaching experience has been one of the most rewarding and challenging of my career.”

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The election of NACADA leadership positions for terms beginning in October 2005 began on January 14, 2005 when the online voting system was made accessible to all eligible voting NACADA members. Login information and passwords were e-mailed individually to members using special mail-merging software. The positions for which candidates were seeking election included NACADA President, Vice President, Board of Directors members, Region Chairs, Commission Chairs, and Committee Chairs. The election process for these positions concluded on February 11 after which all valid votes were tallied.

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Ultimately, assessment is about understanding and improving. In this regard, the assessment process provides a systematic way through which information about student learning and program effectiveness can be obtained. Done in the collective and continuous way intended, the assessment process provides a systemic way to use that information to support improvements in student learning and the advising process. In the end, assessment is systematic, systemic, and relational; there are steps to the process; the process is intentional in the gathering of evidence to support improvement in learning and process; and all of the steps within the process are inextricably intertwined.

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I find myself at this time more than halfway through my year long presidency. You have already elected a new president (Jo Anne Huber from the University of Texas-Austin) to take office in October at the end of our National Conference in Las Vegas, and the editor of Academic Advising Today tells me that this is my last column as president. The natural tendency might be to do some sort of reflection on the past year, but I think I will reserve that for another forum. Suffice it to say that NACADA continues to grow in numbers (we have now exceeded 8200 members), and we are looking forward to a capacity crowd in Las Vegas.

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Welcome to a new academic year that promises many new experiences, challenges, and opportunities for academic advisors! These same expectations apply to NACADA, as we work to develop and deliver new methods for helping you address the academic advising needs of your students to enhance their success. There are always new initiatives underway at NACADA!

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At a large gathering of advisors from multi-versities during the 1990 Anaheim annual conference, several raised the question: do we have a Code of Ethics to guide us? No one knew of one. Some asked, shouldn't we have one? From that initial discussion, a small group began to consider ways that the larger NACADA membership might begin to address the question.

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When I think about the challenges to academic advisors today and read the NACADA Statement of Core Values, I am reminded of the ‘simple things’ calendar in this way: the six core values are simple to believe, uphold, and value. They are easy to articulate to others and to apply when actively advising. They are responsibilities to reflect and act on, and in the quiet moments, they can hopefully inspire us to be bigger than our job requires. The message is in there; sometimes it takes time to find it and use it well. So, how do we do this?

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As America ’s ethnic and racial demographics continue to shift, not only on college campuses but throughout the nation, it is essential that administrators and practitioners prepare to effectively deliver cross-cultural services. Professionals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds need to gain multicultural awareness and multicultural competency.... The preparation we receive should require a highly collaborative and interactive self-awareness and include a racial consciousness component that allows us to gain an awareness of our their beliefs and attitudes as they pertain to multiculturalism. This exploration provides an opportunity to to check biases and stereotypes that can affect our delivery of adequate cross-cultural service. Becoming aware of our values and biases is a move toward positive orientation of multiculturalism (Sue, et. al, p. 633)..

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Great law school applications don’t start with a high LSAT score. They come from years of engagement with academics, the community, and an understanding of what the study and the profession of law is really about. Get your freshmen started right by incorporating this eight point “academic advising curriculum” into your work with first-year pre-law students.

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From a loose affiliation of advising and student affairs professionals to a dynamic professional organization – how did the Kent Academic Support and Advising Association (KASADA) get there? In 1989, about 30 professional advisors got together at Kent State University to talk about forming a university-wide organization for those of us who work directly with students. We sought to establish a network that would help facilitate information sharing and provide a mechanism for diminishing the bureaucracy faced by students. There was also a need to provide professional development opportunities and establish a visible presence on campus.

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In October of 2003, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) introduced The Affordability in Higher Education Act, H.R.3311, a proposed amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965. H.R.3311 featured language that alarmed many of us in postsecondary education who routinely deal with transfer of credit issues. In an attempt at alleviating the rising cost of higher education, McKeon’s bill proposed a College Affordability Index, which would supposedly indicate the general affordability of institutions based on a number of factors, including their rate of acceptance of transfer credit....

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I profess that the most important job duty of an advising administrator is to hire the right people, because no other function done improperly or poorly will so quickly damage the advising operation and the mission of providing quality advising services to students. Over the twenty plus years that I have been an administrator/manager, both in higher education and private industry, I have observed that the art of hiring the right people is constantly cussed and discussed. One must continually hone hiring skills, especially in light of the ever-changing workforce landscape.

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Here we will begin to explore how best to approach advising relationships in a multiculturally competent way, mindful of both the individual and cultural similarities and differences between advisor and advisee, and how those factors may influence the advising process. Suggestions are based on the author’s personal experience in helping relationships (i.e. mental health and career counseling), as well as the counseling psychology and intercultural communication literatures. The intention is to provide a description of a “both/and” approach to preparing for multicultural helping relationships. This approach can be useful with all students, regardless of how culturally similar or dissimilar advisor and advisee are, because all people are cultural beings. The objective of this article is to provide advisors with questions and principles to consider in interactions with students.

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I am so proud to be the first president of NACADA from Texas! Without family support and the support of my colleagues as well as the backing of the Academic Counselor’s Association at The University of Texas at Austin, a NACADA allied member, none of this would be possible, so I am very grateful to all. Years ago, when I was coerced into running for Regional Representative from Region VII, I never dreamed it would lead to this day. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to working and learning from my distinguished predecessors.

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The NACADA Board of Directors’ meetings in Las Vegas focused on the future of the organization – the strategic plan and finances. Let me assure you that they are watching things closely – trends in higher education, in academic advising, and in associations – to ensure that NACADA remains a strong, member-centered, financially sound organization.

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The unique qualities that shape the lives of Millennials must be considered when creating plans for their benefit. Solutions that worked for previous generations must be modified to be effective. Advisors and administrators must utilize millennial student research in order to help these students effectively manage their time. We must embrace this research to facilitate an environment that is most beneficial to our students.

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Success is having students who see all the possible links for their degrees rather than seeing limitations. A liberal arts degree is more than a checklist. It is a blueprint for building the foundations for lifelong education. Advisors are the linchpins that articulate options, challenge decisions and illuminate the links from the curricular and co-curricular educational processes to the world of choices.

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Each year, many individuals are nominated to receive a NACADA Outstanding Advising Award. Some find compiling an advising portfolio daunting without the assistance of someone familiar with the process. Regardless of your comfort level, here are a few tips that may be beneficial in navigating the NACADA award nomination process.

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Academic advisors must be in tune with the remarkable changes unfolding in today’s workplace. By expanding or refining their career advising competencies they can play a vital role in helping students understand the importance of educational and career goal setting and how the decisions they make in college might influence satisfaction and success in their future personal and work lives.

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This fall the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) adopted updated academic advising standards that require the assessment of academic advising on our campuses and specifically the development of student learning outcomes. As discussed previously, assessment is a systematic, systemic, relational process. It that begins with the identification of reasons for doing assessment and ends with reporting and acting upon the assessment results. ‘Ending’ is really a misnomer since the ‘end’ of the assessment process really represents the beginning of the next cycle of assessment!

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Suzanne M. Trump (Assistant Dean of Retention and Academic Advising, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia) and Janet Spence (Director, University-Wide Advising Practice, Office of the Provost/Undergraduate Affairs, University of Louisville) share what they gained from the NACADA Administrators’ and Assessment Institutes.

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After advising for several years, in 2000 I had the opportunity to attend the NACADA Summer Institute in Lexington, Kentucky as an SI Scholarship recipient. I am not sure that in the telling, I can do justice to the experience and the difference it made in my professional life.

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A record number (3,380) of advising colleagues came to Las Vegas October 5-8 to share information on current advising topics. To quote one participant: "In all of the sessions I attended, I heard the buzz of collegial networks being established and reinforced.”

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Mentor Connection is a program in which students on academic probation work closely with a graduate assistant mentor who helps the students strategize for class success and monitors their progress throughout the semester. The program is housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ undergraduate advising center at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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From 56 attendees in its inaugural year to 280 participants in 2005, the Academic Advising Summer Institutes (SI) have blossomed into one of NACADA's most highly-anticipated annual offerings. SI founder Wes Habley recalls that "in the early '80s, the prevailing opinion about academic advising was that, just as every institution was different, every institution’s advising program was different. In a sense, there was no real common body of understandings and beliefs about advising." However, Habley's experiences suggested otherwise. He believed that "there were commonalities across institutions and across advising programs, and those commonalities formed a set of building blocks or core concepts that could be identified and shared." Thus, in establishing the first Academic Advising Summer Institute, Habley's intention was "to provide an extensive curriculum of building blocks (core concepts) that would affirm advisors and advising and provide participants with a support network and an impetus to take action to enhance advising." Although the SI curriculum has grown and changed over the years, "in many ways," says Habley, "the intended outcomes for the first Summer Institute continue to this day."

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I am very honored to be writing my second letter as President of NACADA. We had a record number of attendees at the National Conference in Las Vegas, NV Oct. 5-8, 2006, with over 3380 registered. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we hope those in attendance found this Conference to be a most rewarding professional experience, which will lead to more opportunities in the coming year.

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As we continue to celebrate our growing membership (now over 9100!), it seems appropriate to pause just a moment to consider how we got to this point. So, I am going to try to highlight some of the important moments in NACADA’s history that have contributed to its continued growth and success. I am convinced that NACADA has been blessed with exceptional leadership at all stages of its development – leaders who had a vision for the Association and recognized how to continually change the organizational structure to be most responsive to the needs of the growing membership.

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Light (2001) notes that “good advising may be one of the single most underestimated characteristics of a successful college experience.” Yet, academic advising is as diversified as our varied institutional missions and purposes. Therefore, it is important that we keep in mind that advising programs are designed and implemented to meet the unique and changing needs of today’s students, their enrollment patterns, population groups, budgets, and diversity within the institution.

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Gambling on academic advising success? Using the balanced scorecard approach could lead to advising windfalls.... Development of a BSC begins with a clearly stated mission or purpose, measurable objectives and strategies to meet those objectives. Then under each perspective, specific outcomes are identified for each strategy. For example, if one of our strategies is to utilize faculty advisors, then a desired outcome might be the development of faculty’s advising skills.

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Even in this day of expanding job duties, an academic advisor’s primary function remains to assist students in reaching both their academic and career goals. However, completing the primary function of the job has become more challenging because of unrealistic career expectations developed through media influence.

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Preparing students for a career is not higher education’s primary focus. However, the question is understandable. We expect an action to produce an outcome, a direction. “Undecided” insinuates unknowing, and unknowing suggests lack of direction. We stress the need for critical thinking, developing transferable skills, immersion in learning situations, and studying a topic in-depth, i.e., the importance of college for the intellectual experience itself. Nonetheless, the anxiety over what happens the Monday after graduation weighs heavily from day one for students (and their parents); thus it demands our attention.

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...Assessing dispositions is an area that is necessary but difficult and is still in the process of development. Academic advisors have a plethora of valuable information about student dispositions and this resource is underutilized. More information needs to be gathered about the who, what, when, and how of disposition evaluation. Increased formal involvement of advisors needs to be explored and implemented.

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The Marquette University School of Education prepares teachers for urban classrooms. As the School’s Director of Undergraduate Advising, I occasionally hear complaints from beginning students (who, as a group, are predominantly Caucasian) about what they consider to be the disproportionate focus on diversity issues within their Education courses.“I’m not a racist!” each student invariably proclaims. They report that the recurring discussion about white privilege and social justice makes them feel uncomfortable. “Good!” I think to myself. “Here’s the opening for a serious teachable moment.” I feel prepared to talk with these students about the program’s goals. We discuss the importance of recognizing ourselves as cultural beings and how biases aren’t always apparent intellectually but can manifest themselves in practice.

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Last summer I attended the NACADA Summer Institute (SI) as a team member from my community college. There were about 130 participants in this SI; about twenty were faculty members. Of those twenty faculty members, I was the sole ESL teacher. I asked a lot of questions, and I did a lot of listening. Once again, I was struck with the dissimilarities when it comes to ESL students.

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In 1987, Summer Institute founder Wes Habley – who was completing his two-year term as NACADA's president – had recently accepted a position as Associate Director of the ACT National Center. The role of the Center was to develop conferences and workshops on a variety of topics in higher education. Habley recalls that it had become clear to him "that academic advising was unlike any other student support service. It afforded the continuing process of engaging students in a positive and meaningful way about important educational and career decisions." From the "huge groundswell of interest in advising" that he had witnessed in his thirteen years as an advisor, Habley knew "that advising was as exciting to many, many other people as it was to me…My new role with ACT provided a venue to develop and lead conferences and workshops. As a result, we offered the first Summer Institute at the University of Iowa in 1987."

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Greetings! I hope this has been a happy spring for each of you! As I have traveled to Regional Conferences, I have been reminded how special NACADA members are, and I deeply appreciate your enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to our mission of providing quality academic advising for our students and to our Association.

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The NACADA Board of Directors and the Council met in Indianapolis in April for their annual mid-year meetings and found “Indy” to be a wonderful venue for NACADA’s upcoming annual Conference. The folks at IUPUI were terrific hosts and provided an opportunity to see more of the city by hosting a wonderful reception at Dean Evenbeck’s home and providing transportation through a beautiful historic district. Couple this experience with a vibrantly beautiful downtown area adjacent to the Convention Center and our host hotels, and everyone was convinced that NACADA Conference participants in October will be very pleased with their Indy experience! Restaurants and entertainment and parks galore offer a multitude of opportunities for exploration.

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The learning community is an important asset to college campuses around the country. As an advising community, we should consider what we can discover from learning communities and explore methods of applying these lessons to our advising duties.

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When using Facebook, both higher education professionals and students should proceed with caution. When talking with students, we should warn them to be cautious regarding the content that they post on their profiles. Students believe that Facebook is a students-only site, and that what they post there will only be seen by other students. We should make them aware that professors, administrators, and employers are learning about the site and can sign up for their own accounts with an institutional email address. When considering how we as advisors might use the site, we must keep our ethical standards in mind. Our goal should be to serve the students to the best of our abilities and support their success. We will need to use our best judgment when deciding whether or not to use Facebook contents in disposition assessments and be honest with our students about the impression the profile presents. Before including content from a Facebook profile in any assessments or recommendations, we should have a conversation with the student about how that content could affect the student’s career. Doing so will give students insight into how their profiles represent them and provide them with the opportunity for growth and maturity. Our students should be able to express themselves in their own networks, but we should encourage them to do so with integrity.

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Each year, tens of thousands of college students across the United States are placed on probation as a result of the low grades they earned during the previous term. Regardless of class standing, no students—freshmen through seniors—are immune to academic performance issues. Even the most academically talented students with impressive academic credentials often find themselves struggling for the first time when they enroll in college. Reasons for student academic difficulties are not impossible to address or remedy. However, colleges and universities struggle with developing and implementing effective programs to assist students on probation. In addition, advisors have experienced difficulty locating resources that adequately address the specific needs of this student population. So what can advisors do to overcome their own frustration at working with this challenging population while at the same time assisting students to achieve academic success?

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Advising is changing daily. Technological advancements and increased distance education have the potential to drastically change current advising practice. Calls for accountability and the increasing litigious nature of American society have added more concerns and pressures to advisors' daily activities. Increased caseloads and lack of resources often preclude advisors from being able to engage in holistic developmental advising. This article will present the integrative approach to advising, which is a more flexible method that draws from a variety of other perspectives (Church, 2005). Many advising approaches have merit, but they may not correlate to the hectic work environment faced by many advisors.

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Most department or office budgets do not stretch very far. Without budget growth, trying to offer additional programs and services to a multitude of students and provide adequate salaries or stipends for staff members or faculty advisors can be challenging in the face of growing student populations. In times of budget cuts, this challenge becomes nearly impossible. One method institutions have used to confront this challenge is assessing an advising fee to students. These fees may be used to provide new services or to continue to provide existing advising services. The objective of this article is to share with advising administrators methods and means by which some institutions and departments have initiated and used advising fees.

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Institutions of higher education continually face budget constraints as they struggle to provide high quality services to students. Today many institutions turn to academic advisors for assistance in meeting this challenge. 'Academic advising is the only structured activity on the campus in which all students have the opportunity for on-going, one-to-one interaction with a concerned representative of the institution' (Habley, 1994). While the delivery of advising services varies among institutions, one option can help address the needs of both students and institutions: the employment of graduate assistants (GAs) within advising offices.

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Teaching college was supposed to be freeing and provide me with the ability to teach students who pay to be in class, who want to be in class. These are supposed to be students who are eager to soak up what I have to offer, who come to class and behave, and who are responsible. I began my higher education career as an adjunct the semester before my contract as a full-time assistant professor began. As I watched my soon-to-be colleagues manage teaching responsibilities, committee assignments, and advising sessions, I became more and more eager to begin working with students. My first semester began, and I realized that my doctoral work had prepared me to teach, but nothing prepared me for academic advising – not even my own experience on the other side of the desk. What I had imagined would be the easiest part of my job became both one of the most challenging and most rewarding.

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I have long heard a saying that I would chuckle over, “Those who can’t teach, consult.” Mind you, I am neither formally a teacher nor a consultant (as of this writing), so I beg the pardon of the author of this quote because I think the truth is quite the opposite, “Those who consult, teach.

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The NACADA Board of Directors and the Executive Office appreciate the time that NACADA members took to study the qualifications and platform statements of the candidates and cast their votes online. We also thank all individuals who participated in the election—the candidates who ran for office as well as those who nominated them. Congratulations to those who have been elected to leadership positions. Their willingness to make this commitment to NACADA is greatly appreciated.

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In the process of developing an academic and career plan, it is important for advisors to help students understand how their career fits in the context of their future. The context involves a workplace that is changing and a future that will likely provide less security, an increased level of competitiveness, and an increased rate of change. Gordon (2006) stated that 'now as never before, academic advisors need to be in tune with the changing workplace and the many factors influencing it' (p. viii) and to use this knowledge to enhance their advising and facilitate students' academic and career planning.

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As I write this final article as president, I look back at a year that has proven fruitful in many ways. Following a record Annual Conference attendance of 3,380 in Las Vegas last October, February found us in Clearwater Beach, Florida for three outstanding professional development events: the Ethical/Legal Issues in Academic Advising Seminar, the 4th Annual Academic Advising Administrators' Institute, and the 2nd Annual Assessment of Academic Advising Institute.

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The new academic year always brings new members to NACADA, and along with those who have settled into the Association, there are many who are ready to increase their level of participation. NACADA leaders become involved for a variety of reasons: to enhance their professional development, to raise the visibility of academic advising on their campus, to contribute to the advancement of the field and profession, to develop leadership skills, to enhance their network of colleagues around the world, and many others. It is my hope that everyone who wishes to be involved can be! We need EVERYONE!

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Can you remember a pivotal advising moment when a question you asked caused a student to stop and respond, "Good point. I never thought of that before' "  In that second, you realized you had a wonderful sound bite to remember, because that simple question challenged the student to develop a new perspective on his or her motivations, interests, or opportunities. As academic advisors, we engage students on a daily basis and ask the tough questions that encourage them to take responsibility for their academic success. We are pleased to have this opportunity to share with you some effective sound bites we have gathered, and to offer ideas for sharing your sound bites with your colleagues.

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Typical advising sessions can quickly turn into crisis points when students' conversations lead to disclosure of personal concerns and struggles (Butler, 1995). Students trying to deal with issues related to major career concerns, disabilities, pregnancy, mental health issues and thoughts of suicide are clearly overwhelmed and in need of additional assistance. When mundane advising issues are pushed aside with student crisis, advisors must know how to effectively refer those students for help (Shane, 1981; Kuhn, Gordon, & Webber, 2006).

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"Why do I need to be aware of GLBT persons or issues?"  Kinsey, Pomeroy and Martin (1948) in their seminal work noted that up to ten percent of the population may be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender (GLBT). Thus, probability alone suggests that advisors will work with many GLBT students during their careers. Others may say, "What does it matter if I know a person's sexual orientation?"  True, we may not need to know a student's sexual orientation to be a good advisor, but there are times when issues of sexual orientation arise. This can occur when advisors seek to connect with students in a holistic way i.e., when they seek to know more about students than their course schedules.

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This article describes Sacred Heart University's Hispanic Adult Achievers Program, a program established to address the unique educational needs of Latinos who have immigrated to the United States as adults. The article includes student achievement and retention data, as well as a brief discussion of the advising and retention strategies used.

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Working with high-achievers can be immensely satisfying: they are the students most likely to live out their advisors' ideals of the academic life. At the same time, these students present special challenges. Because they have such potential, it takes knowledge, research, and creativity to serve them well. Further, although they come to college with the same developmental needs as other students, those needs can be hidden behind their confident surface of accomplishment. Their abilities may set them up for perfectionism, social isolation, identity foreclosure or diffusion-problems that become evident only in crisis. Thus, advisors who work with high achievers need both a thorough knowledge of the opportunities open to these students and the sensitivity to support them through realization of these opportunities. How can advisors prepare for such challenges?

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Nationally, study abroad interest is high, but participation falls far short of the interest expressed by students entering college. Perceived barriers and myths may deter students from studying abroad, widening the gap between interest and participation. Effective advising can foster interest and participation by addressing barriers, dispelling myths, and emphasizing the value of study abroad.

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As advisors and students meet this fall, advisors may notice an increase in the number of students who have received learning disability services in high school. Ironically, these same students may not have the documentation necessary to receive accommodation at the college level. This is the result of the 2004 revisions to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These revisions will also impact student accommodations for such professional tests as the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), required for admission to some teacher education programs.

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Sometimes our more creative ideas occur in places like the shower, or maybe at a coffee shop. In this case, it came to me on a city bus riding home at the end of a day filled with advising undecided students. It was January 2005, and I was trying to find a way to present some of the basic relational skills involved in advising undecided students, and yet, have it fit with the theme of the upcoming NACADA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. My mind kept wandering to the image of 'advising' dice. Then, it hit me. Grabbing an envelope that used to hold one of my monthly bills, I began to scribble furiously. This is what in the end came of my chicken-scratched envelope.

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I'm a bicyclist. I love the road. I tried off-road cycling, but I didn't like the uncertainty of the trail. There were too many turns, obstacles, and variables for my liking. I like a well paved, proven, and clearly marked path with unambiguous edges and boundaries. It is my comfort zone.When I approached advising, I wanted the same thing - a well-defined, clear path without obstacles. I sought a clean edge. But, as I have discovered, I would never experience new possibilities until I was willing to move out past the edges. The terrain out past the edges is filled with a rich fauna of color and texture. It is here that I have found the fullness of advising.

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An academic advisor's job includes encouraging students to get involved in campus activities that will help them become better students and contribute to their academic and career development. I'm here to tell you that you need to listen to your own advice!

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As we move into the 21st century, we find ourselves in a time when our educational system is plagued with a high number of dropouts and many students who complete college lack important skill sets. We also know that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in developing the workforce needed to sustain our communities. As higher education professionals, we must commit to implementing programs that focus on student learning outcomes.

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Once again, the NACADA Annual Conference was a resounding success! The breadth, depth, and quality of presentations from the pre-conference workshops through the concurrent and poster sessions were truly outstanding. Over and over again, colleagues with whom we had the opportunity to speak during the course of the short week indicated how impressed they were with the information being presented and the commitment to student success that was evident by all. Our shared commitment to student success reinforces our own observations about NACADA's membership, that is, we are, indeed, a community of teachers-scholars-learners. We fluidly move from role to role unselfishly sharing our knowledge and ideas for practice and, simultaneously, learning from each other. Who could ask for more?

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NACADA's shared governance structure encourages members to get involved with the Association and provides a variety of opportunities for various degrees of involvement - from committee or task force membership within one of the Divisions to the Board of Directors. Each position provides an opportunity to be involved and to shape the work of the Association while exercising your leadership skills.

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At their October 21, 2006 meeting, the NACADA Board of Directors approved the proposed NACADA Concept of Academic Advising Statement....NACADA is pleased to provide this new resource to our members and encourages you all to utilize the Concept of Academic Advising as you work on your campuses. 

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They sit in front of us, sometimes dejected, sometimes irreverent, always wondering, "What does this mean? What's going to happen now?"  Students who have earned academic suspension status are generally uneasy about speaking with an academic advisor, even though they may not tell us. Some did not realize that they were suspended until they came to register for classes. Many have lots of 'reasons' why they are in academic trouble. ALL of them need us! How can we approach these students to best meet their educational, occupational, and sometimes personal, needs?

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The program, Career Coach, comprises a series of personal and career developmental workshops supported by a powerful, interactive e-profile tool. Each class, in year one, attends a weekly hour workshop with a counselor to address one of the Career Coach themes. The workshops revolve around three main themes: Self ExplorationLife Skills, and the Job Search Process. In their first semester, students participate in a series of workshops to explore their personal styles, values, characteristics, and learning styles. Students are introduced to college life, academic expectations, rules and regulations in an attempt to support them as they settle in their new environment. In the second semester, workshops are aimed at supporting students personal and academic development with sessions that revolve around building self esteem, setting goals, time management, communication skills and style, team work, assessment management and presentation skills. 

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Advisors must understand how identity management (i.e., deciding when and if to disclose one's sexual or gender identity) affects students' academic success and career decision-making. We should be prepared to help students discern and prioritize their career values so they can make well-informed decisions. Additionally, advisors should become knowledgeable about the realities of oppression and provide students with guidance based in research.

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There are many benefits to utilizing the active learning environment of web-based instruction. The effectiveness of any learning environment is based upon the types and levels of cognitive and metacognitive activity engendered in the learning process (Oliver, 1996). Learning is enhanced in active environments in which students are engaged in processing personally relevant content and reflection during the learning process. Web-based instruction facilitates student-centered approaches and an active learning environment rich with visual and audio stimuli (Winfield, 1998). It can provide a medium that supports learning in an active learning environment and the ability to track skills and identify gaps in knowledge. It allows for reflective time in the learning process and a degree of participation well beyond that which is possible within the time constraints of a place-based session (Parker, 1998).

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Peer advising continues to grow in undergraduate programs (Koring and Campbell, 2005, p. 9). Despite this, little research has been devoted to outcomes of peer advising or student satisfaction with the process. What research has been done indicates that peer advising has positive outcomes in terms of student involvement, academic achievement and retention (Koring and Campbell, 2005). Nelson and Fonzi (1995) discovered that 80% of students who participate in a peer advising program find the process to be satisfactory, but they do not specify the terms of satisfaction (p. 42).

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The Action Plan I crafted at the 2005 NACADA Summer Institute focused on the interactions between our academic advisors, IPFW students and their families. My charge was to find a way to include family in the advising conversation without taking attention away from student development and still work within FERPA guidelines. I applied the following process, adapted from Robert Sternberg's (1987) Successful Intelligence, to this issue.

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The highly decentralized advising system at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) makes it difficult to gain a reliable view of the effectiveness of advising on campus. In response to the developing emphasis on campus toward assessment, a team of advisors was asked to lead an initiative to address this need. As representatives of the UAB advising community, we were asked by the administrators of our institution to attend the 2005 NACADA Assessment of Academic Advising Institute to begin the assessment process. Although we were from three different units, we were able to utilize our campus wide Committee on Academic Advising (CAA) to provide the structure for this project. The result of our two-year effort is a comprehensive approach to assessment that will be implemented university wide.

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One acronym strikes fear into many in the south-QEP. The QEP or Quality Enhancement Plan is a requirement for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This is how one college, with NACADA 's help, survived and thrived during its QEP journey.

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As the field of enrollment management continues to develop, advisors will be asked to assume leadership roles because of our unique background of student involvement and post-secondary administration. It is our knowledge of both areas that give us the ability to affect change throughout the institution. The result will be the success of our students and the long-term viability of the institution.

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One of the hallmarks of a small, liberal arts college is its ability to provide students with a personal connection with the institution. The Department of Biology at Indiana University - Bloomington (IUB) has over 1,200 majors and, until recently, only two advisors. This large advisee load challenges advisors who seek to provide students with both excellent guidance and the kind of personal attention they would find in a smaller school.

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As academic advisors, we have an opportunity to not only encourage students to earn their degrees, but we can take a special interest in helping them develop into successful professionals. Giving a student 'an ear' to actively listen, providing the 'extra push' needed for forward academic progress, and at times, sharing our own experiences with students should never be done in a sense of duty but should be a privilege. Helping students find academic direction before enrollment will satisfy students' short term objectives, but inspiring them will enrich their confidence and have a far-reaching effect on their undergraduate experience.

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Nearly 2,600 colleagues came to Indianapolis October 18-21 to share information on current advising topics. To paraphrase one participant: 'I thought this Conference was outstanding. I have never been to a conference where the rooms were so full with participants on the last day of the conference. Obviously, the Conference attendees were really energized in Indianapolis and eager to learn as much as they could.'

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When teaching institutions highlight teaching in their hiring process, they send a message about the value they place on good faculty-student interaction in the classroom. When advising institutions begin to do the same, we may see a similar shift in the profile of advising on our campuses. We must practice what we preach: if we value quality advising in the way we work, a simple first step is to practice it in the way we hire.

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As a Board, we continue to work on those items noted in my December 2006 article for Academic Advising Today: building on and supporting goals and initiatives of the past, reviewing and codifying policies and procedures to strengthen and sustain our future as an association, and continuing to broaden our reach within higher education as the professional association for academic advising. I want to use this article as a way to update you on the Board's progress with regard to these items.

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We rely heavily on member comments about what is needed, so if you would like to see a particular topic addressed in some format or have an idea for a new resource that needs to be developed, let us know or convey that information to anyone in a leadership position and ask them to advance it for consideration. Your daily interactions with students provide the best opportunity for identifying issues of concern for you and your colleagues throughout the world and keep NACADA on the cutting edge and THE LEADER in academic advising.

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The NACADA Board of Directors recently approved a new program,The Emerging Leader Program, which has the goal of increasing the number of leaders from diverse groups in elected and appointed positions. The program will encourage members from diverse groups to get involved in leadership opportunities in their area of interest or expertise and to outfit the participants with the skills, tools, and resources as well as provide intentional and personal mentoring relationship with a past or current NACADA leader.

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As greater numbers of students enter our institutions, retention and ethical service to these students become even larger issues. Bradburn (2002) indicates that approximately one-third of entering students leave our institutions without a credential; these numbers are even higher for minority (Hodge & Pickron, 2004) and community college students (ACT, 2005). Although current scholarship (Lotkowski, et al. 2005) on academic retention shows that a relationship with an academic advisor helps to increase retention, many students do not take advantage of this resource.

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When academic advisors think of ESL advising, they may think in terms of working with the International Program Office on their campuses. However, it does not matter if advisors assist students in engineering, nursing, their first year, or those who are undecided about their major, most academic advisors have had contact with students whose first language is not English.

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Many students attend community colleges against all odds and yet they succeed. This success is due in no small part to the effort and dedication of community college advisors, faculty and staff. The culture of the community college is one that embraces, engages, and elevates students. As soon as a student enters a community college, he or she is welcomed. Welcome comes from staff at the information desk, from a recruiter in prospective student services, from the student worker at the admissions desk, from an academic advisor in a central advising office, and from faculty members walking down the halls.

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Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, was transported from her beloved Kansas to a foreign land where she met several strange characters including the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow. As academic advisors, we may sometimes think that we have been transported to a foreign land filled with some equally unique characters. However, even in 'Kansas,' change occurs, and we may find ourselves required to navigate a new 'Land Of Oz.'

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With the continuing development of online teaching, tutors are encouraged to take on the role of e-tutor and to provide tutoring and personal support through this mechanism. However, what works in a classroom does not always work online. With the loss of face-to-face contact and the visual impact that it brings, the question must be asked 'What makes a good e-tutor?'

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Technology like Facebook can be a tremendous resource for cash- and time-strapped advisors. The uses described above supplement traditional advising for little to no extra cost, but they greatly expand advisor-student contact by bridging distance and time. Virtual sites will never replace face-to-face advising, but if they enable students to connect with advisors in ways which make us more of a resource, we should not ignore this opportunity to expand our educational mission.

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How does one describe advising in and as an artistic exploration? The following collaborative effort aims to connect poetry and higher education to represent the unique relationship between a student and advisor through a descriptive mechanism not traditionally used in academic advising journals. The relationship is depicted through the eyes of the advisor

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I walked into a situation where the two people in the position before me were let go in fairly quick succession. Day-to-day academic advising was done by unionized, tenured, faculty counselors with a long history of doing things 'a certain way.' They really did not appreciate a non-counselor advising students, much less administering the college's academic advising program (my assigned task). Unionized faculty, while very devoted to students, were not contractually required to advise. Those who did advise were paid extra and usually scheduled after 2:30 p. This meant that retired faculty were employed to supplement the advisor corps. Faculty advisors were disheartened because there had not been advisor training in years. It was, needless to say, a tough, politically-charged situation. What should I do?

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Academic advising at Oregon State University has undergone remarkable changes in the last few years. Certain stars have aligned to give rise to these changes-shifts in administration and a focus on the student experience combined with the collaborative energy of advisors and administrators. George Kuh (2005) uses the term 'positive restlessness' to describe the climate of campuses truly working to be engaged in a culture of deep learning. At OSU there was a positive restlessness among academic advisors; they were struggling to find their collective voice. This is a story of their adventure and a narrative of change.

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It was the hottest summer Wisconsin had seen in ten years and I loved every minute of it. As a Summer Institute Scholarship winner, I was participating in the NACADA Summer Institute for the first time. In the air-conditioned comfort of the Concourse Hotel, I was surrounded by advising friends, both new and old, from around the country. In the evenings I strolled through the student quarter of Madison, a very lively place even in the beginning of August. At first I walked alone, but by the second day I strolled with new friends from colleges and universities across the country. I found this an ideal atmosphere to consult with the best advising experts in the nation.

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Ernie Pascarella and I have now reviewed nearly 35 years of research on how college affects students (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005), and it seems entirely reasonable to ask: 'Well, what did you learn, and so what?' Two sets of conclusions come to mind, one about how students learn and the other (more speculative) about how colleges shape that learning.

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Now, more than ever, we must draw upon each other and the resources of our Association to support our work. The myriad NACADA publications and events available to us makes the expertise of our colleagues (e.g., monographs, Webinars, Institutes, Consultants’ Bureau) and resources of our Association (a strong, credible community with remarkable executive office support) readily available to our quest. Collectively and collaboratively we can continue our march toward full realization of the potential of academic advising in higher education. I encourage us all to take advantage of this moment!

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The purpose of this Association is to impact student development through the enhancement of academic advising. One avenue for addressing this purpose is by heightening the recognition of the importance of effective academic advising within the higher education community in general and on campuses specifically. Our challenge becomes how to get our message to those who are not members of the Association, but are key campus decision makers.

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Recent statistical trends have led experts to project that ethnic minorities will become the numerical majority in the United States by the year 2010 (Cornett-Devito & Reeves, 1999). The impact of this growth is pervasive and, according to Howe & Strauss (2000), is evident in the current generation of students who are the most racially and ethnically diverse in this nation’s history. Those involved with collegiate student development must adapt current policies and practices to better meet the unique needs of our students. As academic advisors charged with facilitating the development of student potential, we must acquire new skills and strategies in order to provide more effective advising services.

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Konik and Stewart (2004) found that college students who identify as a sexual minority are linked with “more advanced global, political, religious, and occupational identity development” (p. 815) than their heterosexual peers. Advisors should note that the very gift of difference, both generational and in sexual identity, can be nurtured into a contributing gem of insight for a young gay person who participates in these global discussions. Maybe what we must learn from our advisees includes watching how our young people deny the social constraints of heterosexism, homophobia and other cultural barriers. So, how can we apply what seems intrinsic to some students as we advise them during their college careers?

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While some may consider college a refuge from the rest of the world, it is also a place where students struggle with finances, loss, career choices, unhealthy relationships, and a myriad of other concerns. Still others...cope with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mood disorder including depression, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, dysthymia, or cyclothymia. The student with a mood disorder might visit an advisor for excessive absences, tardiness, repeatedly dropping courses, or poor academic standing. These students may believe they are failures, appear overly sensitive, pessimistic, dependent, irritable, or even hostile. Some have problems with concentration, motivation, indecisiveness, or being overly ambitious despite a lack of accomplishments. While none of these behaviors is proof of a mood disorder, it provides academic advisors with an opportunity to speak with students about support services available on their campus. In addition to giving guidance about a study skills class, time management workshops, or tutoring, advisors could inform students about college counseling services to increase their awareness. Sharkin, Plageman, & Coulter (2005) cited the importance of informing students about the benefits of counseling as a preventive measure before a crisis develops....Whether a student discloses a mood disorder or you suspect as much, advisors should know that relationships make a difference in the lives of students. As an advisor you are often the first contact for a student. The development of an encouraging relationship provides us with the opportunity to guide students to the most appropriate services, give support, and leave the door open to their future success.

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Busy advisors look for avenues to improve their services to students while making the most of their time. Group advising is a popular way advisors can efficiently connect with students. Whether faculty invite advisors to address a class or advisors hold student workshops, advisors may only have short amounts of time to communicate with a group of students. It is important that advisors make the most of that time.

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Individuals respond to retirement in many different ways. One person may respond to the question of retirement by saying, “I can’t wait,” while another person at the same institution working with the same people in the same position might say, “I hope I never have to retire.” What is it that causes people to have such differing responses? As a recent retiree, I have discovered that there is not a simple answer, nor is there “a one size fits all” way to manage this transition.Most retirement planning addresses the financial aspect, but equally important are the emotional and psychological pieces. This article will identify the key phases in the transition to retirement, suggest resources for those considering retirement, and share recommendations from my personal retirement transition journey.

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In the fall of 2006, I boldly went where no other “non-faculty” academic advisor at Seward County Community College had gone before; I joined the teaching scholar learning community. Why? One word: CURIOSITY. I wanted to test the catchy academic advising slogan, Advising is Teaching. I kept asking myself, if advising is teaching, then what links the two domains? What tools can we use to showcase these similarities? And how do we obtain buy-in from all stakeholders, especially students? As an academic advisor and a teaching scholar participant, I made it my charge to find this essential element.

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College administrators and faculty are responsible for making academic, programmatic and financial decisions that can greatly impact an advising program. The practice of academic advising can be misunderstood by those who do not function in an advising role. Thus, it is essential that advisors interpret the ‘story’ of an advising program in ways that are informative and of interest to decision makers.

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Are the training and development programs at your institution lecture heavy? Do participants nod off? Do their eyes glaze over as they listen to yet another talking head? While lecture is easy, it may not be effective. Research and experience have shown there are more effective means to reach audiences. Advisor training and development programs lay the foundation for quality academic advising and enhance the image and reputation of academic advising on campus. How faculty and staff advisors feel about advisor training and development influence how they feel about advising in general. Active training methods out perform lecture for learning and enhance the overall reputation of academic advising at the institutional level.

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Advisor training programs typically end just when the most critical part of an advisor’s development begins—the experiential synthesis of the conceptual, informational and relational components of advising that is achieved student-by-student in the advising chair. As a profession, we should do more to help new advisors reach their potential by creating year-long new advisor development programs that recognize the experiential nature of advisor development by setting realistic expectations for first-year advisor development, establishing expectations for long-term development and providing the necessary support to move from the first set of expectations to the second (Folsom, 2007, p. 8). With the publication of NACADA’s new monograph, The New Advisor Guidebook: Mastering the Art of Advising Through the First Year and Beyond, we now have the resources and tools to do this.

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Academic advising has seen an evolution from prescriptive advising, to developmental advising, to the current concept of advising as a teaching experience. Prescriptive advising is based on advisor as authority figure whose primary responsibility is to dispense information about classes and schedules and prescribe solutions for problems the student encounters (Winston & Sandor, 1984). Not only do many advisors with little or no training find this to be the easiest way to approach advising, the prescriptive approach often fits with how advising is viewed on many campuses.

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The NACADA Board of Directors and the Executive Office appreciate the time that NACADA members took to study the qualifications and platform statements of the candidates and cast their votes online. We also thank all individuals who participated in the election—the candidates who ran for office as well as those who nominated them. Congratulations to those who have been elected to leadership positions. Their willingness to make this commitment to NACADA is greatly appreciated.

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Today academic advisors, accustomed to the >hectic pace of student advisement appointments, find that it is not just students who show up at their doors; increasingly students are accompanied by their parents. Howe and Strauss (2000) point to an increased level of parental involvement during the college years of the millennial students: traditional-aged students who are characterized as being “close to their parents.” Many advisors struggle to find effective strategies for working with parents who accompany students to advising sessions.

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Regardless of the method – email, telephone or personal visits – faculty and staff on today’s campuses should expect to hear from concerned parents of traditional-aged college students. Advisors with an unclear understanding of FERPA can almost be afraid to talk to parents and thus can prematurely end a conversation that could be beneficial. Because the millennial generation values the opinions of their parents so highly (Jayson, 2006; Tucker, 2006), many parents may have more initial credibility with students than advisors. Advisors who listen to parent concerns and respond with helpful information can make parents into valuable allies in supporting successful students. Thus it is time to develop strategies to facilitate appropriate and productive conversations between parents, advisors and students.

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In early 2006, the NACADA Advising Graduate and Professional Students Commission achieved a milestone when it completed a comprehensive survey of its Commission membership. The results were both expected and surprising, with certain trends transcending the small confines of our very specialized group and adding further details to the state of the advising profession in general. On the broadest level, the findings show that we are overwhelmingly female, well educated, not very well paid, and rather poorly trained. Yet, we like our work.

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In the din of our hectic and harried world, silence is an under-rated and under-valued gift. Between cell phones, MP3 players, Blackberries, television, e-mail, cars, subways, planes, and trains, many of us hardly ever experience stillness or silence. This article is not an attempt at religious conversion, but when academic advisors are mindful about using silence, or allowing silence to take hold, it can be, truly, revelatory. In my work, I serve both as an academic advisor and have responsibility for administering the college’s policy on academic integrity, so silence is something that I use at appropriate moments with good effect. And when I am speaking with parents or families, there is often nothing more powerful than a moment of rich silence.

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Much has been accomplished during the past year to build on our past and strengthen our future....It is essential that NACADA plan now for future expansion and stability...As we look toward the future, I know NACADA will continue to grow and expand under the leadership of President Jenny Bloom and Vice President Casey Self as well as Interim Executive Director Charlie Nutt. I know they will move NACADA forward and that each of you will be actively involved in the work of the Association.

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Life has an interesting way of evolving! Little did I realize in 1978 (at the age of 31) while serving as Director of Conferences at Kansas State University, that a phone call with three advisors (Toni Trombley, Vermont; Frank Dyer, Tennessee; and Billie Jacobini, Illinois) might determine the rest of my life’s work. That call was to discuss the possibility of the K-State Conference Office coordinating the annual conference on academic advising and in particular, the 1979 conference which would be the inaugural meeting of the National Academic Advising Association. I secured that “piece of business” and NACADA was formally a part of my life.

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It is with mixed emotions that I write commending Bobbie Flaherty on her outstanding years of service with NACADA and impending phased retirement. As a long-time member of this Association and one who has held office in many capacities over the years, I can hardly remember not knowing Bobbie or relying on her expertise/guidance and her historical perspective.

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Our UK colleagues appeared excited about collaborating with NACADA, demonstrated great interest in NACADA resources, and expressed considerable “ah” as Charlie awarded a complimentary NACADA membership to one lucky individual at the end of the conference. These colleagues will join 23 current members from Australia, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Egypt, England, Grenada, India, Jamaica, Kuwait, Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, and United Arab Emirates in leading the global expansion of NACADA beyond North America. It is evident that NACADA’s resources and expertise are becoming widely known throughout the world as higher education systems face similar issues in these evolving times.

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High achievers characteristically appear to know what they are doing and where they are going. But this is often far from the truth. Many honors students have been programmed and pushed from so many different directions that they hardly know what to study and what they really want to do with their lives....From my perspective, I see the work of advisors as helping these students break away from parental influence so they can find their own desires and professions. Advising high achievers is something like training a thoroughbred. Here are some suggestions I hope will be helpful.

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Is it time for a ‘program review’ of your academic advising unit? Would an evaluation by external reviewers be just what is needed to jump-start significant changes in an advising program? A fresh perspective on the situations we see day-in and day-out can help us assess practical matters such as routine processes, forms, procedures, staffing, and physical arrangements. An external review can help us more closely align our efforts with institutional strategic plans and provide the evidence needed for additional resource allocation.

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As more and more Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines return home from war, there is a greater need than ever for educational institutions to provide these students with resources and support. Academic advisors are in an ideal position to both advocate for this student group and to provide the support services these students need to transition to academia, persist through their programs, and reach their graduation goals.

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Our relevance assures student engagement, and engagement assures student success. Therefore, our relevancy will ensure successful students (Prentiss, 2007). Are we, as advisors, acting irresponsibly by avoiding FacebookTM? Building on Julie Traxler’s (2007) article, Advising Without Walls: An Introduction to Facebook as an Advising Tool, which focuses on the benefits of using this social networking Web site, I hope to show that, with proper care and an eye toward maintaining relevance, Facebook could be one of our most valuable tools for student engagement.

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One of the most important learning objectives an advisor can have for students is to teach students to become responsible advisees. While advisor development programs seek to ensure that advisors fulfill their responsibilities, often a vital link is overlooked. Students do not instinctively know how to be responsible advisees. We must teach students the value and process of advising and how to fulfill their advisee responsibilities.

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Intrusive Advising involves proactive interactions with students, with the intention of connecting with them before a situation occurs that cannot be fixed. Intrusive Advising is not “hand-holding” or parenting, but rather active concern for students’ academic preparation; it is a willingness to assist students in exploring services and programs to improve skills and increase academic motivation (Upcraft & Kramer, 1995).

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First generation students often require more attention than other students. Academic advisors can help ensure the success of these students when they are prepared. Advisors who apply the six practical suggestions listed in this article can guide first generation students through their toughest and most rewarding years and in turn help them graduate.

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It is not realistic to expect every academic advisor to know the particulars about the financial aid world. However, when it comes to dealing with students whose aid is jeopardized or lost because of previous academic performance, advisors at both public and private institutions should be able to discuss all of the ramifications so that students are able to make informed decisions about these potentially life-altering matters.

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Achieving in college is the proverbial mountain that so many students face. For some students, specifically those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, the mountain presents a daunting task and they are unsure about whether they have the tools or ability to reach the top. These students can be called our “at risk” students or students who are on the edge of academic failure. As a new advisor in the College of Education, I was responsible for creating a success plan that would address the needs of students having academic difficulty. So here I was, standing at the top of the mountain and attempting to map out a plan that would support the students in their climb to success.

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There are many reasons why I think that NACADA is the best professional organization on the planet, but the Annual Conference is certainly one of the top ones. The opportunity to get together with over 3,000 people who share the same passion for student success and appreciation for the important role that advisors play on college campuses throughout the country is reinvigorating and inspiring.

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After an international search, Dean Michael Holen of Kansas State University has named Charlie Nutt as Executive Director of NACADA, replacing Roberta “Bobbie” Flaherty, who moved into phased retirement as of August 1.

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What a wonderful way to spend the first week of your new job – with over 3,000 of your best friends in the wonderful city of Baltimore! The 31st Annual Conference of the National Academic Advising Association was clearly a first in so many ways – my first in the role as Executive Director, the celebration of the superb and memorable leadership of our first Emeritus Executive Director Roberta “Bobbie” Flaherty, the introduction of our first Charter Class of Emerging Leaders and Mentors, the first time our NACADA chorus opened our Conference, and our first Conference overseen by a Pirate!

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The Diversity Committee has developed the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program to encourage members from diverse groups 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 National Conferences.

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Communicating essential and often timely information to students can be a daunting daily task for academic advisors. Although today’s students are often considered more “connected” to technology than previous generations, this connectivity can present a new obstacle: competing to get students’ attention....As technology becomes more dynamic, moving from email to MySpace/Facebook and beyond, advisors may find themselves searching for ways to reach their advisees. Podcasting is just one of many tools advisors can and should consider using.

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Most colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to take public speaking and composition courses; many require coursework in these areas. Yet, there is not a similar emphasis on basic, everyday communication skills such as e-mail etiquette. While formal classes addressing everyday communication skills might not be on the near horizon, academic advisors can make an immediate and important contribution to improving students’ communication etiquette.

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Today’s college students are the most diverse advisors have ever encountered; with that diversity comes the need to design advising experiences to meet certain fundamental goals while simultaneously ensuring that advising materials, delivery methods and interpersonal communication are accessible and meaningful to each student. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers advisors a framework for designing and delivering high-quality advising to students with varying backgrounds and learning styles. This article will first lay out some background about UDL, then focus on applying its principles in advising contexts.

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The NACADA Core Values challenge advisors to “help students establish realistic goals and objectives and encourage them to be responsible for their own progress and success” (NACADA, 2004). As advisors, we know that helping students to set goals and to monitor their progress assists them with achieving their desired educational outcomes....How might we define desirable learning outcomes for study abroad participants? Categorizing learning outcomes into three areas can help students determine realistic goals for their study abroad.

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Imagine a college or university in which students feel that no matter which staff member, advisor, or professor they approach, they have an equal chance of being assisted, nurtured or challenged -- no matter the issue, no matter the question. At this institution, the academic mission and the professional commitment to student welfare meshes seamlessly and is embraced by staff, faculty, and administrators. Here it is clear that everyone shares in the responsibility of the institution’s mission and reaps the involvement and engagement that results. Imagine an institution where shared responsibilities means academic and professional opportunities for students, staff, and faculty exist in abundance.

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The effect of institutional policies and campus environments on advising undecided students is discussed within the Commission on Undecided/Exploratory Students membership through listservs, conference presentations, and informal conversations. Often the focus of the discussion is how students are served and how advisors deal with institutional policies and practices. The impact that institutional policies and environments can have upon our undecided students is considerable. As Lewallen (1995) explains, “some institutions are extremely supportive; others are indifferent or even nonsupportive. These approaches appear to have the potential to profoundly influence a student’s willingness to declare being undecided” (p.28-29). This article briefly examines some of the literature related to these topics.

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As we continue to study First Generation College Students, we become increasingly aware of several subgroups within this special population of students. We can identify adult students with family and job responsibilities, those who are among the first in their families to be born in this country, and foster care alumni who are aging out of the foster care system as three subgroups advisors can assist. Each of these groups faces particular issues as they seek a college education. A closer look at these students reveals special needs that academic advisors must take into account if they are to provide these students with the care they require to succeed.

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Advising is an awesome responsibility and privilege in today’s educational climate. To be a good role model, learn to reduce stress, exercise regularly, eat properly, and think positively. Advisors who have mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body) will live longer, feel better, and be more effective during their careers.

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The college experience plays a fundamental role in a student’s personal development. We believe that increased accessibility to pre-college, credit-bearing options indicates that the number of students who earn pre-college credits will continue to grow. This continued growth will challenge higher education institutions to find ways to meet the needs of these younger college students. The most successful students will be those whose college educations help them make intentional decisions about their classes, majors, and careers in conjunction with successful evolution through developmental stages.

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Over 3100 colleagues came to Baltimore October 18-21 to share information on current advising topics. To paraphrase one participant: “Thanks for putting on a spectacular conference. As a newbie to NACADA, and a relatively new professional in Student Affairs, I appreciated the breadth and depth provided in the sessions;and especially enjoyed the welcoming NACADA veterans that made me feel at home.

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Nurtured Advising can benefit students at many colleges and universities, but it is essential at HBCUs. Although originally established to educate descendants of African slaves, historically black institutions have become a gateway of opportunity for black students to compete in today’s society. When the relationship between the student and the advisor is such that the student knows that the advisor cares for him as an individual, the student feels he has support.

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The NACADA Board of Directors is focused on implementing the five strategic goals for our organization. As those of you who have participated in the strategic planning process at your institution know, creating a strategic plan is not always an exciting assignment, but it is even more difficult to implement the strategic plan. We all know that many strategic plans just gather dust on our bookshelves. However, the Board is dedicated to breathing life into the Strategic Plan by partnering with the entire NACADA member leadership team and the Executive Office.

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As our NACADA continues to grow, it is essential that each of us takes a personal responsibility for our Association’s focus on diversity in our membership and in our leadership, as outlined in our Board of Directors’ strategic goals for the Association. The Diversity Committee has implemented an exciting Emerging Leader Program that has identified the first class of nine future Leaders from underrepresented populations who are being mentored by nine NACADA Association leaders. The next class of Emerging Leaders and Mentors will be selected in May; I encourage you to both apply to be a Leader or Mentor and to nominate other members for Leader or Mentor positions. Our Association’s membership and leadership can grow in diversity only if each of us makes it our personal goal to become involved!

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In the United Kingdom, we lack a national organization devoted to those interested in Personal Tutoring and the field remains fragmented, although there is a core group of active researchers and practitioners in the area. I think we have much to learn from you, and I hope that we also have something of value to share.

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Today’s parents are often characterized as obstacles in the development of student independence and autonomy. However, results from the recent National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) show that students whose parents intervened on their behalf experienced “greater gains on a host of desired college outcomes, and greater satisfaction with the college experience” (NSSE, 2007, p. 25). Despite this information, college personnel often struggle with parental involvement in their students’ academic affairs; many personnel believe that the path to development of student self-sufficiency and decision-making is blocked by well-meaning, hovering parents. Instead of viewing parental involvement as obtrusive and intrusive, personnel on college campuses should embrace the potential for building a partnership with parents. Academic advisors, in particular, are in the unique position to partner with parents in a relationship that will benefit those with a vested interest in students’ success: parents, students, and advisors.

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The majority of universities in the United States depend upon faculty members to serve as advisors....The number of methods for integrating advising into more traditional responsibilities is limited only by the imagination of faculty members and the willingness of a department and/or university to accept these activities. Faculty members who find creative methods of advising while doing teaching, scholarship, or service activities will find it considerably easier to “do it all.”

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When instructors and students contact academic advisors about a learning progress concern, advisors might be faced with the difficult task of helping students suspected of having a learning disability. The problem of identifying a disability becomes more complex if students speak English as their second language (ESL).

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Weaver (2002) noted that “almost a third of America's teachers leave the profession sometime during their first three years of teaching, and almost half leave after five years.” A plethora of information is available regarding what can be done to promote retention after the new teacher is employed. To increase the probability of remaining in the teaching field, can this teacher dropout problem be addressed at the college level? What issues are involved? What can advisors of education majors do to help address this problem?

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In the work environment where advisors function, Dr. Nos are people, places or things that prevent advisors from flourishing and growing. In our advising world at Wichita State University, Dr. No was a new computer system. We were asked to adjust to using the new system despite initial kinks and larger, systemic issues. We had a choice. We could either become negative influences who spread gloom throughout our work world, or we could become positive Change Agents who encouraged advisors to share better ways for managing this change. Fortunately, we decided on the latter and made a positive impact on campus.

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NACADA has been a welcoming support system since I first became a member. I have been encouraged to write articles, present at conferences, serve on committees, accept a nomination for a leadership position and truly professionally explore and enhance myself. This experience has been overwhelmingly positive and surprisingly transcendental. This article will illustrate how NACADA has affected my life. A brief recount of my personal experiences will illustrate how NACADA’s support of the academic advising profession, opportunities for involvement and acceptance of diversity are but a few reasons for my extraordinary experiences.

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The NACADA Summer Institute provided a unique opportunity for every advisor to learn more about their role in serving students. Those who clearly defined an advising problem on their campus and developed an Action Plan probably extracted the greatest benefit from the week, but it seemed that even the least-experienced advisors with less-defined action goals left with a road-map for how to improve their own advising practices. Participants also gained a good sense of the principles that inform the way their institutions provide connections for their students.

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This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences.

This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf
This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf
This spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpufThis spring, Charlie Nutt and I have been on what I am calling the NACADA Regional Conference World Tour 2008. We have had a wonderful time in each of the beautiful Conference cities, and I walk away from these Regional Conferences re-energized, re-committed, and proud of our Association. The real strength of our organization lies in our members and our member-leaders, and never has this been more evident to me than during these trips to attend the Regional Conferences. - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/June-2008-Vol-312-Compiled-Version.aspx#sthash.6S6svOEx.dpuf

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We enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk with so many brand new NACADA members; at each Regional Conference the number of new members was staggering! Each Region has its own culture, strength, and energy; to be able to experience this has been totally energizing for me. It is also great to see the camaraderie and deep connections that Region members have with each other and how each Region is definitely a “NACADA Family” of its own! And just like families, each Region has its special traditions and also exciting “family events” that make the conferences so amazing.

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Student success and educational effectiveness are top priorities, especially if we expect to see successful student transitions on today’s campuses. Academic advisors who help students integrate life management skills and find solid support networks will assist these students in creating a foundation for coping with collegiate level academic stress. Advisors who are aware of the needs of first year students can make the difference as students learn to navigate the halls of academia.

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Just when advisors say, “I’ve finally seen it all!” an advising experience takes place that is so unusual, extraordinary, or just plain weird that it feels like an April Fool’s Day prank...expect the unexpected. In the world of academic advising, no two students and no two problems are exactly the same.

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E-portfolios are an increasingly important part of the college experience and can be a fundamental means for the documentation of advising outcomes....Academic advising should become a vital portion within the increasing number of e-portfolio programs. Recognizing that advising is teaching, NACADA members have promoted the advising syllabus as a means to identify learning outcomes students can attain through the advising process. The e-portfolio contributes to the achievement of numerous learning goals. Therefore, advisors should consider how the activities and expectations that make up advising syllabi can be connected to and facilitated by electronic portfolios. The possibilities are ripe for study and experimentation.

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Incorporating technology into advising practices that are meaningful to students can be challenging. Challenges are even greater when an institution’s student population consists of non-traditional learners juggling a multitude of roles and responsibilities, whose age range spans forty years, and whose technological skills range from a minimal understanding of basic computing to coordinating corporate networks. How can advisors effectively integrate existing technology to communicate with students, build community, provide timely information, and establish a non-threatening environment for learners? Advisors should consider their institutions’ online course management systems. 

 

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Academic advisors play many roles as students progress through our institutions. Helping students increase their levels of positive self-reflection can help students increase the expectations they set for themselves and lead students to regularly view themselves as positively engaged and academically talented. Positively engaged students leave advising sessions reflecting on their strengths rather than focusing on their deficiencies....Strengths-based advising can help advisors focus on students’ strengths. When we implement an advising model best suited to students’ strengths, we increase students’ chances of success at our institutions. 

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A good advisor is essential when “real life” gets in the way. In graduate school, it is very possible for students to fall through the cracks....Graduate school can be tough. The biggest challenge is finishing.... Discipline and working with others can help graduate students see the light at the end of the tunnel. It can be done. Parents, professors, and society encourage education, yet at the highest echelons of education, some students may find that there is not enough support. Advisors can help students strategize and find the inner strength and the discipline needed to complete what they began.

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The NACADA Academic Advising Summer Institute brought together over 100 advising professionals with experts in the field to work on impacting student success at campuses across the nation.... This was not your average conference. This was not a drive-in workshop. This was an institute, an academic experience, and a refreshing start to the consideration of academic advising holistically....We all engaged in learning about advising structures and systems, research and development, and of course, politics and personalities as they pertain to setting an agenda for advising on our campuses....Summer Institute was a shared experience with other colleagues who care about the students we support; it was a professional development experience unlike any other. 

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I cannot say enough positive and exciting things about NACADA and how the organization and its people have influenced my life and my professional development! To my mind, NACADA is nothing short of being a land of opportunity overflowing with milk and honey for those with a desire to become involved. NACADA believes in the abilities of its members and for those with the desire to act upon their own faith by becoming involved will find that NACADA continues to advance the advising profession towards excellence and greatness not only for us as professionals, but more importantly for the students we serve!

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The NACADA Board of Directors and the Executive Office appreciate the time that NACADA members took to study the qualifications and platform statements of the candidates and cast their votes online. We also thank all individuals who participated in the election — the candidates who ran for office as well as those who nominated them. Congratulations to those who have been elected to leadership positions. Their willingness to make this commitment to NACADA is greatly appreciated.

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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.

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