a Portfolio to Document Advising Effectiveness
Authored by: Faye Vowell and JanetWallet-Ortiz
use an advising portfolio?
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
can respond to a variety of needs both formative and summative.
A formative portfolio documents growth; it is most often used for
personal development. A summative portfolio illustrates mastery
in a specified area and might be used for an annual performance
review or to apply for promotion or tenure. When assembling a portfolio,
it is important to know exactly who the audience is in order to
assemble the most convincing evidence and to know what the purpose
of the portfolio is.
you assemble your portfolio, consider including the following artifacts:
an advising philosophy statement, advising goal/objective(s) to
be addressed in this portfolio, advisee demographics, your specific
advising responsibilities, evidence of mastery or growth in addressing
these responsibilities, and a reflective essay which provides the
context for the artifacts or items included.
advising philosophy is a personal statement growing out of your
own beliefs and experience. It should fit within the institution's
mission as well as the advising mission statement of your campus.
Advising goals/objectives need to be appropriate for the specific
portfolio. Student demographics would address the kinds and number
of your advisees. This information will probably be directly related
to your advising responsibilities or job description. All of these
would provide a context for the evidence of mastery or growth in
meeting job responsibilities.
For example, a summative
portfolio created for an annual review could have as a goal to demonstrate
expertise in critical advising areas deemed important on your campus.
If confidentiality and accuracy are the critical issues on your
campus, you could document training in the legal and ethical procedures
regarding the release of student information. You could include
examples of current, dated instruments that show degree plans, general
education requirements, interview questions, or special institutional
forms and demonstrate awareness of procedures for each item. You
could discuss your use of the advice of colleagues to keep abreast
of any specific changes that may not yet be in the catalog.
and advocacy create powerful and fruitful relationships with advisees.
Crucial to this relationship is helping students feel validated
or capable of succeeding in college. (Rendon, 1994). You could
document what you do to make students comfortable and validated.
You could show how you help students define their abilities and
match them with personal, educational, and career goals?
Evidence of Advising Outcomes:
Qualitative and Quantitative
Self-assessment tools using rubrics with specific concrete goals
and scales can identify obstacles and measure progress in overcoming
them. Timelines for projects met or deadlines delayed (and reasons
why) could be recorded and submitted. The results from advising
evaluations can be collected, analyzed, and presented.
of advising stories can be a focus, in addition to such things
as numbers of advisees, number of times an advisor is requested,
and the number of advisees retained from year to year.
of various efforts to address student needs can demonstrate concern
for student validation inside the advising session. Letters of
support from colleagues can attest to your willingness to "go
the extra mile" to find answers for advisees. Advisors could also
include copies of any training/development certificates, awards,
honors, presentations and/or publications.
of the above could be woven into a reflective statement or essay
that would showcase the advisor's baseline and subsequent growth
in various specific areas used in evaluation or demonstrate mastery
in job responsibilities.
today's climate of increased accountability and diminishing resources,
portfolios provide a way to demonstrate quality advising outcomes
that is flexible and can be customized to individual situations.
Two large challenges exist in creating a portfolio: finding time
and motivation for reflection and creating a process that is not
too time consuming.
Western New Mexico University
Professor of Humanities
Western New Mexico University
above resource using APA style as:
F. N. amd Wallet-Ortiz, J. (2003, February). Using a portfolio
to document advising effectiveness. The Academic Advising
News, 26(1). Retrieved from the NACADA
Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Advisor-Portfolios-Document-Effectiveness.aspx.