The best thing that a separate advising office can do is offer viable advisor training for faculty. To get them there, it will take support in higher administration. The higher the better. We found at SMSU that feeding faculty seems to get them there. We also work diligently with departments to make our training attractive to faculty. For example, we have a advisory committee of faculty who have been through the training program who make all decisions regarding the training content. Many of them participate in training sessions.
Beyond that, it would be helpful to encourage faculty to join a local advising forum where they can come together, say at lunch time with brown bags to discuss various issues in their advising. We always provide soft drinks and dessert. Sometimes a faculty member or staff advisor presents a short program, sometimes an administrator presents.
Don't forget about the NACADA Clearinghouse (available on NACADAs web site) where much helpful information is housed, and, of course, encourage membership in NACADA or a NACADA affiliate organization. The leading edge professional development for academic advisors is available there in the form of wonderful conferences, opportunities to serve, and so much information about advising that it boggles the mind.
former NACADA South Central Region Representative
Advising offices can be available for consultation, referral, advisor training and development program. Advising offices might also sponsor a faculty member to attend a NACADA national or regional conference, perhaps by co-submitting a program.
'04-05 NACADA President