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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2017

At the NACADA Annual Conference in St. Louis this past October, the Board of Directors asked members to participate in a series of discussions on various topics during our Town Hall event.  Over the next year, we as a board will be utilizing this information to inform our work.  We are also working on plans to share the information, answer questions, and address concerns.

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Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director We all know that Bruce Springsteen is known as “The Boss” of rock and roll.  Several years...

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NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising is joining with the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (Gardner Institute) to create and offer the Excellence in Academic Advising (EAA) process.  EAA is a comprehensive advising strategic planning process that has the potential to change and affirm the role and influence of academic advising in higher education.

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Students often lack the motivation to participate in the democratic process because they feel that they cannot make a difference.  Academic advisors can provide knowledge and skills necessary for students to become politically engaged citizens.

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Each year the question of whether or not to implement mandatory advising seems to surface across a variety of venues and mailing lists.  In addressing this question, campuses must be able to answer other questions about how they meet student needs.  When campuses pose an essential outcomes-based question, they strengthen their ability to conceive the most integrative and holistic solutions for ensuring that students can achieve desired advising outcomes.  

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This article aims to show that when communication improves across silos, or separate entities on college campuses that rarely interact, it might increase empathy for the student-athletes and facilitate simple programmatic changes that could increase the likelihood of student-athletes successfully completing the degree programs that they would ideally like to pursue.

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The HLC Academy for Student Persistence and Completion at Marshall University created the MU EDGE mentoring program to pair experienced faculty mentors with incoming “murky middle” freshmen to find out what Marshall can do to better retain this under-served population through more intrusive advising. 

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Staff at WKU Owensboro have found success by strategically using all resources available rather than searching for a single silver bullet solution to challenges.  This arsenal approach allows student engagement in a distinctive way from the beginning of their experiences with WKU in the areas of recruitment and pre-admission advising, through retention and graduation, and beyond as community members.

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This article highlights existing concepts on how to develop an advising center at the university level while describing the process one specific college took to advising center creation, giving the reader examples of how suggestions from the literature can be implemented.

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Although the blended position is known by various names in different institutions, there is one underlying factor: the incumbents do more than academic advising, while building relationships towards student success.

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Advisors who learn to assist students with alleviating and mitigating culture shock can contribute to students’ success and their enjoyment of their time in their host country.  In order to do so, advisors must understand the cultural and individual characteristics that influence a student’s experience of culture shock.

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The author advocates for increasing professional development opportunities related to study abroad.

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One of the hardest things advisors face is the notion that they cannot always be the hero.  As advisors, we want to help and we want to make things as easy as possible.  Yet, there are so many things that are just beyond our control.

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Much like letting young adults spread their wings, an advisor needs to be alert, offering assistance when necessary, but knowing when to let the student “learn the ropes” of academic life to ensure they become strong, independent learners.

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The author shares insights gained during her own classroom experience.

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The authors finds that a NACADA institute “is nothing like an annual or regional conference.”

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The author discusses how she benefited from the Assessment Institute: learning the curriculum, being guided by faculty members, and networking with like-minded colleagues from across the country and abroad.

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles and provide feedback to authors.

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Just as academic advisors understand the importance of partnerships with students, it is equally important that they continue to increase their partnerships with other advising professionals to expand their own networks.

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We can no longer simply look at advisor ratios and student satisfaction. We must develop, and assess the achievement of, learning outcomes for the academic advising experiences of students.

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Those attending a NACADA event invariably hear much talk about the NACADA family.  NACADA leaders extol the virtues of becoming a member of the NACADA family and advise participants to “get involved” in the association.  It may seem like everyone belongs but you!  Here are some ways to get started.

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Academic advising is crucial if institutions are to achieve goals of persistence and timely graduation, as well as student self-realization and growth.  It is one of the two most important levers to pull within the university to positively impact student success… As institutions look to academic advisors for leadership, members of the profession need to be able to articulate their value, assess their impact, and embrace the changes required to serve students better.

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Academic advisors must embrace the constant flow of change in higher education to create increasingly effective and specialized tools to promote student success and the advancement of their profession… PALEO Advising was created to provide a simple-to-remember framework for advisors of all experience levels to capitalize upon connections and promote intentional progress wherever they are.

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Most students benefit from integrative advising, but what makes the case of elite student-athletes acute is not only their advanced skill level in their future profession and the intensity with which they must develop and showcase those skills during college, but also the apparent disconnect between their academic studies and their legitimate career aspirations… Through this approach, advisors help student-athletes understand that they are valued beyond their athletic ability and that they are shaping and creating their own unique education that will support their needs, interests, and hopes now and in the future.  

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Advisors sometimes need to deliver bad news to students. The author discusses how advisors can use the SPIKES model as a framework for delivering bad news to students.

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The authors highlight Gen Z-friendly methods that they have used to promote student engagement in appointments, on campus, and in the community.

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There are many different ways to reach students outside of traditional in office advising.  The entire experience a student has while in college is important, and it is beneficial to the relationship between the student and advisor to show interest in them outside of that traditional advising setting they may be used to or expect.

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: In efforts to provide active support for retaining first-time, full-time freshmen, the School of Business Administration at Portland State University (PSU) decided to hire a full-time advisor dedicated to supporting this population.  The purpose of the First Year Programs Advisor was to research the needs of the freshmen population, manage and analyze retention data, and develop advising-based programs and resources (as well as last-minute, drop-in advising) that meet the needs of those students. The author discusses the research done on retention and the programs developed out of that research.

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The technology of predictive analytics has come to academic advising.  Is this what we want?

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The Summer Institute challenged me to think about what I do well as an advisor (and now an advising administrator) and what I need to work on.  It equipped me with the resources and perspective needed to bring about change at my college.  I was impressed how practical and useful the Summer Institute was with a spoken and unspoken theme of the week: how will you be able to put these ideas into practice?

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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NACADA leaders want to ensure that all members feel as though they matter within the association’s culture. Whether a new or continuing NACADA member, it is important that each member feels as though their contributions make this association what it is.

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It has been a busy but profitable year for our association.  NACADA continues to grow in supporting our membership and also in our impact across all of higher education across the globe. 

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NACADA (2017) has identified the relational element of academic advising as one of the core competencies of the profession along with the conceptual and informational elements.  Distinct from the others, the relational element highlights the dynamics within the advising practice.  That said, saying the relationship is important is one thing, designing and supporting advising practices that help facilitate and sustain the relationship is another… How do institutions help advisors develop the knowledge and skills to enhance and sustain their advising relationships?

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NACADA’s new partnership with Complete College America strongly demonstrates the centrality of academic advising to college completion and affordability. This article presents numerous ways advisors can boost affordability for their students, including strategies which facilitate timely degree completion and methods for serving as advocates for affordability-related programs, services, and even campus mindset.

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Many people, including advisors, struggle with paying attention. If this inability to pay attention occurs during advising appointments, opportunities could be lost to connect with students.  Nevertheless, it is possible to increase one’s ability to pay attention and increase effectiveness in completing tasks with the practice of mindfulness.

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Academic advisors face numerous challenges, one of which is providing a quality advising experience under strict time constraints.  When facing time-related challenges, advisors must decide on what information to prioritize as well as the best conversational approach for students.

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Most researchers now agree that perfectionism is multifaceted, encompassing a wide range of behaviors and attitudes.  In order to support student success, academic advisors should recognize the signs of both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism in students and learn ways to encourage healthy, adaptive perfectionism while helping students with a maladaptive perfectionistic mindset to cope more constructively with challenges.

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Without the intervention of faculty mentors or academic advisors, undergraduate students often acquire unwise habits regarding course selection.  Faced with the scary task of creating a course schedule, students who do not know where to start often turn to their friends and ask for recommended “easy courses.”  While the magnetic draw of “easy courses” may persist, faculty mentors and advisors can help undergraduates develop a mindset to strategically select courses and plan for their academic futures.

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Higher education professionals strive to provide a safe environment conducive to learning and personal growth for students, but instances of violence occurring at institutions of higher education happen despite those efforts.  Academic advisors must be prepared for an unexpected student disclosure.

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Veterans have always been part of the landscape of most universities, and many bring with them issues of readjustment, PTSD, and disabilities.  It is essential that advisors understand how to engage with veterans in advising sessions and in conversations about their academic trajectories.

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Everyone grieves, yet when encountering a grieving student, academic advisors may feel helpless.  The author suggests tools that can be used can regardless of where the students are along their grief journey.

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The author shares strategies she has found successful in assisting at risk students.

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At Missouri State University (MSU), the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program has partnered with the Academic Advisement Center to create a system of educational internships for graduate students interested in academic advising.  This article outlines the internship structure at MSU and discusses experiences from the perspectives of the internship supervisor and interns from the past year.

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Kansas State University student body president and vice president discuss their experience of learning and growth at the 2016 NACADA Annual Conference.

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Wesley R. Habley scholarship recipient shares her experience at the 2016 NACADA Summer Institute.

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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Regardless of what you are interested in, having a plan can make the journey more meaningful and productive.  Knowing your goal, determining potential barriers, creating a plan to overcome barriers, and setting up support systems to succeed can all be part of your professional development plan.  Plan for your future and let NACADA be part of that plan to help you get there.

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Each year, the impact of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising grows on our members, the profession, institutions, and the globe.  Clearly, NACADA is growing in our impact across the world that is directly connected to the work of thousands of members, leaders, and the partnership with the Executive Office Staff.

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The fight or flight instinct is not unique to students or academic stress, but it might not be a connection the students have previously made. When advisors recognize the link between this biological instinct and student behavior, they can better educate, mentor, and guide students to a healthier and more productive response to stressful situations.

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As with any profession, academic advising requires training, but institutions often struggle to identify a centralized resource or approach for implementing advisor training.  With obstacles of limited financial support, workloads stretched beyond capacity, and autonomous centers with disparate advising structures, advisor training has been a challenge for many institutions. The authors offer their advisor training as a potential model for other institutions.

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The authors discuss an initiative developed to fill a gap in professional development opportunities available to the academic advisors at their institution.

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Implementing a successful outcomes assessment plan, particularly one that assesses learning and performance across campus units, is a big undertaking.  The authors consider ten essential, intangible elements of any successful outcomes assessment endeavor.

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The author contends that gathering data for outcomes assessment or research does not have to be complicated, mysterious, or difficult.

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This article introduces solution-focused advising, a framework built and adapted from solution-focused counseling theory, as another tool for advisors to utilize within their approaches.

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The author finds that the use of collaborative note writing changes the one directional aspect of advising notes while staying true to the original purpose.

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The authors contend that it is important to provide high quality online advising services that allow for comprehensive, face-to-face interactions with students, even when those students are off campus.  With limited resources and demands on time, it is also critical to design an online advising option that is sustainable long-term.

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With increasing numbers of student veterans entering the nation’s colleges and universities, it is critical that professionals in higher education understand the unique perspectives and experiences they bring to the campus and that appropriate models to support their academic success are developed.

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All around the world, educators find that parents of college students today are more involved than ever before.  Culture is an important factor in exploring the role of parental influence on college students.  The author discusses some of the cultural factors that are particularly salient at her institution, the American University of Sharjah.

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Advisors recognize that students with different enrollment patterns may have different goals and need different types of support.  Knowledge of these enrollment patterns can influence conversations with students to help create both short- and long-term plans.

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The author describes her experience at the 2017 NACADA Assessment Institute.

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Since 2007, the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program has encouraged members from diverse backgrounds to get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization. 

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Complete editions of AAT are provided to facilitate one-touch print capability, but readers are encouraged to view the individual articles to utilize the site's enhanced search and "related articles" features.

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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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