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Voices of the Global Community

Entries for 2018

There are many reasons that advisors do what we do...

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So much has been accomplished since this time last year!  We continue to move NACADA into the future as the premier association for academic advising and student success and work to ensure that NACADA has a strong role in enhancing higher education and student success globally.

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The NACADA Commission & Interest Group Division has been restructured as the Advising Communities Division.  ACD leadership believes that members will have a better experience as a result of this restructure process.

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In a field where connection is vital to the success of the appointment, empathy and support on a daily basis can place stress on the advisor or student success coach over a period of time. Advisors may promote the benefits of self-care for their students, but who takes care of the advisor?

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Institutions of higher education invest in a diverse set of resources to aid student transition and success. It is not surprising that students who utilize these resources are (directly or indirectly) more likely to be successful in their college pursuits.  How can advisors convince students to take advantage of campus resources?

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As new standards develop to meet the changing needs of higher education, group advising has become an essential component of student success.  Group advising offers avenues of support that help students adjust to college life, reinforce and improve skills vital to persistence in college, and develop skills that are increasingly essential in the professional world.

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Scholarly and theoretical underpinnings of academic advising acknowledge the importance of the relational component of advising.  A common factors meta-model of academic advising suggests that several factors can be applied to the advisor-student interaction to increase student persistence, regardless of specific advising theory or practice.

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Acting as the hub of the wheel while drawing on the three components of academic advising (conceptual, informational, relational), academic advisors can help their advisees adapt to the culture of their higher education environment and empower them to take an active part in their journey to success.

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Developing a sense of belonging in the first year is critical to whether or not a student will be retained.  Orientation and the first-year seminar are ideal places to begin.  The author offers strategies created to nurture belongingness for first-year students which can be applicable to a wide range of academic programs, institutions, and advisors and can be implemented at no cost.

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Advisors have to find balance between building relationships with students and ensuring students have the tools to successfully meet major and institutional requirements.  Advisors know how important a relationship connection can be to a student in helping them progress to graduation, but limited time with students can create pressure to focus on the tasks at hand.

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Often times, campus trainings tend to focus primarily on informational components; reviewing policies, procedures, and resources.  Although informational aspects of advising carry a lot of importance, to ignore any one component places the effectiveness of an advising program in jeopardy. Therefore, any academic advising training must give proper credence to each of three key components in order to be effective: informational, conceptual, and relational.  The importance of each should be reflected in on-going training and development programs.

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One exploratory advising office’s success in mandatory advising can be attributed to allowing students choices to fulfill advising and sending multiple reminders to facilitate the flow of students throughout the semester.  This is their story, growing from basic survival to streamlined efficiency, cultivated by nearly ten years of experiences and lessons learned.

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It is critical that students become self-aware and develop a sense of purpose and life direction that informs both their decisions on choice of major as well as their career path.  How do higher education professionals help students navigate their most important choice in college, find their purpose and passion, and apply it to a major and career path?

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Transfer programs are of increasing importance on college campuses because transfer has become the norm for undergraduate students, and as student mobility and transfer increases, it is imperative that advisors work to effectively serve this student population.

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Only a handful of institutional-level degree completion programs currently exist responding to senior attrition. Recognizing the societal and institutional value of such initiatives, a few universities have established their own institutional programs to help students who stopped out of school to return and graduate.  In this article, four programs are discussed and compared.

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When the author was charged to create assessment specifically designed for academic advising, she found assistance at the NACADA Assessment Institute.

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The NACADA Emerging Leaders Program has, for more than a decade, supported the successful leadership development of more than one hundred association members who have served in elected and appointed positions—as chairs of NACADA regions, advising communities, committees, advisory boards, and task forces—as well as those who have stepped up to leadership in other service, scholarship, and research areas.  ELPers have made a lasting contribution to The Global Community for Academic Advising!

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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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The NACADA Board of Directors has made it a priority to facilitate avenues for our members to provide feedback and input on the work of the Association.

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With the NACADA Winter Institutes and Seminar, the association elections, and the start of the Regional Conferences, NACADA in the Spring Time is always an exciting time.  Spring 2018 is no exception with several other exciting NACADA developments occurring as well!

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In August 2017, the field of academic advising lost a champion with the passing of recent NACADA Journal co-editor Leigh S. Shaffer.  Leigh, a recognized scholar in his field of social psychology, authored or co-authored 11 peer-reviewed articles for the NACADA Journal, more than any other author in the Journal’s history.  

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The road to self-authorship—where an individual’s internal voice emerges and asserts its authority—begins with cognitive dissonance, perhaps even existential crisis, that challenges the individual’s assumptions about the self, social relationships, and the world.  This article considers advisors’ role in creating provocative moments.

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First generation college students face a variety of social and conceptual barriers.  The author contends that, in attempting to gain a greater profundity of understanding regarding the experiences of FGCS, it may be helpful to examine the experiences of other student groups who may, to an extent, have overlapping or similar experiences. 

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With all the talk about helicopter parents and overparenting, it can be easy to forget that many parents have an incredible investment of time, love, money, and energy in their child’s education.  The authors gathered data from advisors on their perceptions of their interactions with parents and   asked for examples of effective strategies for working with parents.

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Most students intuitively know graduate programs differ from undergraduate programs; however, most cannot articulate how different they actually are or what those distinctions may be.  The authors contend that providing an orientation program is a vital component to the transition process.

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Students who do not meet minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements are generally placed on an academic warning or probationary status that is often universally applied to all students and administrated by faculty or advisors.  However, each students’ reasons for missing this academic mark are unique.  Regular connection with an advisor can be very impactful and meaningful to students because they are able to articulate their obstacles to someone in an open dialogue.

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Change is an inevitable part of higher education today, but as our students’ needs change, advisors will have to adapt to new technology platforms to provide better support.  Academic advisors can be dynamic agents of change.

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The author shares his own experience with academically grieving students and a process to identify such students.

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Students may be like Odysseus: full of dreams, interests, fears, and confusions, ready to begin their academic, personal, social, and developmental wanderings.  Graduation, much like Ithaca, is the desired destination.  Advisors, like the Goddess Athena, need wisdom, knowledge, resources, and authenticity to help student find the right paths during their wanderings.

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Over the last six years, new cohorts of mentors and protégés (new advisors) have entered the program to aid in their personal and professional development at Temple University.

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The 49er Finish Program at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has been actively pursuing its stop out students for over 10 years, catering to adult learners who are seeking to finish what they started.  Tactics are threefold: personalized marketing, support services, and institutional enhancements.

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With the expansion of China’s higher education since 1998, more and more academic advisors are needed to work with Chinese undergraduates.  Understanding their sophisticated social culture values is the first and necessary step for advisors in and out of China.

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The author, a relatively new advisor, shares his introductory experience into the NACADA Summer Institute learning community.

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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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The President’s column in Academic Advising Today has been committed to updating the membership on the Town Hall topic areas that were discussed at the 2017 Annual Conference in October.  This edition will focus on the topic of NACADA’s Global Initiatives.

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Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director Spring, as always in academia, is a busy but exciting time of year for all of us.  In addition to our ...

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Advising administrators and training developers frequently ask how advisors can build relational core competencies such as communicating inclusively and conducting successful advising interactions. The author presents theory-informed practical recommendations for advisors to help address the “how” of some of the relational core competencies.

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Most major academic advising theories stress the importance of the advising relationship.  In advising, the quality of the relationship between advisor and student is at the heart of most interventions.  The author notes that the shared focus of various advising theories on factors that foster the advisor-student relationship is very similar to the common factors theory in psychology.

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The development and implementation of structured paths for professional development and career advancement for academic advisors are becoming progressively more important. In an effort to identify essential skills and characteristics as well as provide guidance to advisors seeking advancement, the advising community at Kansas State University developed a career ladder framework based on the NACADA Core Competencies of Academic Advising.

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Emotional exhaustion may be a prevalent threat to those working in the field of advising. How can job burnout be avoided when the fundamentals of the job seem to necessitate frequent and intense emotional labor? 

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In the world of improvisational (improv) comedy, advancing is the process of moving a scene forward.  In the world of academic advising where student success is a central narrative, it is imperative that advisors help students advance their own scene. 

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In an era of accountability for students and higher education institutions, it is critical for advisors to consider creative strategies to cultivate meaningful partnerships with faculty colleagues while maintaining a focus on student success, engagement, retention, and graduation.  Advisors have a responsibility to provide students with academic guidance but to also collaborate with faculty to promote engagement in high-impact practices that provide the holistic and deep learning opportunities that characterize transformational education.

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The notion of peer mentoring for Indigenous students has captured all aspects of the author’s life, inspiring passion for development of a thriving and positive student community where students do not have to feel like just a student number, but a member of the community.

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Over the past 10 years at the University of Hawai‘i’s Mānoa Advising Center (MAC), a number of small but significant changes have been made in the way that mandatory advising is offered—namely in format and tone—that have had a big impact in helping advisors to more efficiently and proactively assist their students.

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Academic advisors promote student development through providing readily accessible information and guidance to students and by helping them feel stimulated and challenged as they work toward meeting their academic goals. Academic advisors can also help students develop in other ways outside of a traditional advising appointment.

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The author remembers that his advisor never gave up on him.  Not only did that experience change his life, it also allowed him the opportunity to change the lives of others.

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High-achieving students come with great potential, but also great need for assistance, even though that may seem counter intuitive.  High-achieving students have challenges of their own, such as dealing with perfectionism and lack of guidance and support for lofty goals.

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Whether a student is attending a community college, a private liberal arts college, or anything in between, the inclusion of career competency or soft skill development into conversations with undecided students is important because it sets students up to apply, transfer, and integrate various aspects of their experiences.  

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A new academic advisor describes her experience creating an advising “tribe” at the NACADA Summer Institute.

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A team of advisors from Central Carolina Community College find an opportunity to tackle the challenges of creating consistent advising messages and approaches across a wide-spread campus community.

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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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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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