Mike McCauley, Ball State University
NACADA’s first European conference created a dose of déjà vu for me. While in Edinburgh, Scotland, for the NACADA conference conducted in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Higher Education Academy (HEA), I learned that Paula Hixenbaugh of the University of Westminster in England had initiated the first conference on “Personal Tutoring” (their term for academic advising) in 2005 after thinking it would be exciting to have a meeting for those across the United Kingdom involved in personal tutoring. Paula approached the Higher Education Academy, and they agreed to sponsor such a meeting. Expecting a small group, the organizers were surprised when it sold out.
My déjà vu feelings came from knowing that 30 short years ago, Toni Trombley (pictured at left), then at the University of Vermont, had initiated a similar meeting for persons involved in academic advising in higher education in the United States and, expecting a few colleagues, was also surprised when registrations “sold out” at 275 when the facility could accommodate no more.
The Vermont conference led to a group of individuals forming NACADA, whereas this year’s co-sponsored conference in Edinburgh is leading to the globalization of NACADA! Leaders representing NACADA and the HEA have agreed to continue the partnership, which initially will lead to an annual conference to be held alternately in the UK and North America to enhance the collaboration and sharing of best practices in enhancing student success through effective academic advising/personal tutoring.
In Edinburgh, we learned that although our terminology differs, our mission is the same, and we can benefit from an exchange of information. Seventeen NACADA colleagues from California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, along with a member from British Columbia and three members from Kuwait, attended the conference. NACADA President Susan Campbell (University of Southern Maine) gave the keynote address, Past-President Nancy King (Kennesaw State University) presented a workshop, Associate Director Charlie Nutt and I participated on a panel with two colleagues from the UK, and Tom Kenyon (Indiana University-Bloomington), Mark Beecher (Brigham Young University), Karen Sullivan-Vance (Western Oregon University), Sarah Ann Hones (Southern Oregon University), Lesley Leppert (CUNY-Borough of Manhattan Community College), Erwin Wong (CUNY-Borough of Manhattan Community College), and Darren Francis (University College of the Fraser Valley) presented concurrent sessions. Ninety-five professionals from England, Scotland, and Wales were in attendance, making it a very successful conference.
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.
Just as NACADA has grown to almost 10,000 members, I expect this partnership to further swell the ranks of NACADA’s international members – further increasing the visibility of advising and enhancing student success. Deja vu!
Ball State University
Office of Academic Systems
Cite this article using APA style as: McCauley, M. (2007, September). Déjà vu in the United Kingdom. Academic Advising Today, 30(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]