Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
As we wind down a season of 10 highly successful NACADA region meetings and move into our NACADA Summer Institutes and then our Annual Conference in Louisville, it is exciting to see NACADA continue to grow in size and impact in higher education globally as well as to see how the importance of academic advising on our campuses is being more highly regarded. NACADA’s growth and the important role of academic advising in higher education is directly impacted by the involvement of each of you in our association and our profession.
Whether you are new to academic advising and a new member of NACADA or an experienced academic advisor and an experienced member of NACADA, your involvement in our association and our profession is needed, desired, and essential to our field and your growth in the profession. However, we know as our association grows in size, it may be more difficult and intimidating to find your path to involvement. Just like our first-year students or our graduating students, it is important to understand clearly what is the best path for you personally to involvement in NACADA. That is the first step which is recognizing that everyone’s path may be different and may be determined by the individual’s own goals, institution, or role at the institution. I began my NACADA career and involvement at the region level by connecting with my home region of Region 4 back in 1992. It was the obvious place for me as connecting with the academic advising community in my own state of Georgia and the other states in Region 4, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama (now includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) was important to me personally. As a relatively new faculty advisor charged with “improving the quality of academic advising,” I clearly had a directive that drove my immediate involvement in NACADA and the profession.
The second step I encourage members and academic advisors to take is to explore the NACADA website fully to understand the variety of ways to get involved and to gain the quality professional development you personally may need. Once again, just like with our students at our institutions, it is important to have explored all the opportunities that are available to you as a NACADA member. That may include NACADA events and publication information and opportunities as well as finding the Region, Academic Advising Community or Committee or Advisory Board which you think would be of benefit to you at this time. It is important to understand that your involvement may change and should grow as you learn more about NACADA and the academic advising profession.
And the third step is to meet and connect with new colleagues at your very first opportunity – whether that be at a NACADA event or on your own campus. While NACADA is a large association, I strongly believe that it is an easy one in which to connect with new colleagues and friends. We are all connected to the field of academic advising and student success in some way, and who could be more understanding of the importance of that personal connection for success in any endeavor than all of us? Share your business cards quickly and then follow up with a note or an email to those new colleagues and friends with whom you have connected. You will find that everyone in NACADA is as excited about your involvement and success as you are about your students.
I strongly encourage all of you to take part in our next free NACADA Virtual Town Hall Friday, June 14 -- Finding Your NACADA Major: Taking Your Next Steps in the Organization. The presenters and panelists will outline for you their own personal experience and additional ways to find your path in NACADA and the profession.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising