Karen Archambault, NACADA President
Sometimes as advisors, on even the most well-intentioned of campuses, we can feel like no one understands the challenges of our position and our work with students. In the daily grind of working with students, isolation, frustration, and even disillusionment can easily creep in. It is at those times when we need collaboration, camaraderie, and just plain understanding the most.
When I speak to those outside the organization about my NACADA family, I often get questions about how we became so close: what is it about these people I see only a few times a year that makes me identify them as some of my closest friends, my colleagues, my confidants for more than just advising related questions? I have struggled to find the right answer. What I have come up with is that the ability to understand what advisors give to students and what we need to sustain ourselves is uniquely our own; those who have never worked with students one on one—who have never taken on the challenges, pains, and successes of students as their own—simply cannot understand what an advisor needs.
The limited number of people—these strong and mighty few—who understand what advisors go through necessitates that we find ways to join together. Certainly each fall the Annual Conference brings several thousand people together and the spring and summer bring together smaller numbers at the regional and international conferences. But those are just a few of the many ways NACADA members come together both in companionship and in support. To highlight just a few of the ways to stay connected:
- Plan to attend a summer institute. These (along with the winter institutes) are a great way to jumpstart your team’s efforts toward student success, but also give you opportunities to connect with those across the country who are addressing problems similar to those that challenge your campus. This year, the institutes are held in Lexington, KY and Little Rock, AR
- Attend a state or local drive in. These are already beginning to crop up for 2019, and they are a great and inexpensive way to connect close to home. Not only can you connect with advisors in your area, but you can also get great professional development at a really reasonable rate.
- Nominate someone for an award. That advisor in your office who you think does amazing work? That graduate student you wanted to encourage? Connect them to you and to NACADA through the Global Awards program. Deadlines are coming up quickly.
- Read an article, share it, and contact the author. The NACADA Clearinghouse provides a wealth of information, but do not just read it and think about it on your own—pass along a great article to a friend, colleague, or NACADA family member! Send an email to the author to ask a follow up question or to just say you appreciated their work.
Your NACADA membership gives you so much, and perhaps most important of this is the ability to connect professionally. If you are not sure where to start, connect with me, at email@example.com. I would be happy to hear from you.
Karen Archambault, President, 2018-2019|
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Success
Rowan College at Burlington County
Cite this article using APA style as: Archambault, K. (2019, March). From the president: On the value of coming together. Academic Advising Today, 42(1). Retrieved from [insert url here]