authored by:David S. Crockett
Management of Advising
Decide on an organizational model for the delivery of advising services which will designate authority, establish accountability, promote integration, and best meet student needs.
Designate a person as campus-wide director of coordinator of academic advising and allocate enough time to carry out the functions effective.
Given a 'decentralized advising system, consider establishment of a campus-wide Advising Coordinating Committee/Council.
Obtain administrative support and commitment for making improvements in the advising system.
- Develop materials and strategies designed to assist students to better understand what they should expect from the advising process
- Appoint a committee of advisors and administrators to design a comprehensive evaluation program which includes measurement of the effectiveness of the overall advising program as well as assessment of individual advisor performance.
- Obtain a consensus on the criteria that will be used to determine program and advisor effectiveness.
- Collect data in a manner that will ensure the most complete results (e.g., registration, common class period, etc.).
- Implement an 'intrusive' advising system that makes advisor/advisee contact mandatory at specific decision points in a student's academic career.
- Have advisors schedule, post, and keep regular office hours for meetings with advisees.
- Identify a method of determining the special advising needs of certain sub-populations of students and develop strategies for accommodating these needs through special advising services, offices, and/or advisors.
- Design a delivery system for academic advising that combines various delivery mechanisms in a manner most appropriate to you institutional setting and needs.
- Augment your regular academic advising delivery system through the use of carefully selected and trained peer advisors who are regularly evaluated and rewarded.
- Be certain that you have provided an advising 'home' for undeclared students and those many students who change their major after initial declaration.
- Establish a meaningful recognition/reward system for those involved in academic advising that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, consideration of advising effectiveness in making salary, promotion, and tenure decisions.
- Participate in the NACADA National Awards program for academic advising.
>Advisor Training and Development
- Conduct a 'needs assessment' to determine topics of greatest interest to advisors, and use this information in designing training activities.>
- Implement a comprehensive, regularly scheduled, on-going, in-service development program for all those involved in advising students.
- Select times for the training activity that are most convenient to advisors.
- Repeat training sessions for those advisors unable to attend for legitimate reasons.
- >Consider providing some form of incentives for those participating in training sessions.
- Design participatory training sessions that emphasize advisor involvement.
- Implement a self-study training program that can be used by advisors on an individual basis if needed.
- Develop or acquire stimulus materials (e.g., CDs, video cassettes, hand-outs, web sites) that will aid training efforts.
- In designing advisor training, integrate the content areas with the skill, experience and wiliness of the advisors.
- Publish periodic 'advising newsletters' containing items of interest to academic advisors.
- Mobilize appropriate campus resources and persons to assist in the training effort.
- Evaluate training activities thoroughly and modify future sessions on the basis of suggestions and comments of participants.
- Include in your advisor training program activities that will assist advisors in acquiring the skills necessary to become more effective 'developmental' advisors
Advising Information System
- Develop and communicate procedures for advisees and advisors to request changes in assignment, if desirable.
ACTION PLANNING GUIDE
When you have completed your review and consideration of the set of recommendations, you are ready to prepare for the implementation of improvements-the action step.
To produce any real payoff for you, your campus, and your students, the ideas you have gained through this audit must be converted into specific plans and actions unique to your campus.
This final worksheet is designed to guide you through this essential process. It is the most important part of your audit experience.
Review the previous list of recommendations.
List five recommendations which, in your judgment, should have priority for implementation at your institution.
What further analysis, if any, should be done before action is appropriate or possible on these recommendations?
Who will you need to contact individually to discuss steps leading to implementation the recommendations?
What are the possible support areas of obstacles to implementation on the campus?
What additional resources, if any, will be necessary before the recommendations can be implements?
Who needs to be involved if the recommendations are to be eventually implemented?
How will the proposal be presented?
What is the time-line for implementation?
David S. Crockett, Senior Vice President