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Bottomsup: Techniques in Creating an Ongoing, Campuswide Academic Advisor Training Program


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Title: Bottomsup: Techniques in Creating an Ongoing, Campuswide Academic Advisor Training Program

Bottoms-up Techniques in Creating an Ongoing,
Campus-wide Academic Advisor Training Program
  • NACADA Annual Conference
  • October 6, 2005

ACT (1984)
  • Academic advising is a developmental process
    which assists students in the clarification of
    their life/career goals and in the development of
    educational plans for the realization of these
    goals. It is a decision-making process by which
    students realize their maximum educational
    potential through communication and information
    exchanges with an advisor it is ongoing,
    multifaceted, and the responsibility of both
    student and the advisor.

  • Academic advising is a planning process that
    helps students to approach their education in an
    organized and meaningful way. Advising brings
    together all of the major dynamics in a students
    life. Edward Chip Anderson. (Noel-Levitz,
    1997, p. 1 3.)

  • Academic advising is a process of teaching
    students how to become responsible consumers of
    their own educations. Its also a process that
    involves teaching students how to make viable
    academic decisions. Juliet Kaufmann
    (Noel-Levitz, 1997, p. 1 3.)
  • Advising is a process of giving students
    guidance, support and encouragement.
    (Noel-Levitz, 1997, p. 3.)
  • Advising is a process of helping students
    diminish the confusion that comes with a new
    environment, clarify their goals and get the most
    out of their education. (Noel-Levitz, 1997, p. 3.)

NACADA Core Values
  • Advisors are responsible to the individuals they
  • Advisors are responsible for involving others,
    when appropriate, in the advising process.
  • Advisors are responsible to their institutions.
  • Advisors are responsible to higher education.
  • Advisors are responsible to their educational
  • Advisors are responsible for their professional
    practices and for themselves personally.

The Need for an On-going Campus-wide Training
  • No campus-wide training program has existed in
    the last 10 years at NSU
  • Dissemination of advising information did not
    occur between academic units
  • April 2004 - An executive summary of NSUs
    academic advising program, highly recommended the
    need for a campus-wide training program.

Noel-Levitz Consultant Recommendations
  • Recommendation 1
  • Establish a new standing university-wide
    Academic Advising Council (AAC) to improve the
    communication, coordination, and focus on all
    academic advising-related issues and concerns.

Noel-Levitz Consultant Recommendations (cont.)
  • Recommendation 2
  • Initial charge to NSUs Academic Advising
    Council (AAC) would include
  • Conduct a critical review, discuss, and
    prioritize the consultants recommendations.
  • Develop and successfully implement a Northwestern
    State University academic advising plan.

Training Program Schedule
  • Train the Trainer Academic Advising for Student
    Success Retention, April 5-6, 2005 (Noel-Levitz
    Senior Associate)
  • Super Advising Workshops, August 15-19, 2005
    (Academic Advising Council)
  • Fall Advising Workshops, October 24-28, 2005
    (Academic Advising Council)

Campus-wide Mission of Academic Advising
University Mission
  • Northwestern State University is a responsive,
    student-oriented institution that is committed to
    the creation, dissemination, and acquisition of
    knowledge through teaching, research, and
    service. The University maintains as its highest
    priority excellence in teaching in graduate and
    undergraduate programs.
  • Northwestern State University prepares its
    students to become productive members of society
    and promotes economic development and
    improvements in the quality of life of the
    citizens in its region.

Academic Advising Mission
  • Northwestern State University believes that
    academic advising can provide a positive impact
    on student success and retention. Academic
    advising fosters intellectual growth and
    development by providing students with trained
    advisors and guidance to help them make sound

The Relationship Advising Retention/Graduation
  • Astin (1977,1993) determined that the
    persistence or retention rate of students is
    greatly affected by the level and quality of
    their interactions with peers as well as faculty
    and staff.
  • "Academic Advising is the only structured
    activity on the campus in which all students have
    the opportunity for one-to-one interaction with a
    concerned representative of the institution"
    (Habley, 1981).
  • It is the people who come face-to-face with
    students on a regular basis who provide the
    positive growth experiences for students that
    enable them to identify their goals and talents
    and learn how to put them to use. The caring
    attitude of college personnel is viewed as the
    most potent retention force on a campus (Noel,

Ethics of Advising
  • Do more good than harm.
  • Treat all individuals equally, granting no one
    extra rights or privileges.
  • Show respect and give appropriate attention to
    each individual.
  • Live up to the commitments that you have made.
  • Enhance the advisees ability to make decisions
  • Support the educational philosophy and policies
    of the institution.

Legal Aspects of Advising
  • The right to inspect and review the student's
    education records within 45 days of the day the
    University receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the
    students education records that the student
    believes is inaccurate or misleading.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally
    identifiable information contained in the
    student's education records, except to the extent
    that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • One exception which permits disclosure without
    consent is disclosure to school officials with
    legitimate educational interest.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U. S.
    Department of Education concerning alleged
    failures by state university to comply with the
    requirements of FERPA.

Informational Skills
  • School Specific
  • Scheduling
  • Navigating the system
  • Utilizing the system
  • Procedural (institutional policies, drop/add,
    dates and deadlines)
  • Development of Individual Advising Plans (IAP)

Relational skills Characteristics of the
advising relationship
  • Background
  • Beyond course registration and scheduling,
  • the academic advisor is the institutional
    representative most responsible for assuring that
    advisees know how to seek out the greatest
    possible benefits from higher education.
  • An effective academic advisor is one who learns
    and applies the relational skills.

Relational skills, cont.
  • There are 3 global themes in developing this
    advisor/advisee relationship
  • 1. Assessing, achieving, and maintaining
    academic competence.
  • 2. Planning and implementing active personal
    involvement in co-curricular offerings.
  • That is, take advantage of out-of-classroom
  • 3. The validation or exploration and
    identification of an academic major that has
    meaningful regard to life goals and objectives.

Relational skills, cont.
  • Ways to accomplish the global themes
  • Interviewing skills
  • Rapport-building skills
  • 1. Physical environment
  • 2. Preparedness
  • 3. Nonverbal communication
  • 4. Verbal communication
  • Attending behaviors
  • Listening
  • Questioning skills

Interviewing Skills
  • Structured interviews seek to implement a
    problem-solving model
  • Stages of the interview
  • (see handout)
  • Starting the interview
  • Assessment of readiness to establish goals and
    goal identification
  • Assessment of strengths and weaknesses
  • Written objectives for goal accomplishment
  • Establishing a timetable
  • Goal completion

Rapport-building Skills
  • The prerequisite skill in any advising
    relationship is effective, empathetic
  • Rapport-building skills include
  • 1. Physical environment (your office)
  • 2. Preparedness
  • 3. Nonverbal communication
  • 4. Verbal communication
  • Attending behaviors
  • Listening

Rapport-building skills, cont.
  • Physical environment (your office)
  • Overall attractiveness of your office
  • Clutter-free environment
  • Comfortable chairs, location of your desk
  • Brightness
  • Noise level
  • Location
  • All of this conveys positive or negative images,
    thereby making the students feel welcome and
    comfortable or vice versa

Rapport-building skills, cont.
  • 2. Preparedness things you can do to make
    students aware you are prepared for them
  • Be on time
  • Welcome the student by name.
  • Have the advisees file available
  • Recall previous conversations you may have had
  • Ask about some details of the students life

Rapport-building skills, cont.
  • 3. Nonverbal communication
  • Two thirds of communication is nonverbal
  • Includes
  • Smiling
  • Frowning
  • Laughing
  • Crying
  • Standing close to others
  • Posture
  • Gestures
  • Mannerisms
  • Your voice

Rapport-building skills, cont.
  • 4. Two types of verbal communication
  • Attending behaviors
  • b. Listening
  • Attending behaviors Refers to the ways in which
    the advisor can be with their advisee.
  • SOLAR (see handout)
  • b. Listening Refers to the advisors ability to
    understand the messages the advisee'
  • (1) taking in information
  • (2) acknowledging the speaker
  • (3) encouraging input to the talkers response
  • Levels of listening (see handout)

Questioning skills
  • Questioning is a tool that can open new areas for
  • Four different types of questions
  • (see handout)
  • Open questions
  • Closed questions
  • Clarifying questions
  • Continuing (key) questions

Advising Special Populations
  • Honor Students
  • Athletes
  • Adult Students
  • Students in Academic Difficulty
  • Students with Disability

The Importance of Making Referrals
Question and Answer
Presenters Dr. Susan Barnett Assistant
Professor, Psychology Mr.
Steven Hicks Coordinator, General Studies
Disability Services
Dr. Chris Maggio Director, Alumni
Affairs Mr. Jeremy
Thomas Coordinator, Academic Center thomasjr_at_nsula
  • Astin, A.W. (1977). What matters most in college
    Four critical years. San Francisco Jossey-Bass.
  • Astin, A.W. (1993). What matters most in
    collegeFour critical years revisited. San
    Francisco Jossey-Bass.
  • Burley-Allen, M. (1982). Listening The forgotten
    skill. New York, NY John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

  • Crockett, D.S. (Ed.). (1982). Advising skills,
    techniques, and resources. Iowa City, IA
    American Testing Corporation.
  • Habley, Wes. (1981). "Academic Advising Critical
    Link in Student Retention." NASPA Journal ,
    28(4) 45-50.

  • Hovland, M., Anderson, E., McGuire, W.G.,
    Crockett, D., Kaufman, J., Wood, D. (2004).
    Academic Advising for student Success and
    Retention. Iowa City, IA Noel-Levitz.
  • NACADA. (2004). NACADA Statement of Core Values
    of Academic Advising. Retrieved September 1, 2005
    from NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising
    Resources Web site http//