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Reaffirming the Role of Academic Advising in Promoting Student Success ARKAAN Conference May 4, 2007


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Title: Reaffirming the Role of Academic Advising in Promoting Student Success ARKAAN Conference May 4, 2007

Reaffirming the Role of Academic Advising in
Promoting Student Success ARKAAN Conference May
4, 2007 Tom Brown www.tb
Teachers touch eternity. They never know where
their influence stops. Henry Adams
Although faculty are formally designated as
teachers, there are circumstances where others in
the campus community are also teachers….
Professor Burns Crookston, University of
The Professional Faculty classification comprises
a large and diverse group of faculty positions
such as administration, academic advisors,
psychological counselors to name a
few. Oregon State University
Teaching and advising need to be part of a
seamless process, sharing the same intellectual
sphere, informed by a relatively consistent
educational philosophy.
Robert M. Berdahl, Historian
and President University of California,
Berkeley Teaching
Through Academic Advising A Faculty
Perspective, 1995
Educators are in the dream business…
  • Shared Latin Roots
  • Advise Vision
  • Videre to see, to look at

Advising Providing information intended to
improve the well being of people….
Websters Third International Dictionary
Excellence as outcomes…. We want to be known
more for the students we include than for those
we exclude…. Dr. Michael Crow,
President Arizona State University
Community colleges are on the front lines of
American higher education in providing increased
opportunities for students who otherwise would be
denied access…. Tom Brown Mario Rivas New
Directions for Community Colleges, 1993
Community colleges make winners out of ordinary
people. Leslie Koltai, 1993
Increasing student persistence and success is a
continuing concern in higher education…
The graduation rates of Arkansas college students
must be improved and Institutions that are
successfully graduating students should be
recognized for their efforts and
achievements…. Arkansas Senate Bill 288, 2005
An institution shall be eligible for incentive
funding if its graduation rate shows improvement
over the previous year…. An act to improve
retention and graduation rates at public
colleges and universities. ASB 288, 2005
Effective July 2009 A statewide coordinated plan
that uses incentive funding to improve retention
and graduation rates at public institutions of
higher education is necessary to enhance
productivity and empower Arkansans to compete in
the global economy.
1960s and 1970s Access
  • 1980s and 1990s Access and Retention
  • Into the Future Access, Persistence and

The core question is not about basic access to
higher education… It is not about
persistence… It is about completion of academic
credentialsthe culmination of opportunity,
guidance, choice, effort and commitment. Paths
to Degree Completion, 2/14/2006
Less than 57 of students earn a degree from
their first institution of enrollment. One Step
From the Finish Line The Education Trust,
January 2005
National Graduation Rates Two-year
Public 30.1 Four-year Public
BA 40.4 Four-year Public MA 38.1 Four-year
Public Ph.D 46.8 Four-year Private
BA 56.2 Four-year Private MA 55.4 ACT
Institutional Data File, 2005
Arkansas Graduation Rates Four-year
Public MA (5) 38.1 30-40 Four-year Public
BA (2) 40.4 30-43 Four-year Public Ph.D
(2) 46.8 21-56 Four-year Private BA (6) 56.2
20-68 Four-year Private MA (2) 55.4 60-61
Education Trust, 2007
About 20.8 percent of students who enrolled in
two-year colleges in Arkansas in 2003 have
completed their degree. Dale Ellis, Arkansas
Department of Higher Education, May 3, 2007
77 of high income students 54 of low income
students graduate in six years. One Step From
the Finish Line The Education Trust, January 2005
The idea that the offspring of the poor have
chances as good as the offspring of the rich,
well thats not true. It is not respectable in
scholarly circles anymore to make that
argument…. Gary Solon, Economist University
of Michigan New York Times, May 15, 2005
40 of first generation students leave college
without a degree….they are more likely to come
from low income families. US Department of
Education, August 2005
16 of Arkansans are below poverty
level 22 of children under 17 are below
poverty level Source 2000 Census
Three terms used interchangeably

  • The process of holding or keeping in ones

The process or state of being gradually worn down.
Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange Library of
Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
reproduction number LC-USF34-9058-C
To continue to exist or prevail, especially where
others have not
Why students leave college Traditional rationale
  • Psychological factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Societal factors
  • Institutional factors
  • What about us?
  • What about me?

Institutions are far more likely to attribute
attrition to student characteristics than to
institutional characteristics. What Works In
Student Retention, 2004
We build beautiful campuses,
  • We hire distinguished faculty,

? We develop a challenging curriculum…
then the wrong students show up! Dr. Betty
Siegel, President
Kennesaw State University
What happens to students after they enroll
frequently has a more powerful impact on whether
they stay and achieve their goals or leave.
Tinto 1987, 1993
Talking About Leaving 40 leave
engineering 50 leave biological sciences 60
leave mathematics Why undergraduates leave
the sciences E. Seymour N. Hewitt, 1997
Talking About Leaving Students with 650 Math
SATs 40 leave engineering 50 leave
biological sciences 60 leave mathematics
Why undergraduates leave the sciences E.
Seymour N. Hewitt, 1997
Why do students leave college?
  • Incongruence
  • What they encounter is not what they expected….

Why do students leave college?
  • Isolation
  • Inability to connect with significant members of
    the campus community….

No student service is mentioned in retention
research more often as a means of promoting
student persistence than academic advising. The
Strategic Management of College
Enrollments Hossler and Bean, 1990
Making the Most of College Good advising may
be the single most underestimated characteristic
of a successful college experience…. Richard
Light, 2001
The more contact students have with their
teachers, the more likely they are to learn
effectively and to persist toward achievement of
their educational goals…. Community College
Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), 2005
I assumed the that the most important and
memorable academic learning goes on inside the
classroom. The evidence shows the opposite is
  • When we asked students to think of a specific
    critical incident or moment that had changed them
    profoundly, four-fifths of them chose a situation
    or event outside the classroom. Richard
    Light, Harvard University Making the Most of
    College, 2001

2006 National Student Satisfaction Report
  • Conducted by Noel-Levitz, Inc.
  • 900 colleges and universities
  • 680,000 students responded
  • What do students expect from their colleges?

Next to the quality of instruction, academic
advising is consistently the next-most-important
are of the college experience to students, ahead
of financial aid, registration, and campus
safety. Noel Levitz, 2007
National Student Satisfaction Report Four-year
Public Institutions
  • Academic advising (6.30)
  • Instructional effectiveness (6.29)
  • Safety and security
  • Registration effectiveness
  • Recruitment and financial aid
  • Concern for the individual
  • Campus climate
  • Student centeredness
  • Campus support services

National Student Satisfaction Report Four-year
Private Institutions
  • Instructional effectiveness (6.31)
  • Academic advising (6.26)
  • Safety and security
  • Registration effectiveness
  • Student centeredness
  • Recruitment and financial aid
  • Campus climate

89 of respondents say that academic advising is
somewhat or very important. CCSSE, 2007
The importance of academic advising and planning
is well documented and plays a key role in
students choosing to return to school the next
day, next month and next year…. CCSSE, 2007
Comprehensive Support Programs
High Quality Teaching
Developmental Academic Advising
Academic advising is assisting students to share
the responsibility for academic planning with
faculty, with students finally being able to find
their own answers and use their advisors as
sounding boards. Academic Advising for
Student Success Susan Frost, 1991
Changing Environment Changing Students 1st
Year 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 1st Year 2nd
year 3rd Year
Need for Information
Changing Needs for Advising
Need for Consultation
Moving In Moving Through Moving On
I I/S I/S S/I S I Academic
advisors, faculty, counselors, etc. S
Student Changing Contexts for
  • Lynch, 1989 Brown Rivas, 1994 Creamer, 2000
    Brown, 2005

Students need the support of advising programs
and academic advisors as they make three critical
  • Moving into college
  • Moving through college
  • Moving on from college

Helping students move into college is far and
away the most important responsibility for
academic advisors Chickering, 1994
Adult students often recycle through
developmental issues faced by younger students.
Chickering and Reisser, 1993
Inwardly, adult students relate to teachers as
elders, even if the age difference is reversed…
they may be as apprehensive as younger students
tend to be. Parker Palmer The
Courage to Teach, 1998
What are some issues that academic advisors
should address with students as they move into
Students usually have a realistic understanding
about the demands of academic work and what is
required to be successful. (n 1587)
Strongly agree/agree 20
Disagree/strongly disagree 61
Brown Advising Survey, 2001-2007
Do students understand what is required to be
successful in college?
  • I believe that non-traditional students require a
    complete overview of what is needed in order to
    succeed in college. Brown Advising
    Survey, 2001-2007

Do students understand what is required to be
successful in college?
  • Most of them dont have a clue! They see college
    work as an extension of high school, and for most
    of them high school involved little effort.
    Brown Advising Survey, 2001-2007

35 reported A/A- as their average high school
  • 83 earned a B average or higher.
  • 60.8 expect to earn at least a B average in
    college. 2005 CIRP Survey

Grades A and B are sometimes given too
readily--Grade A for work of not very high merit
and grade B for work not above mediocre…
One of the chief obstacles to raising
standards is the readiness with which students
gain passable grades for sham work. Report of
the Committee on Raising the Standard, Harvard
  • 1894

Do students understand what is required to be
  • How many hours did you study during a typical
    week in your last year of high school?
  • 9 More than 10 hours
  • 77 Five hours or less
  • 49 Less than two hours a week!!
    2005 CIRP Survey-Public four-year

Do students understand what is required to be
  • 38 of full-time students spent five hours or
    less per week preparing for class. CCS
    SE, 2007

Students have a realistic understanding of what
is required to be successful. My favorite
comment from students This is way not
high school…. Brown Advising Survey,
Most students are never taught how to study. We
call it the hidden curriculum. Marcy
Fallon University of Maryland, 2002
Preparing for a big test
  • Say a prayerthats what I do.
  • Eat lots of peanut butter or other brain foods.
  • Listen to Enya the night before a
    test. Chronicle of Higher
    Education December 6, 2002

I have to teach students how to study before I
can get to course content… Brown Advising
Survey, 2001-2007
Many undergraduates come to college skeptical
about the importance of higher education. They
know they want a degree, but they are not quite
sure they want an education. David Chapman,
Dean Samford University, CHE, 9/12/03
Students usually usually recognize the value of
general education/core requirements. (n 1555)
Strongly agree/agree 21
Disagree/strongly disagree 52
Brown Advising Survey, 2001-2007
Field of Study vs. Major
The question students seek to answer through
  • NOT….
  • What courses do I need to take?

The question students should seek to answer
through advising...
  • How do I want to live my life?
  • What can I do at this college/university to help
    me move toward this vision of my future?

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and
precious life? Summer Mary Oliver
Role of Criticism Students need to be willing to
receive a critique of their work without
perceiving it as an attack on their integrity,
intelligence or creativity… Faculty Viewpoint
Understanding University Success, 2003
Students are afraid afraid of failing, of not
understanding, of having their ignorance exposed
or their prejudices challenged, of looking
foolish in front of their peers…. Parker
Palmer The Courage to Teach, 1998
Role of failure Those students who do well in my
class arent afraid to fail. If they read a
problem and dont instantly know how to do it,
they dont quit or feel embarrassed. They
understand that theyre not failing the course
because of a failed experiment. Faculty
Viewpoint Understanding University Success,
Paving Roads to Success Helping students
redefine what it means to be successful….
Today's students understand that college is
important to their success in the work force, but
they do not recognize its role in preparing them
as citizens, community participants, and
thoughtful people…. They view college as a
private rather than a public good.
Putting Liberal Education on the Radar Screen
Carol Schneider Debra Humphreys, AACU
Chronicle of Higher Education 9/21/05
Its easy to make a dollar its hard to make a
Dare to Change the World
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Mother Teresa
  • Elie Weisel
  • Rigoberta Menchu
  • Dalai Lama
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Takichiro Mori
  • Memberangati Hari Puja
  • Jacqueline Mars Badger
  • Karl Albrecht
  • Paul Allen
  • Warren Buffett

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of
intelligent people and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends, to
appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to
leave the world a bit better, whether by a
healthy child, a garden patch…to know that even
one life has breathed easier because you have
lived. This is to have succeeded! Emerson
Students dont have interactions with
…to know that even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived. This is to have
succeeded! Emerson
Reaffirming the Role of Academic Advising in
Promoting Student Success ARKAAN Conference May
4, 2007 Tom Brown www.tb