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Improving Academic Advising: The Provosts Challenge

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Title: Improving Academic Advising: The Provosts Challenge


1
Improving Academic Advising The Provosts
Challenge
  • PRESENTERS
  • Dr. Mary Cullinan
  • Provost, Stephen F Austen State University
  • Dr. Leonard E. Lundquist
  • Provost, Lander University
  • Dr. David Podell
  • Provost, College of Staten Island

Winter AASCU Meeting, Charleston South Carolina,
Feb 2006
2
AGENDA
  • Overview M. Cullinan
  • Current Considerations and AASCU Data L.
    Lundquist
  • An Academic Program in Development Stephen F.
    Austin University - M. Cullinan
  • The College of Staten Island Model D. Podell
  • A Faculty Driven Model Lander University - L.
    Lundquist
  • Discussion Best Practices and Propositions

3
Academic Advising Challenges, Challenges,
Challenges!
  • Leonard E. Lundquist
  • AASCU Winter Meeting
  • Charleston South Carolina
  • February, 2006

4
ABSTRACT
  • The primary objective of this presentation is to
    demonstrate the challenges academic leaders face
    as they attempt to address the role(s) of
    academic advising on their campus.
  • This presentation will cover current
    definitions, ambiguities, and proposed
    relationships of academic advising to retention
    and academic success.
  • In addition, information on the patterns of
    academic advising in effect at 75 AASCU
    institutions will be presented with baseline
    data gathered by AASCU on incentives and reported
    effectiveness of academic advising programs.

5
Academic Advising The Challenges IT presents
for those in academic leadership roles?

Defining what it is and who will do
it Determining what the objectives for it will
be Finding the resources to support it Measuring
its successes and failures Adding value to it
6
Well --- What is IT?
  • IS IT -
  • SCHEDULING The simplistic view is that
    advising is simply the process through which
    students are told (advised) what courses they
    need to fulfill degree requirements.
  • MENTORING - The role of advisor versus mentor,
    the literature suggests, is merging/blending.
  • COUNSELING - Whether they want to be viewed as
    such, advisors are often looked upon by students
    as Counselors.

7
DEFINITION
  • Best Definition (One that I liked best)
  • Advising is the 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 p3)

Over 25 relevantly different definitions were
reviewed.
8
The Field of Academic Advising is Evolving
  • TWO PROMINENT ACADEMIC ADVISING CONSTRUCTS
  • Intrusive Academic Advising
  • means seeking out students to provide them
    with resources before they realize they need
    them.
  • (NACADA web site Appalachian State
    University)
  • Developmental Academic Advising
  • Is a systematic process based on a close
    student-advisor relationship intended to aid
    students in achieving educational, career, and
    personal goals through the utilization of the
    full range of institutional and community
    resources.
  • (Winston, Miller, Ender, Grites Associates
    1984)

9
Who Should Provide Academic Advisement?
  • L. Noel (1978) proposes that the availability
    and contact with faculty as advisors -
    correlate strongly with academic success.
  • In its 1995 report on quality and undergraduate
    education, the Education Commission of the States
    reports contact with faculty as one of the twelve
    (12) essential good practices that promotes
    academic success, regarding advising.
  • V. Tinto (1987) reports finding that low rates
    of student retention are associated with
    institutions in which students generally report
    low rates of student-faculty contact. And, he
    proposes that faculty are more likely to impact
    students who are withdrawal prone.

10
Although somewhat dated, a study of 200,000
students from 300 institutions of higher
education by Astin (1977) proposed that the
strongest relationship to student satisfaction
with the college experience was student-faculty
interaction. In summary, students value faculty
as role models and as individuals with the
knowledge base to help them best navigate their
way to the successful completion of their
academic programs.
11
Hurdles to Overcome in Implementing an Effective
Faculty Driven Advising Processes
Inadequately defined roles and importance of
academic advising to the mission of the
institution. Academic advising is for the most
part not a consideration in tenure and promotion
decisions. It is often not a contractual
obligation. Inadequate incentives or recognition
for effective advising.
12
Academic advising is most often not mentioned as
one of the required duties of faculty when
faculty positions are advertised. Purpose,
objectives, or missions for academic advising are
ill defined Training is inadequate Lack of
contact (insufficient time) with students
outside of the classroom.
13
DOES IT IMPACT RETENTION AND/OR ACADEMIC SUCCESS?
  • CONSIDERATIONS
  • Student Loss
  • In excess of 50 of first time freshmen withdraw
    from college after their first year ( Consortium
    for Student Retention Data Exchange, 1999)
  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Putting more resources into effecting improved
    advising is suggested to be more cost effective
    than increasing spending on recruitment (V.
    Tinto, 1987)
  • Contractual Obligation
  • In many cases (approximately 50) there are no
    contractual advising obligations in faculty
    contracts or in collective bargaining agreements
    (G. Teague T. Grites, 1980)

14
  • Staff
  • No information similar to faculty was found
    regarding employment duties for staff positions
  • Value
  • The Policy Center on the First Year of Advising
    (2003), reports that less than 12 of
    institutions surveyed (1000) provided incentives
  • Evaluation
  • Evaluation of academic advising is sporadic
    (E. Creamer and D. Scott, 2000)

15
Is that all there is to it?
  • Just a suggestion………….
  • Too many institutions view academic advising as
    the singular solution or magic potion for
    achieving student academic success!

1999 2000 Only 59 of Caucasians and 41 of
African Americans and Hispanics starting college
completed their degree. 2004 ACT Policy Report
16
Factors influencing Academic Success
(read retention)
  • The following factors contribute to high
    failure/withdrawal rates from college.
  • Lower socioeconomic success
  • Students who do not declare a major
  • Students living off campus (but not at home)
  • Low Academic Quality (low GPA) of the student
  • Non-traditional students
  • Need for remedial education
  • Need for financial resources

17
First generation students Single parents Working
Adults Part-Time Students Mother (lower level of
education lower retention) Income of parents
18
Low Educational Aspirations Type of
Institution Size of Institution Minority
Students (mostly males) Lack of Academic Self
Confidence Institutional Commitment Social
Support
19
Reflections
  • When too many students are not completing their
    degrees, the nation as a whole has a smaller pool
    of qualified people able to meet the demands of a
    highly complex technological work environment.
  • Therefore, it is imperative that post secondary
    institutions make concerted efforts to ensure
    that all students graduate.
  • (2004 ACT Policy Report)

20
AASCU Survey Data
  • Source American Association of State
    Colleges and Universities, Digest of
    Responses, February 3, 2005, Reference No
    05-01

21
CURRENT ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT PROTOCOLS IN EFFECT
AT 75 DIFFERENT AASCU INSTITUTIONS (Source
American Association of State Colleges and
Universities, Digest of Responses, February 3,
2005, Reference No 05-01)
FIGURE 1 ILLUSTRATES WHO ARE THE REPORTED
ACADEMIC ADVISORS ON AASCU CAMPUSES
22
Effectiveness of Academic Advising by Reporting
AASCU Institutions
Figure 2 This graph reports information
reported from 21 of 75 institutions surveyed.
23
Report on Incentives provided for Advisors
Figure 3 Data from 75 of 75 institutions
reporting
24
Stephen F Austen State University
Mary Cullinan 2006 Winter AASCU
Meeting Charleston, South Carolina
  • An Academic Program in Development

25
Current Organization at SFA for Advising
  • Undeclared Advising Center (staff advisors)
  • Departmental advising in majors
    (faculty advisors)

26
Gathering Data
  • NSSE (2 years)
  • FSSE (1 year)
  • Department chair survey
  • Student survey
  • Enrollment Management reports
  • Evaluation forms from Freshman Orientation
  • Feedback from SFA 101 (freshman seminar)
    students
  • Dialogue with deans, department chairs, and
    Committee on Advising

27
Issues Emerging From Data
  • Faculty not always available at key times
  • Variability of quality in departmental advising
  • Inconsistency of information in departmental
    advising
  • Some majors better served than others

28
Making Progress Provost-led Initiatives
  • Gathering data
  • Establishing First-Year Experience Initiative and
    Committee on Advising
  • Establishing advising workshops through Teaching
    Excellence Center and First-Year Orientation for
    faculty
  • Providing reference materials such as
    publications from the National Academic Advising
    Association

29
  • Working closely with Committee on
    Advising (with reps from faculty and staff) to
    discuss issues such as how to establish better
    on-line information for advisors and students
    how to improve advising at Freshman
    Orientation how to improve and mandate
    training and, more significantly, whether to
    move toward a more comprehensive staffed
    advising center.
  • Helping to make effective advising a
    priority in the culture of the campus

The End
30
LANDER UNIVERSITY
Leonard E. Lundquist 2006 Winter AASCU
Meeting Charleston, South Carolina
  • A FACULTY DRIVEN ACADEMIC ADVISING MODEL

31
Essential Components for an Effective Academic
Advising Program, Relying Predominantly on Faculty
  • Well articulated purpose/role
  • Contractual
  • Training
  • Criteria for effective advising
  • Incentives and Evaluation
  • Outcomes assessment
  • Staff Support
  • Administrative Support

32
CONCEPTUAL MODEL
33
(No Transcript)
34
(No Transcript)
35
Purpose or Role
  • Current
  • Variation by College
  • Primary role scheduling and Career
  • Counseling
  • Area needing Improvement
  • Adaptation of the advising process to the
    students served

36
Lander University Academic Advising
Contractual components
  • Faculty contracts reference obligations of
    academic advising for the contractual period.
  • At the end of each academic year, faculty are
    evaluated on their performance, which includes
    teaching, advising, scholarship, and service.
  • The obligation to advise is also included within
    Landers Faculty Handbook.

37
TRAINING
ADVISORS MANUAL 2005-2006 LANDER
UNIVERSITY Academic Advising Center Director, Ms.
Hollace R. Hubbard
www.lander.edu
38
Training Provided
  • New (first year) faculty hires are not allowed to
    advise students during their initial year of
    employment.
  • They are provided with orientation workshops
    their first week on campus
  • They are required to attend advising training
  • During the course of the first academic year
  • They are assigned a mentor for the first academic
    year
  • Towards the end of the first year, they may
    advise under the guidance of their mentor

39
Current Criteria for Effective Advising
  • The only criteria we are using to determine if
    our advising is effective are the retention rates
    from first year to second year, second year to
    third….etc.
  • Observations
  • Landers freshman to sophomore retention rates
    mirror the average national retention rates for
    public regional comprehensive Universities.
  • Landers retention (graduation rates) from
    sophomore to graduation are among the highest in
    the state.
  • Suggestion
  • Our challenge in getting freshman to return as
    sophomores is not a problem, or deficit of some
    intangible within our advising process. Instead,
    it is most likely a combination of some number
    of other factors.

40
The complete form may be found at
www.lander.edu/academicaffairs/documents/documents
/forms/deans20evaluations20formeffective20041
105.doc
Page 1 of 5 LANDER UNIVERSITY DEANS ANNUAL
EVALUATION OF FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO
BE COMPLETED BY MAY 15 OF EACH YEAR GENERAL
INFORMATION AND DIRECTIONS This evaluation is to
be conducted for all full-time non-tenure-track,
tenure-track, and tenured faculty members within
the Deans College. The evaluation is divided
into four (4) sections Teaching, Advising,
Scholarship, and Service. Each section contains
a table listing performance criteria (standards).
Those criteria in bold type are requirements of
the University. Each College Dean, after
consultation with the department chairs, may add
College/Department specific standards (criteria)
to each table, except for table III, Level 1.
Upon approval by the College Dean, a
college/department may list other standards in
Section I, so long as the last standard listed is
the Universitys standard Rating of overall
teaching for the academic year. To ensure that a
reader (evaluator) is able to clearly distinguish
the University standards from college/department
standards, please list all department or
department/college standards in non-bold
type. The College Dean is responsible for
rating the performance for each of the University
and College/Department standards by placing a
check mark in the category that best describes
the faculty members performance. If an
unsatisfactory or needs improvement is given for
any standard, indicate the reason(s) for the
rating. If a rating of meritorious/exemplary/outs
tanding is given in the summary for any section
evaluated, describe in detail the accomplishments
and the justifications for the rating. When the
evaluation is completed, give one copy to the
faculty member and place a copy in the Colleges
file. Send a copy of the evaluation and vitae to
the Office of Academic Affairs, to be placed in
the faculty members evaluation file.
41
The following is a portion of page two of Lander
Universitys faculty evaluation document
II. EVALUATION OF ADVISING
42
Student Evaluation of Advising
  • Currently, Each college uses an independently
    developed assessment tool.
  • The University is reviewing several tools, which
    if adopted would enable it to develop a common
    advising assessment tool.
  • Trac-Dat
  • LiveText
  • Homegrown tool!

FINIS
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