Academic Adviser Qualifications

What are, or should be, the minimum qualifications to become an academic adviser in higher education? What criteria are most critical? Are some qualifications “non-negotiable,” or are other experiences or combinations of education/training acceptable and perhaps desirable?

What is your opinion?

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  1. user gravatar
    Zoe

    I believe that as long as a student is maintaining a passing g.p.a and is passionate about advising their peers this is enough. Students need someone relatable to advise them. It is great to get advice from someone who is amazing at everything and has incredible work ethic but it can also be nice for struggling students to be advised by peers who know how they feel. I believe students who have had bumps along the way have more insight in terms of advising for how to avoid these bumps and what they would have done or are currently doing differently.

  2. user gravatar
    Marc Lowenstein

    Sorry I missed this topic when it was first posted.

    I don’t understand some folks’ conviction that a masters in education is necessary. That would rule out thousands of faculty who are advising effectively at many institutions. It would also exclude me.

    I do think a masters is a good idea, if only because it symbolically helps to put advisors closer to parity with other educators on campus, though probably not most tenure track faculty at 4-year schools. In this regard I think the more advisors have masters, the better for the field as a whole.

    Does the masters have any real, as opposed to symbolic, importance? Yes if it represents an understanding of the breadth of academic disciplines and methods of inquiry that will be represented at the advisor’s institution. No, in my opinion, if it’s in a narrow field and doesn’t represent any interdisciplinary context.

    Others have already made good points about the soft skills that advisors should have so I won’t repeat.

  3. user gravatar
    Cynthia Okawara

    -Master’s Degree in Education is essential
    -3-5 years of Higher Education experience
    -Ability to deliver interactive, quantity presentations
    -Ability to build rapport with students while maintaining a professionalism
    -Understanding of Student Development theories, basic counseling, and career development
    -Understanding of degree requirements and transfer (if CC) prerequisites
    -Ability to give students the tools needed to be independent
    -Ability to work holistically with each student to look at all aspects their academics including career choices and the “Big picture”
    -Active listener
    -Ability to discuss academic standards in a non-patronizing or non-judgmental manner
    -Understanding of intercultural communication, diverse populations, and cultural differences.

  4. user gravatar
    Brinnae Babineaux

    The minimum should be a master’s degree which is non-negotiable. Experiences include understanding the curriculum which will be discussed with advisees. It is desirable to have a Master’s in Education but that is not necessarily a requirement Good listening skills and being student-oriented are very important and desirable. Also experience working with different student populations and ethnic groups is an important skill. A willingness to join a professional association such as NACADA for professional growth is helpful.

  5. user gravatar
    Robin Burton

    Minimum requirements

    • Able to work with diverse groups of students
    • Experiences using holistic approaches to understanding students and processing student information
    • Three years of experience in higher education or comparable institution (negotiable)
    • Life-long learner
    • A student-centered individual
    • Able to effectively communicate with all stakeholders
    • Success in motivating students to fulfilling goals and finding their path to success

    bachelor’s degree required; master’s preferred

  6. user gravatar
    Christina Philbert

    I feel very strongly about having advising staff have a solid working knowledge of institutional and organizational culture.

 



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