Advising Forum

The journal invites responses to periodic Advising Forum topics related to advising issues, philosophies, and trends. Each topic and the comments submitted by readers are archived and accessible indefinitely.

Collaborating with Student Affairs and Other Campus Partners

A student’s total educational experience refers to his or her engagement with a range of college/university learning opportunities potentially encompassing course work as well as student life, academic advising, career planning, and perhaps volunteering, clubs, research, global citizenship, education abroad, and internships. How can academic advising centers, student affairs units, and other campus partners work together to guide students toward this total experience? Can you share specific examples or know of successful programs?

What’s your …

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Keeping it real or bursting bubbles?

Sometimes students aim for goals and majors that seem highly improbable, and academic advisers may find it challenging to be the voice of reason– positive yet realistic– rather than be perceived as pessimistic and discouraging. How can advisers help students know themselves better and thoughtfully consider more plausible areas of study without stepping on their dreams? What should advisers keep in mind as they engage advisees in conversations about choices of majors and plans for the future?

What …

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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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The Group Advising Model

The foundation of most academic advising programs includes individual meetings with students; however, models across higher education are increasingly incorporating group advising sessions to conserve limited resources and ensure that critical information and tools reach larger populations of students when they need it. Group advising can offer advantages in terms of time, advising resources, and interactive learning potential but might also introduce concerns about missed opportunities to connect with students. Has your unit addressed the …

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First-Year Seminars and Academic Advising

First-year seminars at many colleges and universities aim to support new freshmen as they transition from high school to campus life. Does your institution’s formal curriculum include a focus on academic advising—what it means, where to find it, how to use it, and why it’s important? Should college campuses embed academic advising in first-year programs to ensure students understand it as a critical component of their education?

What is your opinion and what successful model(s) …

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Professional Development for Academic Advisers

Are you satisfied with the training resources available to you as an academic adviser? How did you “learn the ropes,” and how do you remain effective? Does your unit or campus offer formal instruction for new advisers; do you attend webinars, conferences, or workshops that review or introduce innovative strategies that support your advising practice; do you and your colleagues take part in research initiatives, informally compare notes, or read and discuss advising literature? Can …

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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Movement and Academic Advising

Recent interest in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement plus the burgeoning partnerships between dozens of universities and MOOC providers have sparked discussions across the country about what this might mean for higher education as we know it. Do you think MOOCs and related offerings within higher ed are influencing the kind and manner of advising assistance that students need and might change the direction of the academic advising profession? Is your institution involved in …

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Academic Advising and Career Counseling

Students often regard the educational planning process and the search for majors in terms directly related to specific jobs/careers, and they presume that conversations with academic advisers will naturally combine the undergraduate educational experience with career preparation. Is this expectation appropriate? Should academic advising and career counseling on college campuses work hand-in-hand? Should these two areas of expertise be more centralized or even operate within the same unit to provide one-stop guidance to students, or are they …

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Mandatory Academic Advising

Some institutions of higher education require their students to meet with academic advisers to help them navigate the institution’s policies and procedures and increase their chances of academic success. Such mandatory advising can help students stay on track academically and connect with people and opportunities at their college or university, however forced meetings of this kind might also be perceived as overly intrusive for students who are legally regarded as young adults. Such advising might …

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Is a Four-Year Program Easier Said Than Done?

Given the unsteady economy, rising costs of a college education, and concern by parents and students that a four-year program is easier said than done, are we doing students a disservice by encouraging them to explore interests and majors, perhaps change majors partway through school, and/or include co-curricular experiences like education abroad and internships? After all, their goal may be to streamline their college careers and enter the working world sooner rather than later. Can …

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     ISSN: 1521-2211