Academic Advising Focuses on Learning

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eric R. White, executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and associate dean for advising, along with Janet Schulenberg, a senior undergraduate studies adviser in DUS and programming coordinator for the First-Year Testing, Advising, and Consulting Program, contributed "Academic AdvisingA Focus on Learning" to the January/February 2012 issue of About Campus: Mapping a Course for Student Success. Their work highlights the importance of academic advising in guiding students toward success in higher education and illustrates the profession's ideal position to teach critical learning points to advisees.

White and Schulenberg articulate academic advising goals that are in keeping with potential learning outcomes identified by the National Academic Advising Association and represent "the ideal core of the academic advising experience." These outcomes range from learning the facts and steps involved in academic processes to recognizing the larger purpose of higher education and engaging in diverse learning experiences that inform lifelong decision making.

The authors specifically point out that while preparing to "enter the world of work is an obvious outcome, advising must help students see beyond their immediate occupational goals to the world outside their jobs." They further maintain that a student "should be prepared to take [his or her] place as an active participant in a democratic society rather than as a passive consumer of civic goods and services."

About Campus executive editor, Jean Henscheid, wrote that White and Schulenberg "demonstrate why [advisers] are increasingly being viewed as essential guides for students through the learning process when that process is seen as larger than the sum of its parts."

As higher education more fully recognizes academic advising in terms of teaching and learning, the process of identifying specific outcomes vis vis academic advising and appropriately assessing those outcomes becomes increasingly vital to the missions of colleges and universities across the nation.

Jointly published by Wiley and ACPA-College Student Educators International, About Campus focuses on issues that student affairs and academic affairs professionals work on to help students learn. Details about Academic AdvisingA Focus on Learning and About Campus: Mapping a Course for Student Success are available at