Penn State Academic Advisers Author Chapter on Branding

Monday, October 31, 2011

Division of Undergraduate Studies academic advisers recently authored a key chapter in the 2011 monograph Academic Advising Administration: Essential Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century, published by the National Academic Advising Association. The book is a comprehensive guide for administrators leading academic advising offices at institutions of higher education across the nation.

"This monograph features knowledgeable insights for administrators who are newly promoted or hired," said co-editors Jennifer Joslin and Nancy Markee, "and also offers depth and layers of meaning for veteran administrators who are ready to learn new approaches and sharpen their understanding of essential skills."

Contributing authors at Penn State were Division of Undergraduate Studies executive director Eric White, assistant dean for advising Linda Higginson, and communications director Deborah Oakes. They collaborated on the chapter entitled "Creating Communications and Advertising Strategies: Building a Brand," which addresses the importance of developing and implementing an identity or brand within an academic advising unit.

"Building a brand that reflects consistent images and messages is an important strategy that can help to shape a program's overall marketing plan," the article contends. "A brand defines and embodies a program's core messages and philosophies" and when properly implemented is reflected in advisers' day-to-day conversations and decision making as well as the unit's publications and websites.

Critical questions addressed in the chapter to guide administrators' branding endeavors include why is branding important, when and where should advising programs use branding, who are an advising unit's target audiences, what branding challenges exist, how can an advising program assess the impact of its brand, and how can a unit start to develop a brand?

Further details about Academic Advising Administration: Essential Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century are available at