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Academic Advising

Degree Audit Training
October 7 & 8 ~ 1:00-2:30pm

Registrar’s Office staff, Rebecca Porter and Erica Sundahl, will be holding a degree audit training in the Conference Center of the Student Center on October 7th and 8th for MSU faculty, staff and students from 1:00-2:30pm. Faculty training will be held from 1:00-1:30pm and student training from 1:30-2:30pm.

Advising First-Year Undecided Students: Research, Practice & Policy
Friday, September 13 from 12-1:30pm in Swain Hall, Rm 118

The first-year undecided student population warrants considerable attention from higher education administrators and educators. As a group, research indicates undecided students can be susceptible to lower academic achievement and persistence rates when compared to their counterparts who have declared majors. Nationally, first-year students also tend to have lower persistence rates with nearly one quarter of entering first-year students not persisting to their second year of college. This susceptibility takes on added importance given that the population of undecided students in higher education is rapidly increasing despite more academic options being offered. This growth becomes even more evident when you look at the incoming first-year class as a whole—the fact that at most institutions, undecided students represent as much as one third of the incoming first-year class.

This webinar will review the current literature on first-year undecided students. This includes identifying the diversity of needs among this group and challenging the “deficiency” perspective that argues that first-year undecided students tend to have lower academic achievement and persistence rates compared to their peers. In addition, this webinar will review some of the best practices employed in delivering high-quality academic advising services that address the identified needs of this group. Finally, the presenter will discuss the implication for future practice, research, and policy.

Participants will:

Dr. Kimberly S. Smith entered the field of higher education administration in 1996. In 1999, she joined Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as an administrator where she serves as the Director of the University Academic Advising Center. Dr. Smith’s primary responsibility in this position involves serving as the academic dean for the University Studies department, which is the academic “home” for students who are undecided about a major or want to explore a variety of degree programs before selecting a major.

In addition, Dr. Smith has been appointed to serve as the Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising where she provides leadership and coordination for university-wide programs and initiatives related to enhancing academic advising. She is responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing academic advising activities throughout the university community through administrative collaborations with the academic colleges, the University Academic Advising Center, and various other university stakeholders in support of undergraduate education. She has also served as the university's interim associate vice provost for academic support services where she provided university leadership for institutional support programs and services for students.

Dr. Smith has presented at the local, state, and national level at various professional conferences on topics related to assessment of advising, advising undecided students, utilization of technology in advising, developing an effective advising program for orientation, and changing an institution’s advising culture. She is the co-author of a chapter entitled “Applying Quality Educational Principles to Academic Advising.”