2013-14 Advisor Workshop Presentations
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.
- Discuss the significance of the various classification systems and nomenclature associated with undecided students
- Identify needs of first-year undecided students
- Examine multiple approaches used to providing advising services and programs to this population
- Highlight best practices in advising first-year undecided students
- Recommend considerations for future practice, research, and policy development relative to this population
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.”
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.
Degree Audit Training
March 3 & 4 ~ 1:00-2:30pm in Conference Center, Missouri Room
The Registrar’s Office will be holding degree audit training for both faculty and students this spring. The training will be held on March 3rd and 4th from 1:00-2:30 with faculty training at 1:00 and student training at 1:30 in the Missouri Room of Conference Center. Please come learn how to use this great tool which will assist you in the work you do as an academic advisor!
Intrusive Academic Advising: An Effective Strategy to Increase Student
Tuesday, March 11 from 12-1:30pm in the Student Affairs Conference Room – 1st floor Administration
The Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Surveys find academic advising to be among students’ top priorities. Students in public universities identify advising as their number one concern. For students in private college, it is their number two concern and for community college students, it stands at number three. Research from the National Surveys of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) conclude that the more interaction students have with faculty and staff, the more likely they are to learn effectively and persist toward achievement of their educational goals. These findings have led an increasing number of colleges and universities to implement intrusive, proactive, or invitational academic advising as a central element in their efforts to increase student engagement, persistence, and success. This advising approach means that campuses—through instructional faculty, academic advisors, counselors, and programs—take the initiative to reach out to students to provide advice, support, referral, and assistance, rather than waiting for students to seek help.
Intrusive Academic Advising does not mean “hand holding” or the return of in loco parentis. Rather, it suggests that faculty, counselors, academic advisors, and others demonstrate an active concern for students’ academic progress and a concomitant willingness to assist students to understand and utilize programs and services that can increase the likelihood for their success. Intrusive Academic Advising programs and advisors understand that many students, especially those who may be at greater risk for dropping out, often do not seek assistance in time for the assistance to have a positive impact on their progress. This is especially true for students who are first-year, first-generation, undecided, underprepared, or otherwise at greater risk for leaving college.
This webinar will consider the principles, philosophy, outcomes, best practices, and successful implementation of Intrusive Academic Advising at two- and four-year colleges across the U.S.
Participants will be able to:
- Learn the principles and philosophy of Intrusive Academic Advising
- Review how and why Intrusive Academic Advising impacts student achievement, persistence, and success
- Discuss how to implement Intrusive Academic Advising programs and interventions
- Discover professional development opportunities for Intrusive Academic Advising programs and advisors
- Learn best practices in Intrusive Academic Advising
Thomas Brown is a lifelong student and academic affairs educator with an impressive record of effectiveness in creating academic and student affairs programs that promote increased learning, achievement, and success. Tom served as Dean of Advising Services/Special Program at Saint Mary’s College of California, was a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of the National Academic Advising Association, and was chairperson of the Prelaw Advisors National Council.
Tom is currently Managing Principal of a consulting network that assists campuses to increase student success, build inclusive communities, and manage change (www.tbrownassociates.com). He also writes an occasional column, The Advising Dean, for The St. Helena Star newspaper in California’s Napa Valley (http://napavalleyregister.com/star/).
His work is based on an integration of theories, research findings, and practical experience that makes a real difference for individuals and institutions.
- Regularly invited to deliver keynote addresses at national conferences, campus colloquia, and professional development workshops for faculty and staff.
- A consultant to more than 350 colleges and universities in the US and abroad
- Nationally recognized author and expert in retention, academic advising, promoting the success of at-risk students, international education, and diversity/inclusivity training.
- Recent publications include: Fulfilling the Promise of the Community College: Increasing First-Year Student Success,” (co-editor and author) “Critical Concepts in Academic Advising” in The Academic Advising Handbook, Jossey Bass, 2008; “Preparing Providers to Foster Student Success”, in Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community, 2008; “Advising Students of Color”, in Academic Advising for Student Success and Retention, 1997, 2004
Training Academic Advisors: Conceptual, Relational, & Informational
April 16 from 2-3:30pm in the Jones Room, Administration Building
In ACT’s most recent national survey of training for all types of advisors, training was rated as one of the least effective components of campus advising programs. Training for staff advisors was found to be lacking in both conceptual understanding and relational skills. Brown (2008) found that most faculty advisors believed that they had inadequate training and preparation before beginning to advise.
Effective academic advising is dependent on three critical components: comprehensive pre-service and ongoing in-service advisor development; assessment of the advising program and individual advisors; and recognition and reward for exemplary performance. Training is the initial component in this process. Without setting expectations and offering skills training, there are no benchmarks for assessment. And, without assessment there are no guideposts for improving. All advisor development programs have common elements and are applicable to faculty, staff advisors, and counselors.
- Review the conceptual, relational, and informational elements of comprehensive advisor development programs
- Consider how programs might be designed to meet the needs of advisors with differing levels of experience and willingness to participate
- Receive a theoretical context with a focus on concrete, tangible examples
Learn strategies for addressing issues that can produce more effective advisor development programs and academic advisors
Thomas Brown is a lifelong student and academic affairs educator with an impressive record of effectiveness in creating academic and student affairs programs that promote increased learning, achievement, and success. Tom served as Dean of Advising Services/Special Program at Saint Mary's College of California, was a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), and was chairperson of the Prelaw Advisors National Council.
From 1988 to 2008, Tom developed and facilitated general session presentations on academic advisor development for the NACADA Summer Institute on Academic Advising. His most recent publications on professional development include: “Critical Concepts in Academic Advising” in The Academic Advising Handbook, Jossey Bass, 2008, and “Preparing Providers to Foster Student Success”, in Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community, 2008.
Tom Brown's work is based on an integration of theories, research findings, and practical experience that makes a real difference for individuals and institutions. As a nationally recognized author and expert in retention, academic advising, promoting the success of at-risk students, international education, and diversity/inclusivity training, he has served as a consultant to more than 350 colleges and universities in the US and abroad. Tom is currently Managing Principal of a consulting network that assists campuses to increase student success, build inclusive communities, and manage change (www.tbrownassociates.com).
His work is based on an integration of theories, research findings, and practical experience that makes a real difference for individuals and institutions:
- A consultant to more than 400 colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad
- Regularly invited to deliver keynote addresses at national conferences, campus colloquia, and professional development workshops for faculty and staff
- Nationally recognized author and expert in retention, academic advising, promoting the success of at-risk students, international education, and diversity/inclusivity training
Recent publications include: “Reframing At-Risk to High Potential: Supporting the Achievement and Success of Underprepared Students in the Critical First Year of College,” in Fulfilling the Promise of the Community College; “Critical Concepts in Academic Advising” in The Academic Advising Handbook, Jossey Bass, 2008; “Preparing Providers to Foster Student Success”, in Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community, 2008; “Advising Students of Color”, in Academic Advising for Student Success and Retention, 1997, 2004
CONNECT Advisor Training
April 23 (9-11am) OR April 24 (2-4pm) in Westlie Room, Student Center
All faculty who advise at CONNECT are asked to participate in a two hour CONNECT Advisor Information Session. The information session will highlight developmental courses, COMPASS testing, the new General Education requirement model, First-Year Experience Learning Communities, and other material pertinent to advising at CONNECT sessions. Please email Heather Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know which session you plan to attend.