Faculty Advising Sponsored Sessions

Want to learn more about faculty advising? Follow hot trends? Get inspiration for your own conference presentation? Below is a list of the Faculty Advising Community’s sponsored sessions from recent Annual NACADA conferences. We hope this list helps you connect with colleagues and think about how you can contribute to the dialogue about faculty advising.

Year Session Title Presenter(s)* Abstract


"It's All About the Teaching”: Combining Faculty Advising & Teaching at Small Colleges

Michael Reder, Andrea Rossi, Connecticut College

What concrete actions can a school take with faculty not only to increase their support of a pre-major faculty advising system, but also to help give faculty the necessary skills related to advising in order to best ensure that the educational goals for students are realized? Participants will leave our session with 1) specific ideas about how simple structural changes coupled with a faculty program for teaching & learning can contribute to the success of a pre-major-faculty advising system by enhancing faculty skills, buy-in, and participation; 2) knowledge of a variety of specific programming that has successfully engaged faculty in support of the goals of faculty advising; and, 3) an initial plan for how some of these activities that focus on faculty advising can be adapted for use in their own institutions.


Exploring Gender Differences in Faculty Advising: Does It Matter?

Susan Anderson, Michael Cogan, University of St. Thomas

Research confirms that students who are actively engaged with faculty members outside of the classroom are more likely to persist and graduate.
Beginning in 2006, the University of St. Thomas (UST) Academic Counseling Office and Institutional Research staff began measuring undergraduate student perceptions related to the faculty advising process. During this same period, the percentage of first-year women accepted to UST has decreased from 53 to 43 percent. This significant shift in gender balance led to an evaluation of current university programs, including faculty advising, through the framework of student gender. This presentation will identify and describe gender differences for both students and faculty advisors using empirical and narrative data. Participants will learn about gender specific differences related to student satisfaction with the faculty advisor process.


Faculty Advising: Connecting Students to their Programs, One Conversation at a Time

Marni Squire, Kim Tysick, Judy Flieler, Algonquin College

Faculty advising has the potential to strengthen students' links to their programs. In its implementation, it also presents fascinating and complex challenges. This workshop provides participants with a full-color picture of one large college's experience with decentralized faculty advising with centralized support. Now in its 3rd year, the pilot has yielded valuable student persistence data and lots of revealing stories from focus groups and interviews. Our college has over 16,000 full time students and five fairly autonomous Faculties. By taking a look at the creative solutions adopted by the staff in the 12 very different pilot programs, the participants will have a chance to think about ways in which faculty advising can be enriched on their own campuses.


Taking Faculty-Based Advising to the Next Level: A Collaborative Approach

Kathleen Gold, Meaghan Meachem, Lyndon State College

A personal connection with an experienced professional in a student´s field of interest is only one of the many benefits of a faculty-based advising model.  However, for many first-year, first-generation, or undecided students the how and why of this relationship is mysterious and even a bit nerve-wracking.  The Advising Resource Center (ARC) is Lyndon State College´s answer to this dilemma: a collaborative effort involving three existing support offices, faculty members, and student peer leaders.  We´ll share our four-year process of quantitative and qualitative data collection, networking with interested stakeholders, mission statement development, "do more with less" strategies, and the operational challenges of the ARC´s first year.


The A Team

Ben Littlepage, Dyersburg State Community College

Is your institution interested in training a group of faculty more extensively on institution-specific content as well as the psycho-social aspects of advising? If so, learn how to create your own A Team. Faculty advisors at a small community college participated in a Master Advisor Training program in May 2010. This research-based presentation will discuss what knowledge, skills and reflections were retained and applied to their advising practices six months after the training. Learn about the training's framework and how the advising practices of graduates have evolved since then. Most importantly, attendees will develop the framework needed to launch a faculty advisor training program at their institution.


Designing a Faculty Master Advisor Program

Terry Musser, Nancy Dreschel, Jana Peters, Pennsylvania State University

In 2010, a team of advisors from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences began a study to design a faculty advisor development program based on advising competencies identified by advisors from the College. This multi-year "Master Adviser" research project was implemented in five stages: 1) Determine competencies necessary for advising effectiveness; 2) Design rubrics for measuring acquisition of competencies; 3) Design training and development for advisors based on competencies; 4) Evaluate outcomes for program improvement; and 5) Develop a program for rewarding demonstrated competence.


Are Students and Faculty Singing the Same Song?  Student Advising Priorities

Joanne Conlon, West Chester University

For the last four years, after summer orientation, faculty have asked new first-year undeclared students about their priorities for their new advising relationship.  At this mid-sized state institution, students' perceptions of the components of this relationship have changed over this time.  Come to this presentation to explore students' priorities as compared to faculty's advising priorities in a system where only faculty advise.  Join the discussion to identify implications for advising practice.


The Advising Academy: A year-long cohort-based training model for faculty advisors

David Boose, Gemma D'Ambruoso, Gonzaga University

At its heart, academic advising is a structured, one-on-one relationship with the goal of fostering student success. At smaller colleges, responsibility for this relationship often falls to faculty, who may be uncomfortable with developmental or intrusive models of advising, because they see them as outside their areas of expertise and skill. We have found that emphasizing the significant overlap between advising and teaching reduces faculty members' anxiety about advising, and in this session we will present a model of a year-long, cohort-based training program built on the advising-as teaching philosophy. The session will also invite participants to reflect on and share their own institutional circumstances, and will explore how viewing advising as teaching can advance the development of faculty advisors at their institutions.


An Online Advising Training and Development Tool to Clean Up Your Campus: No More Advising in a Vacuum

Theresa Fadden, Broome Community College

Crumbs of advising knowledge here, crumbs of advising knowledge there; advising training and development on this campus using a shared advising model was inconsistent at best and non-existent at worst. With such limited training, advisors expressed concern about providing accurate advisement - they felt like they were advising in a vacuum! To clean up the situation, a professional Advisor developed an online Advising course that can be accessed at any time and is now a key component for training and development of both faculty and professional advisors. Session participants will view the course and learn about the tools and resources used for development of an online training and development tool.


Shift Happens: Changing the Culture of Academic Advising

Beth Noreus, Annette Johnson, Bay de Noc Community College

In 2007, Bay College was awarded an Achieving the Dream (AtD) grant and began a formal assessment of our faculty driven advising model.  Gaps were identified and, as a result, we began a systematic and inclusive approach to defining academic advising.  Tools and processes were created to empower faculty and students. Data is showing that students feel more connected to the college, are more apt to ask their college advisor for advice, and are actively engaged in asking the right questions in navigating the college environment. Join in a discussion of how this AtD Leader College provides interactive training for faculty advisors and the tools used to encourage students in taking ownership of their educational plans.


Elevating Advising to Leverage Student Engagement

Rebecca Olive-Taylor, Elon University

Research supports the connection of good academic advising to enhanced student engagement. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) confirms this observation finding that students reporting the highest degree of satisfaction with the quality of their academic advisement were most likely to demonstrate the highest levels of student engagement in college. This presentation details Elon University's long-range strategic advising initiative to reframe advising in the service of student learning outcomes thus elevating its value and leveraging student engagement. Discussion will include decision points that guided Elon's plan: acknowledging institutional culture, examining history around advising structures, utilizing new and existing assessment information, and carefully selecting campus partners for this task. Participants should leave the session with new strategies and a better understanding of potential pitfalls to avoid.


Advising Students about Online Classes:  Questions for Success

Robert Hurt, Eric McLaughlin, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Advising students for first-time consideration of online classes presents a dilemma for many advisors.  On one hand, online classes offer plenty of flexibility and freedom, but frequently require a more prepared student than traditional classes. 

This session will present a series of questions that will assist the student in understanding whether they are a strong candidate for online coursework.  The questions are based on recent research and Chickering and Gamson's principles of effective practice in undergraduate education.  They focus on three areas:  student GPA, time management and engagement.  Attendees will learn to recognize course characteristics that promote student success using an actual course syllabus.

Participants will gain the tools to guide students toward or away from pursuing online classes based on the students' prior learning experiences.


Collaborating Across Disciplines: Development and Assessment of Advising Resources

Martha Stella, Rosa Zagari-Marinzoli, The College of New Jersey

When The College of New Jersey transitioned from a centralized to a distributed faculty advising model, the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences and Engineering identified the need to redefine the student/adviser relationship. Taking advantage of current technology, a variety of advising resources were introduced to aid faculty and students in their newly defined roles. Working in parallel and engaging faculty advisers, we developed and implemented school-based advising manuals, policies and resources, with common as well as discipline-specific elements. We also explored assessment strategies to quantify resource use and effectiveness.

This presentation will outline the process for developing advising resources and policy, catering to specific disciplinary needs; model implementation to encourage resource use by advisers and students; and present strategies for quantitative assessment of resource effectiveness.


Faculty Advisor Training and Development: A Blended Approach

Keri Walters, Columbia College Chicago

Faculty advisors need comprehensive, ongoing training and development to serve our students well. The roadblocks to accomplishing this at times can seem insurmountable. Faculty lead busy, project-filled lives that are not conducive to sitting together in a room to learn about advising theory and best practice. In addition, institutional incentives for faculty to complete an advising training program are often minimal or completely absent. This presentation will focus on one administrator's approach to meet faculty advisor development needs in multiple, blended ways that incorporate an online advising training course, face-to-face group advising training, and one-on-one mentoring for faculty advisors. The online portion of the training will be demonstrated, and participants will leave the session with ideas for establishing a similar program at their own institution.


Passion, Purpose, Practicality: The Languages of Academic Advising

Lauryl Tucker, Richard O'Connor, Sewanee: University of the South

By distilling some of the more practical business of advising from the first conversations our advisors have with first-year students (placing freshmen in courses over the summer and enrolling advisees in classes taught by advisors, for instance), and by urging our faculty to consider the different "languages" of advising and their implications, we have prompted advisors to draw on their own areas of strength and created a faculty-driven advising program that better satisfies student and institutional needs. We will describe how we did this, and will lead an interactive session (with role playing and discussion) that invites participants to recognize the values behind their own preferred advising language (and those of their advisees) and consider how this kind of awareness can support better advising pedagogy.


Putting Faculty Partnerships in Action

Christina Fabrey, Green Mountain College
James Mitchell, Adrienne Taylor, Salve Regina University

Faculty advise students at many institutions.   Lack of time, support, and sufficient training (cf. Kennemer and Hurt, 2013) lead faculty to feel unprepared for this role.  Rebranding advising as teaching and learning (Kramer, 2003) helps us partner with faculty using language that enables them to understand explicitly why and how they advise, a powerful tool in getting faculty on your side. Moreover, faculty buy-in can be cultivated through incorporating faculty in the advising process as key stakeholders (cf. Messia, 2010), e.g., creating advisory boards, including faculty in selecting training programs, having faculty focus groups, and highlighting faculty accomplishments. This session addresses opportunities and challenges resulting from faculty advising models and how we can develop strategic partnerships with faculty towards student success.  Participants will leave with a toolbox of strategies to develop stronger faculty partnerships.


The Missing Link: Effective Faculty Advisor Training

Cindy Channell, University of Alabama

Some colleges and universities employ both faculty advisors and professional advisors. This split approach can lead to some challenges if adequate training is not provided for both groups. As the campus populations continue to explode and the student to professional advisor ratio grows out of control, institutions using the split model are forced to rely more on their faculty for advising. This session demonstrates how one division at a large university using the split model developed the Faculty Advisor Institute and how that extensive training sparked change in the culture of advising within the college.


Bringing It All Together: Advising With an Academic Skills Inventory

Margaret Stiner, Jennifer Perry, Baldwin Wallace University

Are your advisees developing the necessary self-awareness to be accountable for their own learning? Are you able to begin difficult conversations about areas they need to improve? Are they able to articulate their job qualifications before they exit the elevator?

Faculty advisors--of undecided and major-declared students--can more effectively guide their advisees through use of an Academic Skills Inventory (ASI) in the context of their advising relationships. Advising sessions can also be structured around the complete or subsections of the ASI. The ASI measures students' general education and major skills and dispositions in a manner that encourages them to feel confident in their learning and development. Effective use of the ASI also enables students to communicate their career readiness and value to employers.


One College's Response to Enrollment and Retention Pressure: A Team-Based Advising Model for Integrative Learning

Elizabeth Henry, Jennifer Hughes, Catherine Johansson, Agnes Scott College

With headlines questioning the value of a degree and college closure rates predicted to triple, advisors across all institutional types and sizes are under increased assessment scrutiny, often with the charge to grow enrollment and improve retention rates. This presentation looks at how one small, all-women's college responded to these pressures and placed at the center of a curriculum initiative, the proposal for a new, team-based model of advising as the means by which students make meaningful connections across curricular, co-curricular and experiential activities. While scholars Marc Lowenstein and Rich Robbins have argued that the future of advising needs precisely such an approach, we present a concrete example of advisors as central to the learning mission.

*Note: institution based on affiliation at the time the session was conducted.