From Transactional to Transformational Referrals: Equipping Advisors and Students for Success

two hands reaching out to one another

March 14, 2024 - 1:00 PM

As front-line support for students, advisors are often the first to know the challenges students are experiencing and see firsthand how those challenges and lack of adequate basic needs impact students’ academic success. Impacts of the global pandemic and social, political, and economic climates of the past several years have only increased student challenges and needs and have disproportionately impacted communities of color, first generation students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and other underrepresented populations. While advisors should not be expected (nor are equipped) to solve every problem or crisis, they are in a unique position to provide appropriate referrals to other resources. To provide effective referrals, we must move beyond transactional referrals (providing information) to transformational referrals - where students learn what resources are available and how to advocate for themselves to get what they need from those resources. 


While articles and resources about making effective referrals exist (Refuss & Mentzer, 2006; Roundy, 1992), there is a gap in current literature on what effective help-seeking conversations look like, the systematic and individual barriers that exist to students seeking help, and strategies for preparing students to get what they need from those resources. This webinar will fill this gap by discussing how to use relational and transformational advising approaches to support students, particularly those from underrepresented communities, in identifying challenges and needs and building self-advocacy skills to seek out resources. Participants will engage in critical conversations about common barriers to help-seeking behaviors and see examples for enhancing referral practices. Participants will also leave with strategies for transforming help-seeking mindsets and implementing effective referral practices in their day-to-day student interactions.

What You'll Learn:

- Identify and address personal and systematic barriers regarding student needs and helping seeking behaviors, particularly students from underrepresented groups or first generation college students.

- Understand relational and transformational advising approaches to support students in identifying challenges and needs and building self-advocacy skills to seek out resources.

- Reflect on current referral practices and implement strategies for relationship building and transformational approaches. 

Headshot of Niki Weight

Niki Weight

Head Academic Advisor, Oregon State University

Niki Weight (she/her) is the Head Academic Advisor for the College of Education at Oregon State University. She has been in academic advising for over 12 years and earned her Master of Science in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. In that time, Niki has worked in a variety of roles, including as a front-line advisor and as an administrator, that have allowed her to work with students, advisors, and administrators in all capacities. Niki’s passion and purpose include providing holistic support to students on their academic journey; reducing barriers for students to access, and complete higher education to improve their lives; and developing systems and practices to assist other advisors and institutions in having the tools and skills to support students.   

Core Competencies Addressed

Academic Advising Core Competencies that will be addressed in this presentation include: 

  •   Theory relevant to academic advising.
  • C5 icon.jpg  Expected outcomes of academic advising.
  • C6 icon.png  How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
  • I6 icon.png  Campus and community resources that support student success. 
  • R1 icon.png  Articulate a personal philosophy of academic advising. 
  • R3 icon.png  Communicate in an inclusive and respectful manner. 
  • R4 icon.png  Plan and conduct successful advising interactions. 
  • R5 icon.png  Promote student understanding of the logic and purpose of the curriculum.

Register by Mail/Fax

Individuals using checks or purchase orders for payment must use this Registration Form.  

  • Please complete the form, print it, and mail or fax to the Executive Office. Registrations will be processed in the order they are received. Once processing is complete, you will receive via email a receipt or invoice for the event.
  • The completed form and a check or approved PO must be received by the Executive Office at least two working days prior to the event. If the event should reach capacity before your registration can be processed, your check or PO will be returned to you.
  • Note: For your financial safety, we can NOT accept registrations with a credit card via email.

Transfer/Refund Policy

If you find after registering that you are not able to attend the broadcast, you may:

- Choose to simply remain registered and view the streamable recording of the event from the link that will be provided and available for 30 days following the event.

- Transfer your registration to another individual from your institution. (If this person is not a current NACADA member, they will either be asked to become a member or pay the non-member fee.)

- Up to 30 days prior to the webinar: Request a refund of paid registration fees (less $25) in writing. 

- 29 to 8 days prior to the webinar: Request a refund off paid registration fees (less 50%) in writing. 

- Due to service provider obligations, refund requests can not be accepted less than 8 days before the event. Internal campus substitutions can be made up to 3 days before the broadcast.

- In the unlikely event the broadcast is cancelled, registration fees will be returned.


NACADA Members:

  • Before/on February 13 - $150
  • After/on February 14 - $175


  • Before/on February 13 - $300
  • After/on February 14 - $325

Registration closes March 12, 2024