THE CONDITIONS OF EXCELLENCE IN ACADEMIC ADVISING
Institutions recognize that academic advising is integral to the students’ educational experience and the institution’s teaching and learning mission. This commitment begins with an institutional academic advising mission statement that is informed by the values and beliefs of the institution and dedicated to an inclusive and equitable student-learning centered approach. Both widely understood and articulated in institutional documents, this statement informs practice as well as the administration, organization, delivery, and assessment of academic advising.
Excellent advising programs have curricula, pedagogies, and student learning outcomes for academic advising explicitly articulated throughout a student’s educational experience. These outcomes are aligned with the institution’s academic mission, and goals and are systematically assessed and refined based upon documented assessment results. Institutions ensure that academic advisors are knowledgeable about the institution’s expected learning outcomes, curriculum, pedagogy, and the student learning process. This commitment to learning is widely understood and articulated in institutional documents, informs practice as well as the administration, organization, delivery, and assessment of academic advising. Most importantly, institutions ensure equity in the academic advising experience for all students.
Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Excellent academic advising demonstrates a commitment to the values and culture of inclusivity and social justice beyond merely equality of opportunity. Excellence calls for individual and institutional conversations that promote understanding, respect, and honor diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities. Academic advising policies and practices reflect a commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity and, in turn, a commitment to universal design principles for learning.
Advisor Selection and Development
Institutions employ effective and equitable selection, professional development, and appropriate recognition and reward practices for all advisors and advising administrators. Institutions and/or units establish clear expectations and requirements for all advisors as well as systems for formative and summative feedback to advisors to. provide consistency for students and support program sustainability. Ongoing professional development programs reflect the institutional commitment to learning. Professional development also ensures that all academic advisors are current in advising skills and knowledge and that advisors, through their advising practice, reflect the core values and competencies for excellent academic advising.
Improvement and the Scholarship of Advising
Institutions are committed to systematic assessment and evaluation to sustain continuous improvement and equitable achievement of learning outcomes. Institutions recognize the complexity of the educational process and embrace its theoretical underpinnings. As a result, institutions develop evidence-based plans for continuous assessment of both advisors and advising programs. Members of the academic advising community are expected to be both critical consumers of, and contributors to, the scholarly literature, including the effects that advising can have on students and the role of advising in higher education.
Collaboration and Communication
Effective academic advising requires coordination and inclusive collaborative partnerships among stakeholders across campus. These partnerships foster ongoing communication, promote artifact and resource sharing, and support creative solutions for the success of all students. A collaboratively developed strategic communication plan involves frequent and intentional exchanges of information and ideas, is routinely reviewed and updated, and advances a shared aspirational vision for academic advising as integral to teaching and learning.
Excellent advising programs are intentionally structured across the institution to meet the institutional academic mission, goals, and intended learning outcomes. The organization of academic advising must have leadership, appropriate resources, and a systematic approach to continuous assessment and improvement. The organizational structure supports equity in the academic advising experience as well as the roles of all academic advisors, regardless of title.
Student Purpose and Pathways
Effective academic advising provides learning spaces for all students to engage in critical thinking and to define their own purpose, goals, and curricular pathways through exploration to achieve learning outcomes. Students’ plans must be coherent, enrich their programs of study, and equitably support their educational goals, career, and life aspirations. Partners and key stakeholders collaboratively and closely examine all student transitions and develop policies and practices to overcome barriers and optimize learning and success.
Technology Enabled Advising
Excellent academic advising incorporates appropriate and accessible technology to complement, support, and enhance advising practice to facilitate learning success for all students. This requires institutions to include academic advisors in the selection, delivery, and assessment of advising technologies. Institutions must provide on-going training in the use and potential applicability of dynamic tools as a means to strengthen advising management, practice, student learning, and culture.