Marilee Teasley, Academic Advisor, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Research Topic: 'When Music Goes Up In Flames: The Impact of Advising on the Perceived Burnout of Music Majors'
Academic advisors are prepared to engage with a diverse population of students each semester, each bringing their own unique personality and experiences to the advising relationship. Unfortunately, many advisors, particularly those dealing with music majors, find themselves meeting with students who display extreme cynicism and exhaustion toward their chosen major, known as burnout. In order to help advisors better understand this student population, over 300 music majors across the country were surveyed in order to investigate the relationships between perceived academic advisor support, basic psychological needs, and burnout. Perceived advisor support was found to be positively correlated with burnout, such that as advisor dissatisfaction grows, burnout also grows. Additionally, numerous predictive relationships were found between advising factors and burnout with basic psychological needs acting as mediators, suggesting that advisors should consider the psychological needs of their students within the advising relationship. Implications for academic advisors are discussed.
2013 Student Research Award - Doctoral Degree Level
Lisa Mataczynski, Director, Recruitment and Academic Programs, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Research Topic: ‘Advising and Acculturation Variables as Predictors of Satisfaction, Sense of Belonging, and Persistence among International Undergraduates’
Guided by the work of Hurtado and Carter (1997) as an alternative to Tinto’s theory of student departure (1993), the purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationship between institutional and cultural factors on satisfaction with academic advising, sense of belonging to campus and retention among international college students in the United States. Participants included 301 undergraduate international students, who completed an online survey that examined advising relationship, advisor-advisee activities, country of citizenship, acculturation, advising satisfaction, sense of belonging, and intent to persist. Measurement tools utilized included the Academic Advising Inventory (Winston & Sandor, 1984), Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Scale (Stephenson, 2000), and Sense of Belonging to Campus questionnaire (Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Hurtado & Ponjuan, 2005). Findings indicated that advising relationship and acculturation were significant predictors of international students’ satisfaction with academic advising, and acculturation and advising satisfaction were important influences on sense of belonging. Additionally, advisor-advisee activities, advising satisfaction, and sense of belonging were important variables in predicting retention. The results of this study provide direction for higher education administrators and researchers in their efforts to gain a better understanding of factors that lead to the U.S. undergraduate international student success. Finding ways to help international students succeed will not only benefit the international student population, but has the potential of benefiting domestic students and U.S. society as a whole. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Helen Mulhern Halasz,
PhD Student Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Research Topic: ‘Major Adjustment: Students’ Transition Experiences Leaving Selective Undergraduate Degree Programs’
Pressure to pursue and stay in business, nursing, or other selective programs may complicate students’ decisions to change majors. This multi-campus, qualitative study investigated how 26 undergraduate students described resources utilized during their transition of switching academic programs. Participants also identified the most valuable resources and factors influencing their persistence decisions. Research about students in selective majors has been absent for 20 years, and previous research has not given voice to experiences of students transitioning between majors. The 4 S System (Goodman, Schlossberg, and Anderson, 2006) framed how students coped using factors of situation, self, support, and strategies. Participants at two state flagship universities included second, third, and fourth-year undergraduates. The findings provide valuable insight into students’ transition experiences. Students relied primarily on external support systems-most often parents. Support from others was the most valuable coping resource. Situation heavily influenced persistence decisions, specifically satisfaction as a student at the university. Obstacles, including the major change process and an impersonal selective major, contributed to perceived lack of institutional support. The findings indicate advising administrators should develop interventions to foster family partnerships, provide online information sources, increase personal attention during major-change advising, and streamline processes to facilitate college completion for major-changing students.
2012 Student Research Award
None Awarded for 2012
2011 Student Research Award - Doctoral Degree Level
Shannon Burton, Assistant Ombudsperson, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Research
Research Project- Building the Bridge: A Phenomenological Examination of Academic Advising's Role in Campus Internationalization
This dissertation is a foundational study in the understanding of campus internationalization by professional academic advisors at a large research institution with an institutional plan for internationalization. If advising is an instructional process by which the learning outcomes of internationalization are mediated, this study will indicate how professional advisors help their students and the institution achieve this learning outcome, what skills need to be developed, and where integral pieces of training could be implemented. It will indicate how professional academic advisors could potentially impact learning outcomes. It provides higher education administrators a point of connection for how these plans are being implemented and understood by a segment of professionals on campus, as well as a perspective of advising as teaching and learning. Finally, it provides advisors with means to make campus internationalization a meaningful experience for colleagues and students.
The research question explored in this study is: How do professional advisors see their role in internationalization on a campus with a stated international agenda? The research utilizes a phenomenology to examine professional advisors’ understanding of their role in campus internationalization as a component of the curriculum by revealing their lived experiences. I will explore how professional advisors perceive the parameters of the curriculum of internationalization. As advisors are engaged in the educational process, their description of what internationalization means, what actions they carry out, and how they interpret its curriculum to undergraduate students will be the center of analysis.
2010 Student Research Award - Doctoral Degree Level
Jamie Reynolds, Academic Advisor, College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati-Clermont College, Batavia, OH
Research Project -'A Case Study Analysis of Reinstated Students’ Experiences in the Learning to Establish Academic Priorities (LEAP) Reinstatement Intervention Program'
Limited qualitative research has been conducted addressing the needs and experiences of academically reinstated students. The purpose of this naturalistic case study is to identify factors influencing the decision to apply for reinstatement and to examine how participation in an academic intervention program assists academically reinstated students to succeed. Six reinstated students participating in an academic intervention program will participate in this study. A social constructivist perspective will be assumed, relying on the participants’ perspectives to cultivate meanings of their experiences. This research will offer a better understanding of the needs and experiences of reinstated students, providing evidence of resources, interventions, and programs that might be helpful for future reinstated students. The findings of this study could enhance attrition and retention of this student population.
2009Student Research Award —Doctoral Degree Level
, Assistant Dean and Director
of First Year Advising, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
Research Project -'Major
Choosing Among South Asian American Women: Toward a New Theory
With increasing student diversity, traditional theories that rely
on stage-based identity models undermine the mission of advising.
Advising models that are less hierarchical, more cyclical, and
more contextual of students’ lives are crucial. This study
constructed one such model of major choice.
What is the process by which South Asian American women choose
their college major?
This study employed individual and focus group interviews and
document collection, and utilized a sample of fifteen novice and
ten advanced participants. Data was analyzed using grounded theory
processes to yield categories and analytical coding to identify
a core phenomenon of assessment of fit.
This study yielded a process model that identified elements that
affected choice: social context (identity and family/community
influences), suitability (individual characteristics) and access
(external influences). Activities within the institution yielded
information that was filtered through the elements to determine
This research suggested strategies and formats for advising South
Asian students and implications for advising with diverse students,
including new models and training for multicultural advising competencies.
2008Student Research Award —Doctoral Degree Level
Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Springfield College, Springfield,
Research Project -'Perceptions
of Practice: An Examination of the Extent to which Faculty Advisers
Perceive Delivery of their Undergraduate Advising as Developmental
The purpose of this
qualitative, action research case study was to examine the extent
to which selected faculty advisers, at a college that delivers
undergraduate advising through a faculty-only advising model (Habley,
1983), perceived that they practice and deliver prescriptive or
developmental advising, as defined by Crookston (1972).
Sources of data were interviews with faculty advisers, and observations
of advising sessions with upper-division and lower-division students.
The conceptual framework was drawn from Crookston’s (1972)
and O’Banion’s (1972) definitions of developmental
and prescriptive advising.
The findings emphasized that prescriptive and developmental advising
exists, and both must be delivered in complementary ways to benefit
students. Students need to know what courses are needed to graduate;
and simultaneously, they need an advocate on whom they can rely
for guidance and someone who cares about their academic goals.
Recommendations addressed how campus leaders can plan resources
and infrastructure to effectively provide both prescriptive and
developmental advising, delivered collaboratively by faculty and
administration, with the goal of providing students the best possible
engagement with faculty of the college.
A collaborative advising model was offered as a new organizational
advising structure through which a small to mid-size institution
can effectively deliver both prescriptive and developmental advising.
2007Student Research Award —Doctoral Degree Level
Director of Academic Advising Transition, Texas A&M University-Corpus
Christi, Corpus Christi, TX
Research Project -'First-Year Students' Adjustment To
A University: The Role of E-Mentoring'
entering institutions of higher education are often apprehensive
because adjusting to college culture can be difficult. First-year
students, especially underrepresented populations, face many difficulties
that can seriously delay or halt their collegiate careers (Justiz
& Rendon, 1989; Hernandez & Lopez, 2004). Research on
adjustment to college has typically emphasized three broad categories:
1) academic, 2) social, and 3) personal-emotional (Cohorn &
While the promise of
opportunity and social mobility continues to attract students
to higher education, institutions lose as much as 25% of students
during the freshman year (Carey, 2004). Researchers have identified
many predictors of student retention; however, there have been
fewer efforts to empirically document the impact of specific intervention
strategies for addressing student adjustment to the collegiate
environment (Braxton, Hirschy, & McClendon, 2004).
Early contact by university
support services might be expected to show a positive effect on
first-year students’ adjustment issues (Woosley, 2003).
However, university programs requiring extensive contact with
students can place a strain on faculty and staff because of their
full-time academic and administrative workloads. Electronically
mediated communication via e-mail (E-mentoring) contacts may provide
an avenue for establishing and maintaining the critical contact
required for first-year students.
This study is focused
on exploring the benefits of a university based E-mentoring program
designed to assist first-year students’ psychosocial adjustments,
personal developments, and academic successes in higher education.
An experimental design with pretest/post-test control group was
implemented with 112 students in the mentor (treatment) group
and 106 students in the control group. Instruments used to measure
the academic, social, and personal-emotional adjustment were Learning
and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), College Student Expectations
Questionnaire (CSXQ), College Student Experiences Questionnaire
(CSEQ), and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) respectively.
The data from the instruments
was subjected to a 2 (group: mentor vs. control) X 2 (Admission
Status: Regular vs. Alternative) X 2 (pretest and posttest) mixed
factor analysis of variance (MANOVA) with repeated measures on
the pretest and posttest. Initial scores were compared to scores
collected after completing the 10 e-mentoring sessions. Specific
focus comparisons were made between mentor (treatment) and control
group and regular and alternative admission status across two
pretest posttest data collection phases. In addition non-parametric
analysis on measures of dropout was used to explore the extent
to which participation in the e-mentoring component influenced
rates of continuous enrollment at the university. The results
of this study provide empirical data on the effectiveness of an
e-mentoring program on first-year students’ academic, social,
and personal-emotional adjustment at a public university. Recommendations
were made regarding future research and studies.
Student Research Award —Doctoral Degree Level
Shea Smith, Coordinator of Special Programs, Florida
State University, Tallahassee, FL
Project -'Preceptions of Academic Advising and Freshman
Student Retention: An Application of Tinto's Model'
purpose of this study was to examine student perceptions of academic
advising and determine the relationship between academic advising
and student retention. The first focus assessed students' views
on various aspects of academic advising. Comparisons were made
based on students' primary advising delivery system: faculty,
professional, or peer advisor. Directed by Tinto's theory of student
departure, the second focus examined the predictive quality of
factors previously associated with student retention. Academic
advising variables were isolated and added to the model, and their
contribution to enrollment behavior examined. A final analysis
correlated the academic advising and integration constructs to
determine an empirical relationship.
FSU Satisfaction Inventory was the data source for this study
and two separate data sets were utilized. The first sample consisted
of 3943 undergraduates attending Florida State University , and
the second represented a 2064 freshman subset.
findings revealed areas where students were most and least satisfied
with academic advising. Significant differences were observed
among the three advisor types. No significant differences were
observed between returning and departing students in regard to
academic advising or the other constructs of Tinto's model. Results
revealed three significant and positive correlations between the
academic advising and academic integration scales.
Student Research Award —Master's Degree Level
Kendrick, Academic Advisor, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville,
Research Project -'Strategies
for Student Transition to College: A Proactive Approach'
phenomenon of student attrition is an increasingly challenging
problem confronting higher education. There exists virtually no
consensus on root causes or intervention strategies. This paper
evaluates the need for additional programs to promote retention
by enhancing students' academic competence, self confidence and
the importance of a nurturing institutional environment.
Student Research Award - Doctoral Degree Level
Elizabeth Pizzolato, Michigan
State University, East Lansing, MI
Project -Complex Partnerships: Self-Authorship and
Provocative Academic Advising Practices
and integrate these abilities
(e.g., effective communication, clarified values, realistic self-appraisal,
career choices) into their knowing and decision-making process.
Although Baxter Magolda (2001) suggested implementation of her
Learning Partnerships Model (LPM) should give rise to self-authored
ways of knowing in students, at present there are no empirical
studies on the effect of the LPM on advising outcomes. Through
investigation of 142 student narratives about advising and their
selection of an academic major, this study examines how implementation
of LPM practices in academic advising can promote increasingly
more effective student outcomes. Specific attention will be paid
to: (a) how often students' academic major decisions provoke self-authorship?
(b) the ways academic advisors provoke or support self-authorship
around the academic major decisions, and (c) how such advising
practices were related to the LPM principles. Implications for
practice will be discussed in detail. CAS Standards,emphasizes the guiding function student development theory
plays in academic advising. Recently, Baxter Magolda (2001) introduced
empirical evidence for self-authorship, an additional epistemological
orientation to traditional college student development theories.
Here self-authorship is defined as a relatively enduring way of
understanding and orienting oneself toward provocative/disequilibrium
situations that (a) recognizes the contextual nature of knowledge,
and (b) balances this understanding with the development of one's
own internally defined goals and sense of self (Pizzolato, 2003;
see also: Baxter Magolda, 2001; Kegan, 1994). Given the nature
of self-authorship, facilitation of self-authorship via academic
advising may help students meet the individual desired outcomes
outlined in the CAS Standards.