Steve Schneider, Fox Valley Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) is the third largest of the 16 colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System and offers 70 technical diploma and associate degree programs. FVTC's advising program grew out of a 1992 Counselor Task Force report that described a developmental model for advising and counseling. Faculty advising was initiated in 1996 as a result of an administrative effort to improve student retention.
Approximately 130 program advisors are currently given advising roles in most FVTC technical diploma and associate degree programs. In addition, about 40 other advisors are utilized in other related non-program areas. Advisors are involved in approximately 80% of all these diploma/degree programs at FVTC... some in a very formal role while others are less formal.
Students are advised through a modified 'dual advising' system. Counselors in Student Services have primary responsibility for working with students in specific assigned programs from time of application through their first semester enrollment. Counselors are master's degree faculty who work with students with career, academic and personal issues. The counselor becomes the consultant and referral source as the faculty advisor follows students from enrollment through to graduation. It is this partnership between the counselor and advisors that has created an avenue for student success.
A coordinator works with a school-wide steering committee to oversee the advising program. 'Advising Guidelines' were developed with eleven essential elements. The advising policies/guidelines led to the development of two advising training series, consisting of 12, two-hour modules providing an in-depth look at the developmental advising at FVTC. Topics covered include student development, internal resources, legal & ethical issues, advanced communication and relational skills, advising special populations, and student advocacy. To date, at least 225 staff (faculty, administrators, and support) have completed the Advising 100 series and 55 advisors have completed the Advising 200 series. Facts training series has served as a model for other colleges and universities across the country.
Besides the Advising Guidelines, other activities include a quarterly newsletter, early alert system, pilot use of RMS/College Student Inventory, and an Outlook e-mail advisor distribution listing. A reward/recognition system has developed into an annual appreciation luncheon with a gift and the selection of a FVTC Outstanding Advisor. Three advisors have been recognized as NACADA Outstanding Advisors! Input from faculty is obtained through an annual survey and the ACT Academic Advising Survey has been used for student input. FVTC one and two year programs are looked at annually through a comparative data analysis including advisor/advisee ratios, training completed and advising structure.
The program has demonstrated success through presentations at the national, regional and state level. These linkages are crucial to the success of FVTC's advising program. Our coordinator serves as an officer with the allied state organization (WACADA) of NACADA and several faculty serve on national NACADA committees. The advising efforts at FVTC were recognized last year at the national level with the 2001 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award.
Fox Valley Technical College
FVTC's ADVISING Training Descriptions (2 hrs each)
Advising 101-Introduction: This session will provide you with the key definitions, roles, goals, and expectations for faculty advisors. You will explore the characteristics of effective advising.
Advising 102-Skills & Techniques: This session will explore the use of communication skills, including active listening, that will help you in your advising role.
Advising 103-Student Development: Student Development theory is the basis for the Developmental Model of Advising and Counseling. This course will be an introduction to that theory, with practical applications about the processes used by both traditional and non-traditional college students.
Advising 104-Internal Resources: In this session you will learn about the services offered in the Student Services unit, other College resources such as Health and GOAL, and will gain a familiarity with College materials.
Advising 105-Student Records: During this hands-on session, you will learn about accessing student records, dealing with registration and course and program withdrawals, and recording student contacts. You will also learn about FVTC assessment efforts.
Advising 106-Legal & Ethical: This important session will describe your responsibilities concerning confidentiality, ethics and legal issues.
Advising 201-Advising Roles & Tasks: Learn to apply the role definitions from the Advising Guidelines to the actual tasks that would be done by an advisor. Study the tasks of the counselor in the developmental model and identify where the two roles intersect in working with students.
Advising 202-Advanced Communication and Relational Skills: Build a strong set of skills and personal techniques in working with student issues. Building on the initial training in Advising 102.
Advising 203-Advising Special Populations: Expand on the introduction to developmental theory from Advising 103. Learn about the needs of specific college populations-minority students, special needs students and adult learners.
Advising 204-Problem Solving and Referral: Build additional skills in working with students through intrusive advising, action planning and problem solving.
Advising 205-Retention Management System/College Student Inventory: FVTC is starting to use the Noel-Levitz Retention Management System where students self-identify issues or problems before or as they start school. Learn about the College Student Inventory that students complete and review the Student Report and Advisor/Counselor Report that summarize the individual student input.
Advising 206-Student Advocacy and Advanced Legal and Ethical Issues: Explore the role of the advisor as student advocate and enhance understanding of legal and ethical issues faced by an academic advisor.
Cite this article using APA style as: Schneider, S. (2002, June). FVTC's faculty advising program in Appleton,WI. Academic Advising Today, 25(2). [insert url here]