Advancing Academic Advising Through Leadership
Susan Campbell, Advising Administration Commission Chair
Budgetary reductions and constraints; Dealing with technological change; Understanding and implementing assessment strategies; Accommodating students with disabilities; Increased role of advising in retention; Changing student demographics; Institutional recognition for advising; Providing for professional development needs of staff; Encouraging and rewarding faculty participation in advising.
Of all the critical issues identified during the annual Advising Administration Commission meeting in Ottawa, these were among the most salient. However, more important than the list itself is what it represents, that is, the increasing complexity of academic advising administration. This complexity parallels that of higher education in general and, for many of us, has begun to reshape our campus roles. Whether reflected in our titles or not, as campus experts on academic advising, our positions are increasingly viewed as (and are) central to student persistence and success. We ought to be delighted - the important role academic advising plays in student retention continues to receive heightened attention, to wit, the popularity of the Academic Advising Handbook, the comments about advising made by John Gardner and Vincent in this spring's satellite downlink sponsored by the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and the concern for advising by regional accrediting associations. That which we have worked so hard to achieve-broad-based recognition of the importance of academic advising is literally on our front doorsteps.
As academic advising administrators, are we ready to capitalize on this expanded interest? Are we as equipped as we ought to be to lead the academic advising agenda? Are we able to move forward on what appears to be an ever-growing, increasingly complex list of critical issues? Or have the struggles for recognition and support for academic advising been so long and arduous and the tasks of administration so 'daily' that we no longer have the energy or time to focus on the bigger picture?
Our ability to take advantage of opportunities to further the academic advising agenda means revitalizing, or structuring, as the case may be, our roles as campus change-agents. From my vantage point, this means engaging in professional development that provides grounding in a lot of areas but, in particular, organizational theory and leadership. This grounding provides us with insight into the complexity of the organizations within which we work, the multi-dimensional nature of being human, and a perspective on what motivates individuals and groups. What emerges from these insights are tools we can use to be effective in navigating our 'systems,' negotiating for resources, and facilitating the development of a cohesive community committed to academic advising.
It is a great time to engage in this type of professional development. Organizational and leadership theory has come a long way since Max Weber and the 'trait' and 'behaviorists' of the 30's, 40's and 50's. With each addition of new research, we learn more about how truly complex organizations and the concept of leadership can be. In particular, the literature that explores organizations holistically and leadership in the context of relationships is very exciting, significant, and particularly relevant to higher education. My personal favorites are the works of Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal.
In Modern Approaches to Understanding and Managing Organizations (1984) and Reframing Organizations (1997), Bolman and Deal present four frames through which to view organizational processes; these frames also provide a 'roadmap' through which to trace organizational theory. The Structural Frame focuses on organizational rationality and such processes as division of labor and coordination of activities. The Human Resource Frame focuses on the fit between people and the organization and assumes the needs of each are not mutually exclusive. In the Political Frame conflict is viewed as a naturally occurring phenomenon and resolved through bargaining, negotiation, and coalition building. Finally, the Symbolic Frame explores the organization as a culture and the development of shared meaning.
Bolman and Deal suggest that we each have a frame 'preference' through which we tend to view organizational situations the problem is, of course, that not all situations call for the same frame. At times policies and procedures (Structure) are in order, while at other times, the development of a common vision (Symbolic) might best suit the situation. The challenge is to develop a facility with each of the frames such that one is able to apply them appropriately, thereby increasing leadership effectiveness. Their work speaks to the relationship-embedded nature of organizations and, thus, the need to understand individual and group differences and similarities. In Leading with Soul (2001) and Escape from Cluelessness (2000), Bolman and Deal immerse us in the leadership relationship. In Escape, they remind us that, "Leadership isn't about position or solo heroics. It's about working with people to help them figure out where they want to go, how they can get there, and how they can summon the courage to move ahead" (2000, pp. 197-98).
In Leading with Soul, they refer to the Gifts of Leadership - Authorship, Power, Love, and Significance - as those things that add spirit and meaning to our work. Through Authorship, the leader fosters the conditions through which others can put their own signatures on work; through Power, the leader finds that she/he can give away power and actually get more; through Love the leader demonstrates that she/he cares enough to find out what really matters to others; and, finally, the Significance of it all emerges from working with others, doing something worth doing, and having a sense of pride of association.
Taken together these works provide us with a framework through which to view and engage our organizations and a way to cultivate a community committed to academic advising. Is this enough? No, but it is a beginning. We also need to be involved in NACADA activities. NACADA continues to explore expanded opportunities for administrator growth through the summer institute for administrators, Commission activities, the organizations Professional Development Task Force, etc. Through active engagement in the Associations work, we not only educate ourselves, we help NACADA continue to develop a powerful community committed to advancing academic advising.
University of Southern Maine
Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. Modern Approaches to Understanding and Managing Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1984.
Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, 2nd edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. Escape from Cluelessness. New York: AMACOM, 2000.
Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. Leading with Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit (revised edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
From the President
Betsy McCalla-Wriggins, NACADA President
What a wonderful site we found in Salt Lake City: two luxurious hotels, free transportation within the downtown area (they have long blocks), wonderful restaurants within walking distance, and welcoming people!
The Olympic presence was still in evidence as well, and it made me think about the similarities between those involved with that great event and those of us in advising. As advisors we really serve as coaches to our students. Granted they are not all superstars, but even superstars... otherwise known as gifted students... still need words of encouragement and support.
Our association is also somewhat similar to the Olympic sponsors. Providing resources to the athletes enables them to compete and 'go for the gold' just as NACADA provides each of us with ways to enhance the way we serve our students. So, let me share with you some of the issues the NACADA Board of Directors discussed in early April at the mid-year meeting. We hope that these initiatives will continue to support you as you strive for that 'peak performance' on your own campus.
The Newsletter goes to electronic delivery with this issue. It includes more articles on advising in addition to the Association news (printed copies will also be sent to chief academic officers at all institutions to increase the visibility with central administrators). Our long term goal is to increase the frequency of the Newsletter and to have it be 'the' place for members to go to get up-to date information on what is happening within our association. We are considering a format similar to the online version of the Chronicle... so let us know what you think about this new approach.
An Advising Administrators' Institute is being planned for a warm location in January or February of 2003. It will probably be scheduled from Wednesday through Friday noon and is being designed for academic advising administrators facing issues ranging from budgeting to leadership to strategic planning. This new Institute will become an annual offering and will be somewhat patterned after the ever popular Academic Advising Summer Institute. A group of seasoned NACADA administrators is currently developing the curriculum. Stay tuned for more details.
Another group of NACADA members is drafting a proposal to encourage/permit members to visit and examine programs on others campuses. The premise is to share ideas by actually seeing what others are doing and seeing the setting in which it works. We have been using the term, Advisor Exchange, however we want to make it clear that this program will be open to all members of NACADA... faculty, full-time advisors, directors, deans, and other administrators. If you have some thoughts about a good name for this exciting initiative, let me know.
The Certification Task Force presented its recommendation that the Association formally pursue an Advising Certificate Program. They examined all angles related to 'endorsing' advisors and believe that such a program would be beneficial to the profession. Therefore, I am appointing a Task Force to begin to address how such a program would function.
Another 'Certificate' initiative is under study as well. We are considering a joint venture with Kansas State University that would deliver at a distance graduate courses related to advising and would lead to a graduate certificate in advising. Our hope is that the courses would be comprised of a set of modules that could also provide non-credit professional development opportunities for those not interested in earning graduate credit.
Great leaders have served this association as President. However, after their terms ended, there were few opportunities to continue to capitalize on their skills, history, and leader-ship qualities. Therefore, we are establishing a Past Presidents' Council to whom we can turn for their wise counsel on topics that are challenging the current leadership. Their views from past discussions should help us be more insightful and more efficient in our deliberations, especially as we move to the new organizational structure.
As you can see, there are exciting things happening within our association. Many people all over the country are contributing to the development of new programs that will enhance your profession and your professional development opportunities. I thank them all. Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Come to Salt Lake City in late September and share in our excitement. We know that being there will 'light the fire within!'
From the Executive Office
Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director
This is always a busy time of the year for us, but with the arrival of Charlie Nutt as Associate Director, things are really hopping!
We received 382 presentation proposals for the National Conference in Salt Lake City and 336 have been accepted for presentation! The topics are wide-ranging and will provide an excellent program in addition to the wonderful venue provided by Salt Lake City. Thanks to all the proposal readers and evaluators for their efforts in selecting the presentations. Las Vegas (Paris and Ballys Hotels) has been selected to host the 2005 NACADA National Conference. Sites in the Midwest and East are currently bidding to host the 2006 conference.
The Region meetings are drawing record crowds with over 2000 registered through April 18. We appreciate all the work of the regional committees in providing these wonderful opportunities and attracting many new members to our association. In addition, many state drive-in meetings have also been very successful. If you are interested in hosting a drive-in meeting, please contact your Regional Representative. Registrations for the Academic Advising Summer Institute in Colorado Springs, July 7-12, 2002, are rolling in as we search for a more easterly site for 2003. We are also in the process of reviewing sites for the inaugural offering of the Advising Administrator's Institute to be offered in January or February in the south!
A pilot pre-conference workshop for advising administrators was held at the Great Lakes Region V meeting in Indianapolis. Enrollment of over 50 participants indicate a huge interest in this workshop, so it is likely to be offered at more regions next year.
Charlie really has us moving quickly to enhance our technology service options to you. A work team is working on redesigning the NACADA web site while another is setting up our capability to handle membership renewal and conference registrations on-line. We plan to offer some services on the web to 'members only' which will entail the assignment of member numbers and passwords so that only current members can access those benefits. So, get ready to remember or tattoo another number!
The Awards Program has completed the difficult task of selecting the winners from all of the exceptional nominations a hard task to select winners from a group of winning individuals and programs!
NACADA Membership for this year is at 6,259 compared to 6,013 at this point last year when we ended with 6,662. Regional Conferences are a big contributor as they reach more new individuals than any other activity. Your 'word of mouth' information to colleagues is also helpful and appreciated.
I encourage you to check our web site often to keep up with the latest in Academic Advising and your association!
Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty
FVTC's Faculty Advising Program in Appleton, WI
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.
Advising Collaborations: The Key to Student Success
Cathy Buyarski and Frank Ross, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Academic advisors are often positioned to address the holistic needs of students. As such, their role in promoting student success is key. However, in order to be most effective, the role of the advisor must be purposeful and intrusive. Advisors at University College, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), work in collaboration with other campus partners to provide a comprehensive set of programmatic activities that provide on-going support and interventions through the first semester of enrollment. Additionally, intensive advisor interaction with students allows for the continuous development of an inclusive profile of each student that promotes on-going advising that meets each students individual needs.
Program components include:
- Advisors complete a pre-advising assessment for each student they will advise during the New Student Orientation program. This 'worksheet' allows the advisor to review and summarize information on each student including their application for admission, high school or transfer transcript, placement test scores, and an entering student survey that provides demographic, attitudinize, and behavioral information on the student.
- During the New Student Orientation program new students participate in an advisor led group information session on their particular major and meet individually with an academic advisor specializing in their major field of study.
- All students enroll in a Learning Community during their first semester of study. Part of their learning community experience is a first-year seminar course that is taught by an instructional team comprised of a faculty member, academic advisor, librarian, and student mentor.
- As part of the Learning Community program, advisors administer the Study Behavior Inventory that assesses students' actual study behaviors (as opposed to study skills). Results of the inventory are discussed with each student in an individual session with the advisor.
- Students enrolled in Learning Communities are given priority in making appointments to discuss their goals, progress, and academic plan with an advisor.
Each advisor conducts in-class registration during a session of the learning community; students are not left on their own to register so they can't decide to not enroll for the next semester without talking to an advisor.
- An early warning program has faculty report on students who are having difficulty in their courses after the first four weeks of the semester; advisors are notified of students in their learning community who received an early warning notice.
Because this program is based on meeting the individual needs of students, it is highly applicable to any institution. In fact, many institutions have implemented portions of this intrusive first-semester advising system. The uniqueness, and ultimately the success, of this program rests in the collaborative approach to the first semester experience. Adaptation of the total program will be enhanced by efforts to build relationships with academic and administrative units serving first-year students.
For more information on this program, contact the authors or plan to attend the pre-conference workshop on this program being offered at the national conference in Salt Lake City. This program was awarded a 2001 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Program Award.
Director of Advising
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Coordinator of Academic Success Programs
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
The 'Quality' in Advising
Peggy Delmas, Advising Education Majors Chair
Quality advising is so much more than knowing curriculum requirements or being able to recite institutional policies and procedures. It involves a personal touch, the ability to put a face on the institution for students. True quality advising requires the advisor to be human, not bureaucratic. I would like to think that my students view my office as a safe haven. It is a place where they can come for what we think of as typical advising services such as major exploration and course scheduling, but also to share accomplishments, concerns and frustrations, and to seek advice on things outside the confines of their academic lives.
Quality advising is helping a student mesh the demands of his or her academic life with the demands of his or her personal and work life. I think of the student whose mother is dying of cancer and how I 'advised' him. I listened to his concerns. I urged him to tell his instructors what's going on, why he's missed class, why he's behind in assignments. I sent him a hand-written note to let him know that I truly care what's happening to him and his family. I provided documentation to the appeals office in support of the students case. I continue to check on the student, stop him in the hallway to find out how he's doing. Most importantly of all I don't forget him.
I think of the student who was physically assaulted over a weekend and how she waited until Monday morning to tell any-one. I was the one she told because she was sure I would know what to do. I was so humbled by the amount of faith and trust this student placed in me. I spent most of the day with her in the emergency room. I contacted her instructors and spoke with her supervisor at work. I referred her to a counselor. Today she is better physically and still healing emotionally. Together we continue to work towards her educational goals.
I try to give students what I think they need from me. A tissue, a letter of recommendation, words of encouragement or congratulations, a smile of recognition in the hall that says, 'You are important to me.' Since I represent the institution, it means that the student is important to the institution, too. Of course not all advising is complicated and involved. What most of our students need is for us to answer 'just one quick question,' and don't we love that? But sometimes our advisees and their life situations require us to stand up and be brave, kind, caring and resourceful. That is quality advising. It's the whole package, not just our responsibilities as narrowly defined in a job description moldering away in a file somewhere. Come to think of it, that thing could use an overhaul!
Director of Student Services
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Teachers as Advisors
Mary Frank, 2001 NACADA Outstanding Advisor Winner
A student walks into my class the first day of class and sits down. The class starts, and I begin reading names off my roster. I ask four questions of each student. I ask where they are from, what activity they are involved in on campus, if they are on a certain scholarship, and whom their advisor is. The last question usually answered by, 'I don't have an advisor.' This is where the relationship between teaching and advising comes together. I believe every student should have an advisor. I usually become the advisor for what I call 'the wandering student without.' The only bad thing about this is that I end up advising over fifty students each semester while some teachers advise none because they do not have the time. I've seen some students end up in the community college system for four years because nobody advised them how to obtain their Associates Degree in two years and put them in the right classes.
Like a teacher an advisor must be a listener, and a communicator, they must care about the students future, and they must teach a student the hard facts of what discipline, responsibility, and focus is for a student with dreams and goals. How can a faculty member become an effective advisor? I suppose that depends on the faculty member and how much extra time they are willing to work to give to his or her students. I believe I'm an effective advisor because I care about my students. I talk to them and advise them not only with their classes but I also listen to their personal problems. I'm there for them when they need help. No matter what time of the day it is, a phone call at home, or staying at school extra hours, my students know I'm there for them at anytime. Do I have all the answers with advising? No, but I've been teaching for ten years now, and if it hadn't been for one Sister Marie Leon LaCroix, I wouldn't be where I am today. She was my advisor in college, and today I teach what she taught me and the love and care she gave to me as a student I now give to my students. I hope my students will pass it on to their students of the future and become the type of advisor I am today.
Coffeyville Community College
2002 Leadership Position Election Results
The election of NACADA leadership positions for terms beginning in October 2002 began in January when ballots were mailed to all NACADA members. The positions for which candidates were seeking election included Board of Directors members, Regional Chairs, and Commission Chairs. The election process for these positions concluded in mid-February after all valid votes were tallied.
The election of the NACADA Division Representative to the Council positions was held in April for terms beginning in October 2002. The three positions involved in this special election include the Administrative Division Representative, the Regional Division Representative, and the Commission & Interest Group Division Representative. Only those individuals serving as Chairs of the sub-units within each of these divisions were eligible to vote for their respective Division Representative. The elected Division Representatives direct and lead the sub-units of their Division and are supported by an appointed Division Representative who serves a staggered term (overlapping vs. concurrent). Both Division Representatives for each division will serve on the NACADA Council in the new organizational structure, which becomes effective immediately following the national conference in Salt Lake City, UT this fall.
The 2002 election results are as follows:
Board of Directors:
- Board of Directors A (1-Year Term, 2002-2003): Elaine Borrelli, Wes Habley
- Board of Directors B (2-Year Term, 2002-2004): Jo Anne Huber, Nancy Lapp
- Board of Directors C (3-Year Term, 2002-2005): Alan Welch
- Administrative Division Representative (Term, 2002-2004): Catherine Joseph
- Regional Division Representative (Term, 2002-2004): Terry Musser
- Commission Division Representative (Term, 2002-2003): Casey Self
- Administrative Division Representative (Term, 2002-2003): John Mortensen
- Regional Division Representative (Term, 2002-2003): Brian Glankler
- Commission Division Representative (Term, 2002-2004): Skip Crownhart
Regional Chairs: (2002-2004)
- Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Bill Johnson
- Southeast Region 4: Glenn Kepic
- North Central Region 6: Kathleen 'Kim' Roufs
- Northwest Region 8: Kay Reddell
- Rocky Mountain Region 10: Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski
Commission Chairs: (2002-2004)
- Multicultural Concerns: Brian Stanley
- Advising Administration: Alice Reinarz
- Small Colleges & Universities: Maura Reynolds
- Undecided & Exploratory Students: Tom Kenyon
- Faculty Advisors: Tim Champarde
- Advising Students with Disabilities: Harvey Carlson
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered & Allies Concerns: Dean Jolly
- Advising Transfer Students: Betsy West
- Engineering & Science Advising: Jill Johnson
The Nominations & Election Committee appreciates the time that NACADA members took to study the qualifications, cast their votes, and mail the ballots. We also thank all individuals who participated in the election, the candidates who ran for office as well as those who nominated them, and congratulate those who have been elected to leadership positions. Their willingness to make this commitment to NACADA is greatly appreciated.
Interested in Serving in a Leadership Position?
If you or a colleague are interested in serving in a NACADA Leadership position and would like to be a candidate in next year's election, the 2003 Leadership Recommendation Form must be submitted to the Executive Office by October 15, 2002 or turned in at the national conference in Salt Lake City in the fall. Both online and printable forms will be available on our web site in July.