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Voices of the Global Community


The Changing Face of College Campuses

Blane Harding, Colorado State University

Over the past few decades, eighty-five percent of all immigrants to the United States have arrived from either Asia or Latin America; today Latinos are the largest American minority group. These demographic trends have impacted the recruitment efforts of many institutions and caused many campus administrators to incorporate diversity into their strategic plans. Furthermore, recognizing that diversity extends beyond race to include ethnicity, traditional/non-traditional status, military experience, disabilities, etc., administrators have increased recruitment efforts to attract an increasingly diverse population to our campuses. However, while administrations have focused on recruitment, the efforts to retain these students has largely become the responsibility of others, particularly those involved in academic advising.

We, as academic advisors, must be poised to address this situation. I began my academic career as a history professor and later served as the coordinator of the Black Studies Program. More recently, I have been the academic advisor for the College of Liberal Arts, charged with the responsibility of training our advising team. My background as a history and ethnic studies professor helped me gain invaluable information and experience that allows me to be a more effective advisor and trainer. As advisors, the greater the understanding we have concerning the history, experience, and culture of those we serve, the more effective we become. This historical and cultural information leads to greater credibility and the establishment of a trusting mentor relationship. Advising a diverse student body must be more than just schedule writing; it requires that each of us has a more complete understanding of those we serve.

A well-rounded perspective encourages each advisor to reach the goal of treating people equally. However, this does not mean that we should treat each student the same. When we treat each student the same, we negate the particularity of individual students and waste the historical knowledge we have gained. To treat students equally, we must treat them differently. A focus on their unique differences allows us to address each student’s individual situation and needs. We must distribute our attention in equal measure to precisely what they do not have in common, their unique differences. Equality is a question of the subject rather than the object. It is a matter of how we conduct ourselves toward others, not a question of some equally shared property or condition inherent in them. We need to pay equal attention to all students and focus on them as equal individuals. I am not suggesting that we “step outside our comfort zone,” but instead that we “expand our comfort zones.” Our interactions with students should not only concern their academic needs, but just as importantly, address their personal needs.

How students identify themselves should be a key as to how we, as advisors, establish our credibility and build a relationship. Not all individuals live their lives as “ethnic beings.” Just because we may physically identify a student as Asian American or Latino(a) does not mean that he or she self-identifies in this manner. There is a difference between assimilation, acculturation, and integration. Individuals can develop through any of these pathways. Some diverse students may identify themselves as acculturated ethnics, while others simply identify themselves as assimilated Americans. It would be detrimental to presume a student’s identity if our objective is to nurture a caring and productive relationship. Therefore, over time, we should allow each student to self identify, but building a relationship that allows self-identification takes time and a willingness to give as much as we receive.

The ultimate objective is to raise our awareness. For many, this assumes an external function: we want to become more historically, culturally, and theoretically aware of our students; we want to better understand the rules and regulations of the university; we want to have a clearer understanding of our duties and responsibilities. If we are to truly embrace diversity, we must also become more internally aware. How can we better understand other worldviews if we do not fully understand or question our own? If we are to raise our awareness internally, we must question our own attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviors, assumptions, and prejudices. Only when we have done this, can we truly value diversity and become more effective academic advisors. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Diversity should not be a concept we discuss, but a habit we practice.

Blane Harding
Academic Advisor
Colorado State University


Landis, D, Bennett, J.M., & Bennett, M.J. (2004). Handbook of Intercultural Training. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publishers.

Takaki, R. (1998). A Larger Memory: A History of Our Diversity, With Voices. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.

Aguirre, A., & Turner, J.H. (2004). American Ethnicity: The Dynamics and Consequences of Discrimination. Boston: McGraw-Hill Publishers.

From the President: Vision and Visibility

Eric White, NACADA President 

It was recently announced that the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) is closing its doors. As president of NACADA, this stunning announcement gave me reason to think about NACADA’s future. While I can only speculate as to the reasons for AAHE having to shut down (much of the public statement had to do with declining membership and the concomitant financial issues), it seems like a good time to raise some questions about how NACADA functions and what our future can look like.

  • Do we stay in touch with our constituents?
  • Are we good stewards for our resources, by trying to keep costs down?
  • Do we listen to our members?
  • Are we careful that we don’t impose any unwanted “agendas” on our members?
  • Do we keep lines of communication open?
  • Do we allow as many voices as possible to be heard?

To put it simply, I think we all try very hard to make sure the answer to all these questions is Yes.

NACADA has sponsored sessions at regional conferences to discuss the issue of certification for academic advisors and how to encourage a wide diversity in NACADA leadership. We have also run sessions at conferences called “NACADA listens.” We open our business session to all at our national conferences. The Journal issue on theories of advising (due out in the fall of 2005) will feature many voices. We strive to keep our membership fee as affordable as possible. We try to negotiate the best possible deals with hotels so that we can keep conference costs down. We have streamlined our board meetings to reduce costs.

While all of this is positive, does it or can it assure a healthy future for our organization?

The AAHE story includes both a declining membership and competing organizations’ themes. While NACADA has seen a rising membership lately, I do wonder if we really have reached everyone in the academic advising community. We know that there are organizations that focus on advising special populations of students, for example, and I wonder how many advisors make a choice of one membership in the specialized organization versus membership in NACADA. While those reading this piece are most likely members of NACADA, I believe that we have not convinced all who know of us about the value of being a NACADA member, nor has the word gotten out to some academic advisors that we exist at all.

I would be disappointed if there was even one academic advisor in the nation, in fact in the world, who did not know about NACADA. But unfortunately, I do know that there are advisors who are not aware of NACADA’s existence. We have to figure out how to reach these people, in effect how to be visible.

I suspect that there are also college and university presidents, chancellors, and provosts who may not be aware of us. We have to figure out ways to reach them, too.

Advisors ask students to dream, to test their abilities, to seek new knowledge, and to try what might be impossible. We should expect no less of ourselves, and you should expect no less from your association.

Here is my dream.

Some day a university/college president will come to an advisor and ask:

President: Did you know that there was such an organization as the National Academic Advising Association? 
Advisor: Yes 
President: Well, we need to see that you get to their conferences and institutes. Does our library subscribe to their NACADA Journal? 
Advisor: No 
President: Would you discuss this with our library personnel so that we can get a subscription? 
Advisor: Yes 
President: Does our Advising Center have copies of NACADA publications? 
Advisor: No 
President: I’ll see that more money is allocated to the budget. Are all our advisors members of NACADA? 
Advisor: No 
President: Let’s start a campaign to encourage membership.

How’s that for a dream? But rather than a dream of impossibility, we in NACADA, with your input, can turn dreams to reality. At the last NACADA Board meeting, I charged a Task Force on NACADA Visibility to do some dreaming. Specifically, I asked them to consider who have we not reached and how can we reach them? The Task Force will be reporting back to the Board at our October 2005 meeting in Las Vegas. By dreaming a little, while still keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground, NACADA can continue to meet the needs of the academic advising community for many years to come.

Eric White, President
National Academic Advising Association

From the Executive Director: Springtime in NACADA

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director 

We attempt to have a NACADA Officer and Executive Staff member at every regional conference to enhance communication with the membership. We find this very helpful in identifying new issues facing our members, in identifying members who want to get more involved in the association, and in hearing what the members want from their association.

This year’s conferences have been terrific! While each region’s conference is a bit different, all featured excellent presentations and opportunities for networking. The members who volunteer to coordinate the regional conferences contribute a lot to their regions and to the association. Thanks to everyone who has been involved with these tasks this year. You have done an outstanding job!

Las Vegas will be the site of this year’s conference (October 5-8). I know you will be pleased with the conference hotel, Bally’s, and the fine program the National Conference Committee has developed. In addition, the Committee has enlisted assistance from students in the UNLV Convention Planning Program; we look forward to their involvement.

At the mid-year meeting, the NACADA Council discussed a number of association issues. They recommended a change in the reporting structure for the Finance Committee, so that the Committee would report directly to the Board of Directors, since the committee deals mostly with the Board on budget issues. In addition, they discussed one state’s interest in changing regional affiliation, national conference session sponsorship by Commissions, procedures for Commission or Interest Group name changes, award recipient recognitions, consultant teams, promotion of advising research, timing of committee member appointments, organizational communication issues, and Commission and Interest Group guidelines.

The Board of Directors approved the Council’s recommendation regarding the reporting of the Finance Committee. The Board reviewed the FY04 financial reports and the FY05 reports to date and found the association in sound financial shape. They received reports regarding ongoing projects from the Executive Office, Advisory Boards, and Task Forces. The Board of Directors continued their discussion of the issues surrounding presenters who promote commercial products during their speeches; they recommended that guidelines be provided to conference chairs regarding speaker selection and speaker contracts that detail the restrictions on promotion. The Board discussed the evaluation of the Executive Director and the Executive Office, commending us for our work. In addition, they discussed the need to raise the Consultant Bureau fees; their desire to honor Michael Holen, Dean of Kansas State University’s College of Education, for his support of NACADA through the Executive Office; and their interest in establishing a “foundation” for fundraising. Potential collaborations with N4A (Athletic Advisors Association) were discussed and a request to change the name of the NACADA newsletter was supported. President Eric White called our attention to the dissolution of the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE). The Board continues to focus on the future of the organization and their dedication to the association is to be commended.

With a hectic Spring behind us, we now look forward to seeing many of you in St. Paul or Colorado Springs for the Academic Advising Summer Institutes, and/or in Las Vegas in October. If your summer travels take you across Kansas on I-70, give us a call and come see us in Manhattan. We are just 10 miles north of I-70 in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills. Call and we will give you directions to our offices. Wishing you a relaxing summer!

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, Executive Director
National Academic Advising Association

Challenges for Two-Year College Advisors

Dianne T. Castor, NACADA Two-Year Colleges Commission Chair 

Academic advisors face increasing challenges each year. What are the most effective ways to deal with enrollment increases when there has been little or no increase in budget? How do we handle the advising needs of these students? How can colleges effectively cope with the increasing numbers of transfer students? How can we use orientations to enhance advisement? These are just a few of the many challenges faced every day by advisors at most colleges, but particularly at two-year colleges.

The key to attacking campus problems is teamwork; the entire campus – from president to classified employees – must work together. Committees dealing with campus issues must include members – from academics, student services, administrative affairs, and classified staff – who are committed to solving problems and bringing success to the campus. An old song titled “Little Is Much” comes to mind when attempting to work out budget problems; when campus resources are pooled, larger projects can be tackled with less money.

Many two-year colleges focus their initial campus efforts on the development of a comprehensive orientation program that includes a strong academic advising component. Advisor inclusion in the planning and implementation of orientation programs can help establish a solid foundation on which students can build their knowledge in college.

Students must find out what resources are available that can assist them in achieving their college goals. They need to be made aware of learning/tutorial resource availability. Students need to be educated regarding the terms that will be used in colleges; terms such as GPA (grade point average), credit hour, academic probation and/ or dismissal may seem everyday to some, but these terms may be new to first time and/or first generation students. Students should be shown how grades are calculated and how grades affect their academic standing as well as their financial aid. Students need to know that there are consequences for poor grades and lack of attendance. Additionally, they need to know the differences between certificate, career, and transfer programs, and how courses and grades may or may not transfer from one institution to another institution.

On-line orientations can provide more time for one-on-one advising of individual students. This delivery method also provides students with the opportunity to revisit a particular area in which they need further clarification. It is especially helpful if on-line orientations provide students with the opportunity to have individual questions answered via email or in person at an advising session.

When meeting with students one-on-one, two-year college advisors often find themselves challenged by a student who wants to be elsewhere. This student may appear frustrated and irritated during the advising session. How can an advisor effectively help such a student? First, become this student’s number one advocate. Look at the student’s records and ask open-ended questions to encourage student/advisor interaction. Often a carefully worded question may be the key to finding the answer to a student’s problem. Are there academic issues involved in this student’s decision to attend the two-year college? Are there financial issues? Were personal issues involved in the student’s decision? Once the primary reason for attendance is established, the student and advisor can explore potential solutions to the problem. Advisors can determine if referrals to other departments can help the student begin work on a solution to the problem. Advisors should also encourage the student to make a follow-up appointment to discuss the student’s progress toward the solution.

Additional challenges may occur when students “reverse transfer” from a four-year college or university. Advisors should first determine why the student transferred. Was the reason academic, financial, personal, or some combination? Was the student not prepared for college? Is remediation needed? Was the student trying to work too many hours? Did the student’s extracurricular activities interfere with study time? Was too little study time available? Was the course load too great? A carefully worded question, e.g. “tell me what you did on a typical day at your former school,” can reveal the issues that can help an advisor assist the student. Once the problem areas are understood, the student and advisor can begin working together toward solutions.

Advisors at two-year colleges need encouragement that they are meeting the challenges and expectations of their advising roles. Monetary rewards are great, but in many cases needed resources simply are not available. In these cases, begin by encouraging advisors via email. Then consider a certificate of merit; an “Advisor of the Year” program can offer recognition to outstanding advisors. Sending advisors to regional and national NACADA conferences supports professional development that reinforces advisor growth. Advisors can be encouraged to become NACADA members and join a commission. Because each commission addresses a specific advisor need, commission members usually face similar challenges and are willing to share their ideas with their colleagues. NACADA monographs also provide a wealth of information from advising pioneers.

To meet the growing challenges faced by advisors, the need for teamwork, advocacy, problem-solving skills, creativity, and administrative support will continue to grow in importance in the years ahead. If we network and build our skills now, we can move successfully into the future.

If you would like to find out more regarding two-year college advising, please visit the Two-Year Colleges Commission Web site.

Dianne T. Castor
Coastal Georgia Community College

Peer Advising: A Win-Win Initiative

Heidi Koring, Peer Advising Interest Group Chair

Informal peer advising is not new.Tom Grites, commenting in a November 2001 Mentor Advising Forum, stated that “Undergraduates are ALWAYS peer advisers. They advise in the residence halls, the cafeterias, on the bus commute, in the local pub, etc.” Orientation leaders and resident assistants regularly function as informal peer advisors. But, in a time when every student counts, most institutions prefer that sharing of vital information not be left to chance. Formal peer advising programs direct and channel peer advising to ensure that students are given advice by peers trained to impart accurate information and to make appropriate referrals.

Formal peer advising programs are rapidly growing enhancements to academic advising programs. A February 2004 NACADA survey revealed that over 65% of institutions surveyed have peer advising or peer mentoring programs; over 36% of the institutions without formal peer advising programs are considering implementing such a program. Why are institutions adopting peer advising programs? What advantage does peer advising have at the college or university level?

Peer advising offers several advantages, including versatility, compatibility with pre-existing academic advising programs, sensitivity to student needs, and the ability to extend the range and scope of advising to times and venues when advising is not usually available. Additionally, those serving as peer advisors benefit from the leadership development included in such programs.

Peer advising is versatile and can be tailored to the needs of the institution. For instance, peer advising can range in intensity from “friendly contact” – a relaxed and informal contact by experienced students to new students in transition – to intensive programs in which peer advisors in residence halls provide 24-7 assistance.

Peer advising is compatible with all advising delivery models. It does not have to be implemented institution-wide, but can be limited to a single major program or a sub-set of students. Some peer advising programs pair peers with faculty advisors as part of a faculty advising model. Still other peer advising programs feature peer advisors who work in an advising center. Some peer advising programs are housed in individual academic schools or departments within the university; others are housed within student service units, e.g., centers devoted to first-year or multi-cultural students.

Although peer advising programs typically address needs of first-year students, peer advising has proven to be a positive intervention for many student subsets, especially at-risk and minority groups. Walters (2003) found peer advising to be an important factor for new student success at Onondaga Community College (p. 50). McConnell (2000) found that peer advising assists first generation college students transition to their academic environment (p. 82). Whelley et al (2003) state that peer advising relationships are helpful for students with disabilities (p. 42). The NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources lists forty-three successful peer advising programs; many of these programs are designed to assist sub-sets of students like the Boston College Department of Romance Languages Peer Advisor Program, the University of California at Irvine Peer Academic Advisor Program for Honors students, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Peer Advising Program for multicultural students. A NACADA monograph on peer advising will include many exemplary peer advising programs, including those which meet special needs. (Note: this monograph is scheduled for fall 2005 publication; watch the monthly NACADA member Highlights for details.)

Peer advising programs extend the scope and availability of academic advising programs by providing advising in residence halls, through student-friendly communications media like instant messaging, and during evenings and weekends when faculty advisors or professional advising staff are not available to answer questions. Some peer advising programs begin during summer orientation and continue through the academic year. Such programs create a smoother transition by providing services in the period between summer orientation and the start of the fall semester through telephone or email contact between entering students and peer advisors.

Peer advisors benefit from participation in the program as much as the students they serve. Peer advisors form close mentoring relationships with their supervisors. They develop leadership skills through their experiences in the program. Some programs provide intensive, credit-bearing training programs for peer advisors, including instruction in developmental psychology, counseling, and educational theory. These skills benefit peer advisors not only when they are actively advising, but also after they graduate. A 2001 graduate of Lynchburg College, who spent three years as a peer advisor, is now an assistant dean at a Midwestern preparatory school. She reports that she uses the knowledge and experience she gained as a peer advisor daily in her present position.

Everybody wins when peer advising is added to an institution’s academic advising program. The advising program wins, since peer advising is a versatile and flexible addition to a pre-existing program. The students served benefit, since peer advising extends the scope and availability of advising services and can be used to target at-risk groups for additional attention. Finally, the peer advisors themselves win skills they can use beyond their college years. No wonder peer advising is a fast growing enhancement to today’s academic advising programs.

Heidi Koring, Director
Lynchburg College


Grites, Thomas. (2001). Advising Forum. The Mentor: An Academic Advising Journal.Retrieved 2/17/2005 from http://www.psu.edu/dus/mentor/.

McConnell, Peggy J. (2000). What community colleges should do to assist first-generation students. Community College Review. 28 (3), 75-87.

Walters, Evon Washington. (2003). Editor's choice: becoming student centered via the one-stop shop initiative: a case study of Onondaga Community College. Community College Review. 31 (3), 40-54.

Whelley, T., Radtke, R., Burgstahler, S., Christ, T. (Autumn, 2003). Mentors, advisers, role models, peer supporters: Career Development relationships and individuals with disabilities.American Rehabilitation. 27 (1), 42-49.

First-Year Students with Dyslexia Transitioning to College

Wandy M. Hadley, University of Dayton
Julie Q. Morrison, University of Dayton
Leslie L. Hemphill, NACADA Advising Students with Disabilities Commission Past Chair

Increasing numbers of high school graduates with learning disabilities are enrolling in colleges and universities each year. A learning disability may be manifested by deficits in the student’s reading ability (dyslexia), speech ability (dyspraxia), writing ability (dysgraphia) or math ability (dyscalculia). A student with a learning disability may also have difficulty with sustained attention, time management, and/or social skills. Some students think that when they transition to college they will “outgrow” their learning disabilities and be able to handle their studies on their own. Individuals do not outgrow a learning disability, although they may develop a host of strategies for compensating for the disability. Still, these students find that when they transition to college they continue to need academic accommodations.

Dyslexia is the most common learning problem reported by first-year college students with learning disabilities. Students with dyslexia experience such reading problems as poor reading fluency, uneven and inconsistent comprehension and retention of material read, difficulty identifying and differentiating main ideas in readings, and difficulty following written directions. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the inability to consistently apply concentration for long periods of time, is oftentimes diagnosed with dyslexia. Nearly 25 percent of college students with learning disabilities may also have ADHD. In addition to being easily distracted, students with ADHD may find it difficult to follow a train of thought to its conclusion, easily feel overwhelmed, and have difficulty breaking down and/or organizing information, thoughts, or tasks. College students with dyslexia have to deal with the unique challenges presented by their disability as well as the daily stressors of the college environment.

A knowledgeable advisor can use intrusive advising techniques to help increase the likelihood of success for these students. Advisors can help students develop enrollment plans that spread courses with heavy reading requirements across students’ entire educational careers. Awareness of faculty teaching styles and techniques can also allow an advisor to recommend that students fulfill requirements by enrolling in courses that best complement their learning styles. Depending upon student situation and college, advisors may be able to help advisees obtain course substitutions or attain full-time status even when students are enrolled in fewer than twelve credit hours. On a more fundamental level advisors can reinforce the use of successful accommodations, such as student using a tape recorder during lectures or reviewing lecture notes as soon as possible after class. Advisors can refer students for assistance from community and campus resources such as the Learning Assistance Centers. They can find additional intrusive advising techniques and resources in the Clearinghouse.

Students with dyslexia who choose to attend college must meet the same admission requirements as students without disabilities. These students may be particularly challenged by the expectation that all college students practice more independent behaviors. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that students with learning disabilities in kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) have access to a host of accommodations and services such as special classes, individual instruction, and alternative testing. These services are not required by law in the college environment and usually are not available. When students transition to college, they are protected by Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws assure that students with learning disabilities receive reasonable accommodations, but do not include the types and levels of services required by the IDEA.

Once enrolled in a college or university, students must request accommodations and provide documentation prepared by a qualified professional. This step is essential if students are to receive accommodations in classes. Because of a misguided desire to assert independence or because of negative experiences with the IDEA in high school, some students refuse to request accommodations. Advisors who become aware of such a situation should encourage these students to request accommodations.

Because the symptoms of dyslexia vary from student to student, it is important that students with dyslexia become knowledgeable about their disability so they can discuss the academic accommodations they need to be successful. Students with learning disabilities report viewing faculty as one of the variables in their academic success. Initially, advisors may need to assist students with dyslexia in communicating their needs to individual faculty members. Advisors can role play disclosure conversations with students and help students set up appointments with professors to discuss accommodations.

College students with learning disabilities are typically intelligent and motivated. Many are gifted and when provided with appropriate and reasonable accommodations, can be successful in college with a little help from their advisors.

The Advising Students with Disabilities Commission invites discussion regarding this article or other issues surrounding advising students with disabilities on the Commission’s electronic list.

Wanda M. Hadley,
University of Dayton

Julie Q. Morrison,
University of Dayton

Leslie L. Hemphill,
Cloud County Community College


Association on Higher Education and Disability. (2001). College students with learning disabilities. University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Association on Higher Education and Disability. (2002). College students who have adhd. University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Hadley, W. M. (in press). The transition and adjustment to academic expectations of first-year students with specific learning disabilities: The initial follow-up study. Journal of College Orientation and Transition.

Hadley, W. M., Twale, D. J., & Evans, J. (2003). First year students with specific learning disabilities: Transition and adjustment to academic expectations. Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 11 (1), 35-46.


Three Visitors

James W. Vick, 1992 NACADA Pacesetter Award Recipient

I had just settled into my chair at 8:30 on Wednesday morning, my hands cupping a mug of hot coffee, when Mike appeared at the door. It was a surprise to see him, mainly because in his previous advising sessions his highest criterion in course selection seemed to be that no class should begin before 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. Mike quickly expressed the basis for his behavioral shift and his concern regarding the future: He had come to the realization that both his biology major and his pre-med designation needed to change.

Now immersed in genetics and organic chemistry, his performance and his interest were both at a low ebb. In contrast, the economics course he was taking to meet a social science requirement had captured his imagination. He actually found himself reading unrequired material and seeking conversations with faculty on critical national issues. He clearly wanted to talk about these changes and their implications and to seek reassurance as he turned away from a direction he has followed since early childhood.

Twenty minutes later, as Mike left, he greeted Selina, a student who had just transferred from a community college across the state. She had stayed close to home for the first three semesters, but from the beginning her goal had been a pharmacy degree on our campus. She had carefully monitored our equivalent of each course she had taken, and she had measured each against the requirements for admission to pharmacy school, but we needed to plan the next steps as well as review the path to a biochemistry degree in case her application was not successful. Her optimism was strong, even as she planned an alternative she hoped would never be necessary.

Soon after Selina departed, an old familiar student appeared. Caroline was planning her senior year as a math major. She had completed all of the required courses but needed four upper-division math classes over the next year to complete her B.S. Her grades were solid, in fact they were good enough to encourage her interest in graduate school. So the key question became: how should she select her last four courses to maximize her preparation for further study? The answers depended on her possible schools and her proposed field or fields of concentration.

These three visitors exemplify some of the critical roles an adviser plays in the lives of students. For those like Mike who are struggling with developmental issues, an adviser provides support and guidance, freedom to explore accompanied by a strong dose of reality, an encouraging and sympathetic ear when positive steps are taken, and a source for referrals to offices on campus that can help meet needs that arise.

Selina on the other hand knew exactly where she was going, but still needed insight into courses along her path and the alternatives should her primary goal be unrealized. By structuring her plan carefully, she could minimize the delay in reaching a secondary target if that path became necessary.

At the other end of the process, Caroline needed guidance that could only be provided by a specialist in her field, one or more faculty members who could explore her interests in advanced study, discuss possible graduate programs, and help her select the best courses for the next level. Sometimes it is difficult, especially with a student you know and like, to realize the time has come to pass her on to others who are better able to meet her needs.

For each of these three visitors the adviser plays a critical role. It is much more than course selection and graduation requirements. The relationship with Mike, Selina, and Caroline and many others like them can become a key ingredient in their undergraduate experience, and the success of the relationship depends on a full range of talents.

In truth, Mike, Selina, and Caroline are drawn from advising experiences I have had over the years. While they may be literally fictional, I have seen such students, and so have you. They are a daily reminder of the challenges and rewards of our profession.

Jim Vick
University of Texas

Editor's Note:James W. Vick was NACADA's first Pacesetter Award winner.  He is former Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences, a Math professor, and is currently Vice-President for Student Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.  

Kansas State University and NACADA Announce the First Recipients of the Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising

In January 2002, a NACADA Professional Development Task Force assembled to discuss the unmet professional development needs of NACADA members. A variety of focus areas were identified, one of which resulted in the development and implementation of the successful Academic Advising Administrators’ Institute.

The Task Force recognized a high-priority need for formalized training in the field of academic advising, including foundational knowledge in theory and concepts, as well as skill development in areas such as advising special populations, creating and implementing advisor training programs, and assessment of advising. The Task Force also identified the need for both credit and non-credit opportunities that are reasonably priced and would be available at a distance for members who are unable to travel or attend graduate school fulltime.

With the Task Force recommendations in mind, NACADA Executive Director Bobbie Flaherty approached Michael Holen, Dean of Kansas State University’s College of Education, about the opportunity for NACADA and Kansas State to collaborate in creating and implementing a Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising. With Dean Holen’s support, and through the work of Educational Psychology and Counseling department faculty (led by department chair Stephen Benton), the Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising was developed and gained university approval; the first course was offered in Fall 2003.

Since Fall 2003, over 180 learners have taken courses in the Graduate Certificate program. Originating faculty member Charlie Nutt, NACADA Associate Director and Assistant Professor at Kansas State University, stated, “All the students have been so dedicated and hard working – this teaching experience has been one of the most rewarding and challenging of my career.”

This spring the first group of graduates will complete the Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising. The recipients, representing all institutional types from across the country, are Barbara Austin (Purdue University-North Central), Frank Bell (University of Alabama-Hunstville), Sharon Bland (East Carolina University), Krista Bot (Anchorage, AK), Ben Chamberlain (Iowa State University - completed coursework in spring 2004), Denise Ciluffo (CUNY-College of Staten Island), Patrice Fergus (Northwestern Business College), Karen Hayden (Feather River College), Lisa Haydon (Dominican University of California), Richard Hogrefe Jr. (Crafton Hills College), Robert Hurt (California Poly Univ-Pomona), Cynthia Knape (New River, AZ), Amy Korthank Gabaldon (University of Iowa), Linda Kuniholm (Kansas State University), Shirley Lukacs (Lane Community College), Jennifer Napierkowski (Northampton Community College), Alison Navarrete (Pacific Lutheran University), Bernice Pearson (Anchorage, AK), Patty Pedersen (Carbon County Higher Education Center), Maria Ramos (Lee College), Mary Reynolds (Northwestern Business College), Monica Roca (Florida International University), Julianne Scibetta (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia), Kathy Stockwell (Fox Valley Technical College), Ann Sukalac (Linfield College), Nancy Torno (University of Nevada-Las Vegas), and Elizabeth Yarbrough (Auburn University). Recipients will be recognized in a special ceremony at the national NACADA conference in Las Vegas in October, with Dean Holen present to honor their accomplishment.

Amy Korthank Gabaldon, who is greatly looking forward to Las Vegas, says that the program “improved my advising by ten fold! In addition, each individual course inspired me to create new worksheets, programs, and initiatives for my students and colleagues on my campus. It has not only made me a better advisor, but has helped to improve advising at my institution!” Amy and fellow-recipient Nancy Torno will present a concurrent session at the national conference entitled “Cashing in on Professional Development with the K-State / NACADA Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising.”  Beth Yarbrough, who will be part of a panel of certificate recipients presenting at the conference, declares, “I certainly hoped that completing the program would make me a better advisor, but I didn't understand the extent to which it would improve my skills and my thought process during advising. I have enjoyed each course, and can think of specific students that I was better able to help as a direct result of completing the courses. It has made me a better, more confident and competent advisor with many more tricks and options for working with students. As a result, I love my job even more, and I didn't think that was possible. It has been an outstanding experience in every way.”

For information on the program, including application and registration information, go to http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/GradPrograms/index.htm

 2005 NACADA Leadership Position Election Results

The election of NACADA leadership positions for terms beginning in October 2005 began on January 14, 2005 when the online voting system was made accessible to all eligible voting NACADA members. Login information and passwords were e-mailed individually to members using special mail-merging software. The positions for which candidates were seeking election included NACADA President, Vice President, Board of Directors members, Region Chairs, Commission Chairs, and Committee Chairs. The election process for these positions concluded on February 11 after which all valid votes were tallied.

The election of the Division Representative for the Commission and Interest Group (CIG) Division for the two-year term of October 2005-October 2007 was held immediately after the conclusion of the general election. Only those individuals who would be serving as Commission Chairs within the CIG Division as of the conclusion of the national conference in Las Vegas this fall were eligible to vote for this elected Division Representative position. In March, the incoming appointed Division Representatives for the Administrative and Regional Divisions were announced by Jo Anne Huber, incoming NACADA President, and these individuals will also begin a two-year term in October 2005 following the national conference.

The 2005 leadership election results are as follows:

Board of Directors:
President (1-year term, 2005-2006): Jo Anne Huber, The University of Texas at Austin
Vice President (1-year term, 2005-2006): Jane Jacobson, Iowa State University

Board of Directors (3-year term each, 2005-2008):
Jennifer Bloom, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Susan Campbell, University of Southern Maine
Phil Christman, Malone College

Division Representatives (2-year term, 2005-2007):
Commission & Interest Group Division Representative: Jill Johnson, University of Guelph

Administrative Division Representative: Jayne Drake, Temple University
Regional Division Representative: George Steele, Ohio Learning Network

Region Chairs (2005-2007):
Northeast Region 1: Gail Stepina, University of New Hampshire
Mid-South Region 3: Karen Thurmond, The University of Memphis
Great Lakes Region 5: Dan King, Michigan State University
South Central Region 7: Jill Anderson Hieb, University of Kansas
Pacific Region 9: Selma Reed, San Diego State University

Commission Chairs (2005-2007):
Advising Adult Learners: Teri Farr, Illinois State University
Advising Business Majors: Bill Johnson, The College of New Jersey
Advising Education Majors: Lee Kem, Murray State University
Advising Graduate and Professional Students: Kati Markowitz, University of California at Berkeley
Advising Student Athletes: Nancy Everson, College of William and Mary
Advisor Training and Development: Kathy Davis, Southwest Missouri State University
ESL & International Student Advising: Aura Rios Erickson, Shoreline Community College
Liberal Arts Advisors: Tim Moore, Kent State University
Technology in Advising: Lauren Wass, Florida International University
Two-Year Colleges: Peggy Jordan, Oklahoma City Community College

Committee Chairs (2005-2007):
Awards Committee: Rob Mossack,Lipscomb University
Diversity Committee: Skip Crownhart, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Member Career Services: Karen Sullivan-Vance, Oregon State University
Professional Development Committee: Tim Champardé, Lansing Community College

Lost at Sea

Dear Career Corner: I am feeling adrift in my career and not sure what direction I want to pursue – do you have any suggestions for where to begin? Signed, Lost at Sea

 Dear Lost: When you begin to feel adrift in your career or in your personal life, it means that it is time to get back to the basics. The first step to re-establishing your heading is to explore/re-examine your values. “The way you behave reflects your attitude toward life. And your attitudes are a function of what you believe. These attitudes and beliefs are driven by what is most important to you – your values” (Majer, 2004, p. 75).

So, let’s explore what your values are. In other words, what are you passionate about? Here are some examples of values from Majer’s (2004) book, Values Based Leadership: accountability, life balance, nurturing, independence, achievement, learning, fairness, respect, integrity, honesty, excellence, reliability, flexibility, simplicity, kindness, fun, teamwork, creativity, dependability (p. 72). This is only a small representative inventory of values, so do not limit yourself to just this list. Majer (2004) advocates defining your central core values because, “Having too many values is like serving too many masters” (p. 44). Majer (2004) also advocates helping to uncover your values by asking “How do your spend your time when you’re not working?” (p. 64). Then analyze what about these activities led you to participate them because, “You are the same person at home, at work, and at play. You take you – and your values – with you wherever you go” (Majer, 2004, p. 112).

As you uncover your values, you can use this information to decide whether you are able to live out your values through your current position. If there is a values mismatch between you and your employer, this may be an indicator that it may be time for you to explore other job opportunities. You should use your values as your compass throughout the job search process. One way to do this is to fill out the Values, Stories, & Questions chart from Martin & Bloom’s (2003) book:

Values Stories Questions

List your values in the left-hand column. In the Stories column, jot down stories that demonstrate how you live out your values. In the Questions column, list potential questions you could ask of your future employers. This chart will serve as the foundation of your search and you will refer to it throughout the search process in order to compose compelling cover letters, interview well, and negotiate an equitable package. Making decisions based on values will serve you well not only in the job search process, but also throughout your entire life.

Jennifer Bloom, Chair, NACADA Member Career Services Committee
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign


Majer, K. (2004). Values-based leadership: A revolutionary approach to business success and personal prosperity, San Diego, CA: MajerCommunications.

Martin, N.A. & Bloom, J.L. (2003). Career Aspirations & Expeditions: Advancing Your Career in Higher Education Administration. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing.


Posted in: 2005 June 28:2


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