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
Cite this article using APA style as: Kansas State University and NACADA announce the first recipients of the graduate certificate in academic advising. (2005, June). Academic Advising Today, 28(2). [insert url here]