NACADA (2017) has identified the relational element of academic advising as one of the core competencies of the profession along with the conceptual and informational elements. Distinct from the others, the relational element highlights the dynamics within the advising practice. That said, saying the relationship is important is one thing, designing and supporting advising practices that help facilitate and sustain the relationship is another… How do institutions help advisors develop the knowledge and skills to enhance and sustain their advising relationships?
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The relational aspect of advising is gaining momentum as higher education continues to wrestle with student retention while simultaneously juggling technological advances, decreased funding, and the digital advances of a global society. Although the development of a relationship between the advisor and student is imperative, the advising structure/model also plays a role in the relational aspect of advising.