Lack of proper advising can easily push students to not only drop out of classes but quit college. Student advisors serve as navigators who guide students through the challenging college pathways. Dr. Hoffman’s (2018) text, Art of Academic Advising, The Five Step Process, is a useful resource that guides the “purposeful advisor” (2018, p. 10) through simple, but necessary steps. He views students as “a person with a life, not just a person in classes” (2018, p.11). Although it is a Community/Technical College Edition, this easy-to-follow guide should be on every college advisor’s desk.

Dr. Hoffman starts the book with an anecdote of a a successful air conditioning technician who charged him $752 for a minor glitch. This is a good example of how the right advisors got this student veteran through college, allowing him to make a comfortable living. As a Marine veteran, he was eligible for Pell Grants that helped him pay for tuition and fees. He also benefited from the GI Bill which took away the financial challenges for the rest of his education and living expenses.

Moving through the book, readers learn about the Five B’s of advising which were taken from the ALFAA 5-Step at Central Georgia Technical College. ALFAA stands for A-Academic Preparedness, L-Life Challenges, F-Finances, A-Advise for classes, and A-Affirm registration (2018, p. 93). Chapters 12-15 include scenarios from working with one-on-one, online, and the challenging "undecided' student. Dr. Hoffman gives readers fives real life situations and how following the 5 B’s would have better supported the students so they would not choose to drop out of college.One of the best “quick use” features of this book would be the Questions and Answers in Part III. He answers frequently asked questions as to how long the 5 B’s would take. He also references NACADA as a critical resource for advisors and higher education practitioners.

Dr. Hoffman highlights NACADA’s core values of care and empowerment. Through empathetic listening and nurturing students (caring), important relationships are created. Each student has their own set of challenges and needs. Advisors use empowerment to motivate and support students to recognize their potential and face their challenges (empowerment). Dr. Hoffman underscores NACADA’s Informational Core Competencies. He stresses the importance of understanding financial aid, being mindful of drop and add dates as each institution as they have specific policies. Advisors need to be well-aware of degree programs, academic requirements, and student resources available. Advisors must be mindful of campus and community resources so that they can connect students as needed. Dr. Hoffman concludes the book with a successfully executed advisement plan in Exhibit A (2018, p. 93). New advisors can learn about the important steps that take as little as 13 minutes. Existing advisors can use it as a refresher. Dr. Hoffman uses humor as he has addresses one of the advisors as “Fuss” (2018, p. 10). Later on he jokes to see if anyone remembers what was taught to incoming freshmen at orientation (2018, p. 98). Instead of digging through books and websites for theories on advising, this book is a one-stop to learning the foundations of advising. It is also a helpful resource to present to faculty and administration. Dr. Hoffman's book is just the right tool!


The Art of Academic Advising: The Five-Step Process of Purposeful Advising (2018). Book by Dr. Jeffrey C. Hoffman. Review by Nazia A. Hossain. Scotts Valley, CA: Seventh Printing. 124pp., $15.95 (Paperback), ISBN 978-1726342360.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA core values of academic advising. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreValues.aspx

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA academic advising core competencies model. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreCompetencies.aspx

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