Academic Advising Resources


Organizational Structures for Advising

Preliminary data from 2011 national survey of academic advising.(Note: the monograph with results and analysis of this online survey will be published by NACADA will in early 2012 as a searchable CD. Follow up surveys on specific aspects of the survey will take place beginning in the 2012).



Question: “Which advising models best describe your advising situation?”(Check all that apply).

  • Self Contained(all advising occurs in a center staffed primarily by professional advisors or counselors; faculty may also advise in the center.
  • Faculty only(all advising is done by a faculty member, usually in the student’s academic discipline.
  • Shared Supplementary [professional staff in a center support advisors (usually faculty) by providing resources/training]
  • Share Split(faculty provide advising in academic discipline while staff are responsible for a subset of students, e.g., undecided, pre-majors)
  • Total Intake(all incoming students advised in a center; students may be assigned elsewhere later)
  • Don’t know
  • Choose not to rely
  • Other:(with space to comment)


Preliminary results:Respondents could check all models that apply to their situation and 25% of respondents did just that.  Thus percentages add up to more than 100%.


Two-year colleges: 239 respondents.

  • Self-contained (centralized unit staffed mostly by professional advisors/counselors): 32.6%
  • Faculty only (mostly decentralized/advising in their offices): 8.8%
  • Shared: 51.4% (split the most common type)
  • Total Intake: 18.8%
  • Other: 11.7%


Four-year (public and private specializing in awarding baccalaureate degrees): 104 respondents.

  • Self-contained: 15.3%
  • Faculty only: 39.4%
  • Shared: 51% (split and supplementary are most common types)
  • Total Intake: 7.6%
  • Other: 12.5%


Four-year (public and private masters): 206 respondents.

  • Self-contained: 18.9%
  • Faculty only: 20.9%
  • Shared: 58% (“split” the most common type)
  • Total Intake: 15%
  • Other 10.7%


Four-year (public and private awarding through Ph.D.): 197 respondents.

  • Self-contained: 38%
  • Faculty only: 08%
  • Shared: 54.3% (“split” was the largest group)
  • Total Intake: 16.8%
  • Other: 16.8%


Note: The “shared models” differed greatly. The most common was the “split” model  noted by 53% of respondents (e.g., a center for some populations - most often noted were undecided students -- with faculty advising students in specific majors. The “shared supplementary” model had its largest percent (23%) at baccalaureate institutions.


Additional note: 10% of respondents have peer advisors working within their model.


Cite this resource using APA style as:

Miller, M.A. (in press). Structuring the conversation: Shifting to four dimensional advising models. In Carlstrom, A., 2012 national survey of academic advising. (Monograph No.  25). Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association.Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: [insert url here]


Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
The contents of all material on this Internet site are copyrighted by the National Academic Advising Association, unless otherwise indicated. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of an original work prepared by a U.S. or state government officer or employee as part of that person's official duties. All rights are reserved by NACADA, and content may not be reproduced, downloaded, disseminated, published, or transferred in any form or by any means, except with the prior written permission of NACADA, or as indicated or as indicated in the 'Copyright Information for NACADA Materials' statement. Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law and is subject to criminal and civil penalties. NACADA and National Academic Advising Association are service marks of the National Academic Advising Association.

Index of Topics
Advising Resources

Do you have questions?  Do you need help with an advising topic? 
Email us.