Book by Peter L. Hagen, Terry L. Kuhn & Gary M. Padak
Review by Natalie J. Brown
Academic and Career Advising
Salt Lake Community College

Recognizing the need for a scholarly voice within academic advising, Hagen, Kuhn, and Padak compiled a text for academic advisors new to scholarly inquiry and those already researching within the field.  This monograph provides the rationale for the importance of scholarly research in academic advising, grounds the argument in a historical context, offers ideas, and provides information on how to proceed with the research venture from inception to conclusion. Thus they have produced a text from which every advisor can benefit.

In this monograph advisors new to the research-practitioner role, as well as more experienced advisors, are provided a wealth of information that will help place advising studies in a current context, help readers understand where the field is in terms of maturity, and delineate possibilities for future investigation.  There are a number of chapters where advisors can find inspiration for future research, whether from their day-to-day activities or from previously published research that will help readers create their own research agendas. For example, Eric R. White and Michael J. Leonard provide a plethora of examples and citations where advisors, regardless of expertise or research knowledge, can look within their daily practice for inspiration. 

More experienced advisor-scholars can brush up on their inquiry methods through study of the chapters Quantitative Methodologies for the Academic Advising Practitioner-Researcher, Qualitative Inquiry and the Practitioner: Answering Interpretive Questions that Emerge Daily in Academic Advising, and Critical Inquiry: The Humanities and Research in Academic Advising. These chapters provide in-depth detail into the various types of scholarly inquiry. They serve to assist readers in understanding the numerous available methods for answering research questions as they highlight key authors for further study.

The Voices from the Field section of the monograph underscores how each monograph section can be integrated into a research project through the sharing of first-hand accounts where advisors tell how their own scholarly studies came to be. This section illustrates that there is no one way to go about research; each advisor will experience the research process differently, ask different questions, and contribute to the field of academic advising in new ways through their research.  

Within the Preface, Hagen, Kuhn, and Padak state that the monograph is intended for readers to “use it as a guide for doing research as well as a source for learning about research” (p. 11). They successfully met these objectives. The monograph serves as an excellent reference source as well as a step-by-step guide for conducting scholarly work within the field of academic advising.  

The complexity of the topic makes this monograph a particularly large undertaking, but the editors and contributors have done the field a tremendous service.  They call advisors to abandon our singular roles as practitioners and provide use with the tools, concepts, and inspiration for research. The only question is will we accept the challenge? 

Scholarly inquiry in academic advising. (2010) Book by Peter L. Hagen, Terry L. Kuhn & Gary M. Padak (Eds.) Review by Natalie J. Brown. Manhattan, KS: NACADA. 186 pp., $60.00, ISBN # M20
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