Book by Charles M. Jaksec III
Review by Lianna L. Scull
Academic Advising
Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (New York),

Today many campuses define academic advising so that the advisor’s role encompasses that of mentor or teacher (Miller and Alberts, 1994; Ryan, 1992). It is essential that we craft multi-facetted definitions of academic advising so that advisors can assist in preparing students for the inevitable crises they face each day simply as human beings living in this world. Whether academic, personal, professional, environmental, or societal, crises impact our students in a multitude of ways. Strategies suggested in Toward Successful School Crisis Intervention: Nine Key Issues can guide the first steps advisors take to assist students facing these inevitable crises. The information provided in this text can be utilized in developing advisors as student mentors and simultaneously as key players in the support system upon which students rely when facing the inevitable.

Section one touches upon the importance of responding to crises in ways that best serve the student population while still maintaining a clear position of legal responsibility. Section three effectively highlights the importance of often evasive interoffice communications, particularly when reacting to crisis on campus. Non-school-based crisis intervention teams, discussed in section six, are a valuable resource which many college communities may not utilize effectively. Section nine encourages school staff to work with students in productive anticipation of crises. This section is particularly informative for advisors wishing to utilize their counseling skills beyond students’ educational and professional lives and thus help in developing students’ general sense of well-being, security and their ability to grow from challenges.

For academic advisors, one fault of this book is its failure to address the role of advisor to the extent that it discusses the roll of the teacher in crises situations. Additionally, as the title suggest, this book more thoroughly addresses crises in primary and secondary school settings than crises in institutions of higher education. Regardless, I would classify this book as an invaluable tool for staff and faculty members who make up institutional crisis committees as well as those who are the first-line defense against the crises that are a reality in our schools. After all, crises, from illness to far reaching, life-altering tragedies, arise at all levels of education. From primary to post-secondary levels, crises are a certainty in today’s campuses and classrooms.

I would recommend this text for guidance counselors, college and university counseling personnel, and members of student life offices, e.g., resident directors, as well as academic advisors interested in being involved in the improvement of their institution’s emergency procedures. This is an especially important read for those named as support staff to the designated administrator of emergency protocol.

Ultimately, this book supports the tried and true saying; “the best offense is a good defense.” As true mentors and responsible administrators it is our duty to look to the future and plan ahead. In that respect, this book is a detailed discussion and an action-oriented tool for the “front-line of defense” educational administrator.

Miller, M. A., & Alberts, B. (1994). Developmental advising: Where teaching and learning intersect. National Academic Advising Association Journal, 14, 43-45.

Ryan, C. C. (1992). Advising as teaching. National Academic Advising Association Journal, 12, 4-8.

Toward Successful School Crisis Intervention: Nine Key Issues (2007) Book by Charles M. Jaksec III. Review by Lianna L. Scull. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press (SAGE Publications) 128 pp., $22.95, (paperback), ISBN # 9781412948883
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