The mission of advising at Kansas State University is to provide academic advising and assistance, which helps students successfully make the transition into college life and helps them learn to set personal and academic goals and to develop strategies for achieving those goals. The development of strategies for achieving goals will be useful in their academic careers, as well as their personal lives and professional careers. (need citation for the source of this information)
My local mission statement for academic advising would be to facilitate the academic persistence, progress, retention and success of all students who are undecided about their academic major or intended career path, as well as any students in need of assistance. There would also be goals that I would delineate to achieve this mission statement, such as meeting with every student once per semester, maintaining an open appointment policy (students can make appointments throughout the semester to discuss their goals on a continuing basis), and handouts to help students plan their courses in order to graduate on time.
I feel that the ultimate responsibility for making decisions about educational plans and life goals rests with individual students. The university should assist them by:
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1. Providing opportunities to clarify their career and life goals and assess their academic strengths and challenges.
2. Providing accurate and relevant information about academic programs.
3. Address the needs of first-time freshmen and transfer students.
4. Work with faculty to increase student persistence to graduation.
5. Work with faculty to ensure students achieve general education goals.
The goals in my mission statement that relate back to my institution’s mission statement are: developing strategies for students to help them achieve their academic goals, providing the students with assistance that will help them set their life goals, and assess their academic strengths and weaknesses. I want to be able to help in the process of getting the student on the right track to pursuing their dreams. I think that the success of the student is one of the most important things to an advisor.
Professional academic advising is integral to the University, and is vital in the transition of new, continuing and non-traditional students, and in the successful completion of their undergraduate degrees. Through my goals and my institution’s goal I would like to be able to sensitively and effectively assist students who have different life experiences, class and cultural backgrounds, identities, orientations, abilities, and values and make appropriate referrals to specialized campus resources to ensure optimal integration into university culture.
I think through these goals I will be able to help assess students’ needs and develop appropriate enrichment programs to enhance their educational experience, such as orientations, academic success courses, workshops, and co-curricular programs.
II. Student Retention February 25, 2008 The issue of retention is a persistent problem in higher education. For the past 100 years, the institutional graduation rate has stubbornly held at the 50 percent mark: half of all students entering higher education fail to realize their dreams and aspirations based on earning a certificate or degree.
As Tinto remarks, “The consequences of this massive and continuing exodus from higher education are not trivial, either for the individuals who leave or for their institutions” (1993, p. 1). Since I’m not currently in an academic advising position, the program I would focus on to relate to student retention would be a Learning-Support Unit. Within my program there would be a number of initiatives that focus on attempting to determine reasons for student’s non-completion.
This involves tracking students who did not advance to the next stage of their course; while in others the focus was on the related matter of the identification of risk factors associated with dropping out in first year. In another initiative, specific areas of competence were targeted (e. g. , in the case of students taking specific courses), while other initiatives focus on peer and staff mentoring and tutoring. Two strands in the initiatives are more broadly based, and involved an enhancement of orientation and information programs and the appointment of a retention officer, either on a part-time or full-time basis.
A Learning-Support Unit which would support students in their learning needs and assist them in the development of a range of skills. Programs consisting of, for example, study, evaluation, and time management skills, information technology skills, stress management, and communication and presentation skills, would be provided. It was envisaged that the training input and resources of relevant UCD services, the Library, computing services, and counseling services would be coordinated by a university lecturer with administrative support.
The initiative for a Learning-Support Program is to provide a co-ordinate response to the learning needs of students from under-represented groups in need of additional support with a view to increasing retention rates. As part of the program, students would be assessed to identify their specific learning difficulties, following which counseling would be provided. This would be able to show student satisfaction and retention. In terms of college retention and achievement, three particular forces account for the entire spectrum of student outcomes: cognitive, social, and institutional factors.
Briefly stated, the cognitive factors form the academic ability—the strengths and weaknesses—of the student, such as the level of proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Social factors, such as the ability to interact effectively with others persons, personal attitudes, and cultural history, form a second set of external factors that characterize the individual. We as advisors need to focus and learn what causes student retention and how we can improve it. Student retention is valuable to institutions because it assures a continued flow of revenues into the institution through the payment of tuition.
The advising program in the College of Agriculture at K-State uses the developmental model when advising their students (www. kstatecollegeofag. typepad. com). A developmental academic advising model presumes that the advisor does not function in a prescriptive role; rather, they serve as a facilitator of communication a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and academic progress review.
The department uses faculty advisors, meaning that are professors who are teaching classes and doing research are the ones advising students on their academics. The fact that they are teaching and researching at the same time gives them connections within the industry. This could be a great asset when it comes time to graduate and find a job. The advisors in the College of Agriculture are not full-time advisors so they only have 200 students to advise, the average advisee load is less than 20 advisees per advisor. This allows them to have a more personal relationship with you and really understand what is going on in your life.
Advisors do more than just advise students on the academics at K-State in the department of Agriculture, they are personal and really care about your future. From the required readings I found out that in the most recent survey (the Sixth national survey) published in 2004 as a NACADA monograph, data were collected on the mean number of advisees assigned to each full-time equivalent advisor. The survey showed that the mean number of advisees assigned to full-time advisors at 375/1 in two-year public colleges, 121/1 in two-year private colleges, 285/1 in four-year public colleges, and 153/1 in four-year private colleges.
Experts recommend that a target advisor load for full-time advisors should be about 300/1 and the target advisor load for full-time instructional staff should be about 20/1. I would strive to have 300 students for my advising load, but that at times can be difficult when advisors work in advising program that provides services to students with specialized advising needs. A delivery system for a developmental model of advising must, of course, be geared to the individual needs of the institution. My focus would be on refinement of goals, etc.
, except in cases of students who change programs and may require extensive help with all steps. It is important that clear lines of responsibility be built into an advising program. When deciding on an appropriate delivery system for advising I would consider the organizational structure of the institution, desired outcomes for the students, and most importantly that I’m accurately advising the needs of the students.
IV. Technology in Advising March 14, 2008 Kansas State University has different ways of academic advising using technologies. Academic advisors are being confronted with a variety of opportunities, enhancements, problems, and choices as technology becomes more prevalent on our campuses. The phenomena brought about by technology will become increasingly challenging as technological innovations continue to impact our professional environments. The following are some of the current technologies used at Kansas State University:
• E-mail – This use of technology is very common for advisors to use to communicate with their advisees. The positive aspect to e-mail is that it’s a quick way to send information to a student. There are some students who check their e-mail up to five times a day. Many students like to communicate via e-mail more than in person.
The negative aspects of e-mail are:
- the time and effort to manage e-mail,
- the e-mail backlog,
- keeping up with the immediacy of e-mail, the intrusive nature of email into personal time, travel, and work intruding into non-work time
- not receiving the person-to-person advising.
• K-State Online – This resource includes access to courses, message boards, live chat, and ability to send e-mails to your instructors. The positive aspects to this resource are: the interaction with the class via the message board, the ability to view your course material and assignments, and e-mail link to your instructor. The negative aspects to this resource are: the number of student’s messages on the message board can be overwhelming at times; it can be hard to communicate with everyone, the possibility of routine maintenance on the site, and not knowing exactly how the site works when you’re a first-time user.
The technology that I would utilize in delivery of academic advising would be:
• Videoconferencing – this resource would be appropriate for an advising session in a distance learning situation would be the use of video conferencing which provides both visual and auditory feedback to the parties involved. Internet-based video conferencing systems are relatively affordable but the transmission quality may be questionable at times. There can also be the use of audio software which will allow the parties to speak over the internet.
• Virtual Advising Center – this will help provide academic information through virtual and face-to-face cross-curricular advising for current and prospective undergraduate students; and To serve as a resource for faculty, staff and advisers regarding academic policies and general advising practices. Students seeking advice on course selection should visit the Virtual Advising Center website, and click on the FAQ’s button to search a database that would have hundreds of Frequently Asked Questions.
V. Process and Delivery Outcomes March 10, 2008 The mission of advising at Kansas State University is to provide academic advising and assistance, which helps students successfully make the transition into college life and helps them learn to set personal and academic goals and to develop strategies for achieving those goals. The development of strategies for achieving goals will be useful in their academic careers, as well as their personal lives and professional careers. With the mission statement in mind, there are process and delivery outcomes for the advisor.
One of the delivery/process outcomes would be that the purpose of higher education is described during the advising meetings. The delivery outcome of this process would be that the advisors will introduce the nature, purpose, and potential of higher education during recruitment and orientation for students, and will continue to do so during their advising sessions. Another outcome would be that the University, college, and departments will provide clearly articulated literature describing the nature, purpose, and potential of higher education.
The other process that I will mention would be for the advisor to be available to students as they explore and clarify their values and educational and life goals within an advising session. The outcomes for this process would be that advisors will promote intentional programs for first year students that introduce them to opportunities for intellectual and personal growth. For this process to work, advisors will monitor students’ goal sheets and actual progress in their classes and other campus activities (i. e. keeping records of their participation, attendance, and grades). We also have student learning outcomes that are expected by the university. One of the learning outcomes would be for the students to take advantage of the provided literature about educational opportunities, requirements, policies and procedures, by selecting relevant literature and bringing any questions to the attention of the advisor. When this is done the outcome of this would be that students will know where to access accurate information about educational opportunities.
They will also become familiar with requirements, policies and procedures. Another outcome for this would be that students will be aware of special opportunities such as internships, study abroad, and co-curricular activities. A second learning outcome would be that the students will communicate regularly with their advisors to ask for help with their educational progress. The outcomes for this process would be that students will maintain regular communication with their advisor. This will be measured by students setting up meetings with their advisors at least once per semester.
The other outcome for this learning process is that students will be able to utilize online technology independently to evaluate their progress toward degree completion.
VI. Advisor Training April 7, 2008 Advisor training is the foundation of any advising program. I had spoken with Dr. Leroy Benton about the advisor development training that takes place on the Kansas State University campus is the single workshop that takes place during one day or part of a day. He had mentioned that many institutions and advisors scuffle at spending more than a minimal amount of time in advisor training activities.
The trainer needs to make every minute count. The trainer should consider carefully what material really must be presented in face-to-face workshops and what could be presented in other formats such as a print or electronic training manual, or a print or electronic advising newsletter. Often informational material can be provided to advisors using print or electronic media, thus leaving the workshop format for conceptual and relational training. I think this would have more of an advantage of creating a more interactive workshop since conceptual and relational training lends itself to discussion. Dr. Benton had mentioned that implementing interactive advisor training is not only more effective than implementing a passive, lecture-base approach; it is enjoyed more by the participants. Advisor participation can be tracked by noting who has logged in if the material is presented online. And after an enjoyable training experience, participants will be eager to attend subsequent training events and to recommend them to others. If the trainer decides to present much of the informational material via print or electronic resources, participants should clearly understand that they are responsible for knowing that information.
Through advisor training and development advisors should be able to contribute to the professional, personal, and educational development of academic advisors, advising administrators, and students by providing outstanding training and development experiences, consulting services and support resources.
VII. Evaluations April 7, 2008 The advisor evaluation practices that occur at Kansas State University are student evaluations of their advisor at mid-term.
These are completed by the student and used as a tool to evaluate the research topic and mentoring provided by the research advisor. Evaluations are conducted midway through the internship appointment and at the conclusion of the program. This is the mid-term evaluation completed at the mid-point of the appointment. The terms that they are evaluated on are: outstanding, highly successful, fully successful, improvement needed, and unacceptable. There are also different research topics on the evaluation and they are:
• Standards - Focuses on the research topic, methods used, and implementation protocols.
Program standards are the standard expectations for research topics conducted as part of the Research Training Program. Review the standards then evaluate your project based on these standards
• Expectations: These are the individual expectations the student has for the research topic, including goals to be achieved and methods to be learned. First define your research expectations and then evaluate if these were met.
• Mentoring provided - Standards focuses on the mentoring provided by the research advisor and their research team.
• Program Standards: These are the expectations for research advisors hosting students in the Research Training Program. Review the standards then evaluate your research advisor based on these standards. There are a couple different advisor reward and recognition practices that occur on the campus. The Outstanding Advising Awards annually recognize individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students or outstanding academic advising administration. The recipients are then honored at the Awards Ceremony that’s held at the end of the semester.
There also is The Outstanding New Advisor Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students and who have served as an advisor for a period of three or fewer years. Outstanding advisors should be recognized for their hard work. There are many times that advisors don’t get noticed for all of the hard work that they do. When an advisor gets recognized, they realize that they are an important part of the college process and it makes them want to push themselves to do even better.
VIII. Legal Issues
Legal issues involved in academic advising generally fall under four categories:
• The contractual relationship between students and the institution
• Guidelines governing privacy of student records
• The concept of privileged communications
• Academic due process and the need for grievance procedures Kansas State University establishes contractual obligations between the institution and students. Responsibility for knowing requirements ultimately rests with students; advisors will not be held personally liable for negligent, irresponsible, or capricious behavior of students.
By keeping complete and accurate notes of advising sessions, advisors can forestall future disputes as well as protect themselves against claims of erroneous advising. It is good policy to recognize the limitations of an advisor's role. Knowing when and where to refer students who present questions or problems that extend beyond the scope of advising or the individual advisor's knowledge can help avoid charges of inappropriate or inaccurate advising and the possible consequences of such allegations.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of student records and provides for students' access to information in advising files. All notes should be written with that in mind; notes of a personal nature should not be included in this file. University officials with a legitimate interest may view student files, but other parties may do so only with the students' permission. Although students have a right to privacy, advisors may discuss confidential information with other appropriate individuals, such as deans or the Counseling Center staff, in an effort to help them.
Courts generally respect this right and do not hold advisors liable for statements considered as privileged communications.
References: (D. Parker Young, "Legal Issues Regarding Academic Advising," NACADA Journal, November 1982)
IX. Budgets and Funding The funding of the institution comes from internal revenues and government subsidy. Tuition fees, school services and other income generation projects initiated by the institution comprised the internal revenues while it is complemented by support from local and national government funding.
The funds are spent annually in ways that does not only maintain the operational expenses of the institution but also to continue financing its income generating projects. One of the long-term objectives of every institution is to be self-sufficient in terms of finances with minimal government support. This is why it uses some of its revenues to improve its projects for greater profit prospects in the future. Top business stakes of the institution is its marketing are that includes recruiter mobilization which aims to increase enrolment and tuition revenues.
Another is the partnership of its business tenants inside and in the outskirts of the campus that are using its property and students to profit. Finally, alumni-related activities such as events and gathering management boost its income through contributions and donation pledges. As administrator, my role in the budget process is to ensure that all stakeholders have a hand in developing annual budgets. This means that students, employees, management, government, businesses, alumni, parents and other entities that are influenced and are influencing the institution have injected their ideas on how to manage available funds.
With this, I can say that I am the overall responsible in ensuring that motivation and responsibility among these stakeholders to help meet the budget targets. This job is complex and many conferences with them are required to mitigate conflicts and push cost-effective measures. In spending the budget, my job is to assure that budget targets will be met or even over-performed their levels. I also am very particular in fostering due care and integrity of all my staff in disbursing funds to preserve the worthiness not only of the budgeting process but the institution as a whole.
Cost of Attrition = 12 hours x 125 = $1,500 on 6 semesters = $9,000 on 1,300 students = $1. 17M.
X. Assessment Assessment is not only about measuring and finding faults, instead it should be based on the mainly ways of program improvement in order to achieve desired results. Learning should be adjusted to cater for the different needs of students; therefore assessment should assist in identifying which programs should be wiped out, which should be improved and which should be introduced.
The CAS Standards has introduced several programs which can be used to improve students learning. Some of these include group or team theory and step learning. Group theory advocates for students to learn as a group, this is because students can be able to discuss together their weaknesses and also ensure all students participate in learning activities better. Step learning is also an essay program that can be implemented in leaning. The program involves designing learning in stages where students must follow as a learning process.
NACADA is another body which has advocated for several core values to assist students; good examples include motivation, confidence and self discipline. These cores ensure a student is able to learn with little guidance. In addition it assists the students to be able to work smart in all their learning activities. The assessment procedure will therefore be expected to improve the learning process to be able to cater for all the students. The assessment will also ensure students abilities are maximized.
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