Student, Staff Advisor, and Faculty Advisor Perceptions of Academic Advising

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Title: Student, Staff Advisor, and Faculty Advisor Perceptions of Academic Advising
Author: Wyatt, Jennifer Lynne
Advisors: Don C. Locke, Committee Chair
Marc A. Grimmett, Committee Member
Audrey J. Jaeger, Committee Member
Deborah C. Luckadoo, Committee Member
Abstract: Two historical aims of undergraduate education have been to involve students in the content of learning and to involve students with faculty (Gordon, Habley, & Associates, 2000). Involving students in the content of the learning happens almost automatically during class time, lab meetings, academic clubs, and extracurricular arts events. Actually involving students with faculty has been somewhat more difficult. One method used to engage students with faculty is academic advising. Academic advising in some form has been a part of higher education in the United States almost since its beginning (Gordon, 1992), but it wasn't until 1979 that the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) was established. In 1980 the association worked in conjunction with the Council for the Advancement of Standards to set goals for academic advising; however, little research has been done regarding their efficacy. A series of national studies on academic advising, done in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1998, and in 2003, has been conducted by the American College Testing (ACT) program in collaboration with NACADA. The last five of the national surveys have included a section for the assessment of the goals for advising. One survey was completed for each institution. These surveys have provided substantial data from many institutions, however, with just one person reporting from each institution, responses may not have been reliable in describing the totality of academic advising at each institution. The majority of respondents were not strictly involved in academic advising but were from academic departments, counseling departments, student affairs, enrollment management, admissions, or some other unit on campus. This raises a question regarding respondents' complete knowledge of and participation in the entire advising processes⁄systems at the institutions and, therefore, the accuracy of the reporting of how well the goals are being met. A more accurate picture of how well the goals are being met may come from those on campus who are actually involved in the process of advising. This would include staff advisors and faculty advisors who meet with students in an advising relationship and the students themselves. This study investigated the self-reported perceptions of how well staff advisors, faculty advisors, and students believed the NACADA goals for academic advising were being met on a public comprehensive university campus. In addition, the study looked at the relationship between student, staff academic advisor, and faculty advisor perceptions of meeting the NACADA goals for academic advising. The results of the survey suggest that while all student means fell above the 3.0 level (on a 1-5 Likert scale instrument), students rated their advisors as being closer to the Adequate rating than the Well rating when reporting how well their advisors were able to meet each goal. Staff and faculty advisors rated themselves higher than students rated them on all scales. Further qualitative research into what occurs during advising would provide a richer view of how the goals were being addressed during advising sessions.
Date: 2006-04-07
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education

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