What Strategies Improve School-Wide Academic Advising?

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    Counselor Brief

    What Strategies Improve School-Wide Academic Advising?

    To enhance the academic advising landscape, insights from an Academic Advisor reveal the impact of integrating technology by requiring computers for advising sessions. Alongside this expert perspective, we've gathered additional answers that range from mandatory training to the implementation of online appointment scheduling systems. These strategies, including the standardization of advising across departments, collectively represent a mosaic of successful approaches to improving school-wide academic advising processes.

    • Require Computers for Advising Sessions
    • Mandatory Training for Academic Advisors
    • Institute a Peer Advising Program
    • Utilize Data-Driven Decision-Making Tools
    • Standardize Advising Across Departments
    • Implement Online Appointment Scheduling

    Require Computers for Advising Sessions

    To have a successful advising session, students are required to bring their computers for all advising sessions. The students will complete any required actions while in the office on their own, but they have the advisor there to walk them through the steps; this is especially helpful for new students. This allows students to complete the tasks required and be able to ask questions in real-time. After completing the tasks, students feel empowered to be able to complete tasks on their own in the future. Our goal is for students not to depend on advisors for everything but to equip them with the tools and knowledge to complete tasks on their own.

    Caroline Adams
    Caroline AdamsAcademic Advisor, Samford University

    Mandatory Training for Academic Advisors

    To enhance the quality of academic advising at a school-wide level, mandatory training for academic advisors can be crucial. Such training ensures all advisors have a consistent foundation in advising principles and are aware of the latest updates in academic programs and policies. It promotes a shared understanding of the school's educational goals among advisors.

    The skills learned during these trainings help advisors better support their students in making informed decisions about their academic paths. Every school striving for excellence should consider implementing comprehensive training programs for their academic advisors to nurture student success.

    Institute a Peer Advising Program

    Instituting a peer advising program can significantly bolster academic advising by adding a layer of student-to-student support. Peer advisors can assist their fellow students with insights into courses, managing workloads, and navigating academic challenges from a relatable standpoint. These programs can also help in building a supportive community where students feel more connected and engaged with their academic environment.

    Using peers in an advisory role not only enriches the advising system but also fosters leadership and communication skills among student advisors. Schools looking to enhance their support structure should ponder the establishment of a robust peer advising program.

    Utilize Data-Driven Decision-Making Tools

    The use of data-driven decision-making tools supports the improvement of academic advising by providing advisors with critical insights into student performance and needs. These tools help in identifying at-risk students, predicting student outcomes, and tailoring advice to individual circumstances.

    The data collected can guide the allocation of resources and interventions where they are most needed. Schools aiming to optimize their advising efforts should consider integrating sophisticated analytics into their academic support systems, thus ensuring that no student falls through the cracks.

    Standardize Advising Across Departments

    Standardizing advising processes across departments creates a more unified and equitable advisory experience for all students. This standardization ensures that every student, regardless of their major or department, receives the same quality of advice and guidance. It eliminates confusion and inconsistencies that can arise from faculty having different advising approaches.

    By having a set of shared practices, schools can aid students in receiving consistent support throughout their educational journey. Institutions should make concerted efforts to create and maintain uniform advising protocols to guarantee fairness and clarity in academic decision-making.

    Implement Online Appointment Scheduling

    Introducing an online appointment scheduling system can streamline the process of obtaining academic advice for students. This technology allows students to book, reschedule, or cancel appointments with advisors at their convenience, leading to better use of time for both students and faculty. It reduces the administrative burden on staff and increases the efficiency of the advising process.

    With online systems, students have the flexibility to plan their academic consultations around their existing schedules, making it easier for them to seek help when they need it. Schools should take the initiative to update their academic advising infrastructure with online scheduling to promote greater accessibility and convenience.