Destination Integration: Perspectives of Students and Advisors about Improving Academic Advising
In this second of our two part series exploring advising practices on five CSU campuses, we expand on the previous report by bringing in the voices of advisors and students at these five campuses, and summarizing the perspectives of faculty advisors, professional staff advisors, and students in the context of campus efforts to improve advising.
Across administrators, advisors, and students, we learned that advising on these campuses is largely focused on course selection and program planning. While many administrators and advisors expressed a goal of providing a more holistic and cohesive experience for students by integrating academic advising with other services, students confirm more holistic services are primarily experienced by students in special programs for underserved populations.
Students largely concurred with administrators’ descriptions of the major challenges facing advising. They cited issues with limited access to advising, fragmentation of advising, and a lack of communication across different advisors and advising offices.
Through this research advisors and students brought to light several areas that may need more attention and targeted improvement efforts as campuses move forward to improve the integration and efficiency of advising.
Drawing on information from both reports, we recommend that campuses consider:
- Offering advising in more flexible times and formats.
- Creating more meaningful mandatory advising touchpoints.
- Disseminating knowledge and information across advisors to support a seamless, integrated advising experience.
- Supporting a more personalized approach through professional development for advisors and better use of technology.
- Improving the effectiveness and integration of eAdvising tools, as well as the training provided to both students and advisors.
- Providing more professional development customized to faculty and strengthen faculty-staff partnerships.
- Assessing the effectiveness of advising improvement strategies, including their impact on equity goals.
- Continuing to create oversight structures that allow for integration and efficiency.
As campuses continue to pursue improvement strategies, we urge them to move beyond a narrow focus on coordinating academic planning and to consider how to integrate the full range of academic planning and services available to students to realize the vision of holistic advising.
The full set of survey results from Destination Integration: Perspectives of Students and Advisors about Improving Academic Advising can be found in the Technical Appendices. CSU campuses interested in replicating the study can find the survey and focus group protocols in the Technical Appendices. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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