EAA Fellow, Dr. Kimberly Smith, offered recommendations for action during her presentation at the EAA Campus Retreat on September 18th, 2019. These followed a review of nine years of institutional data, the faculty and student surveys, and the progress to date of the nine Working Groups. Dr. Smith’s recommendations included developing professional development and training, with a focus on the 3 components of advising (per NACADA’s Core Competencies for Advising).
The New Paltz EAA Self-Study resulted in priority recommendations for improving academic advising and strategies for implementation:
Campus-wide Advising Council
Establish a campus-wide advising council to facilitate ongoing communication regarding advising, for the sharing of best practices, to review advising policies, etc. The council would include both faculty and primary-role advisors and would include representatives from all of the offices that support the advising process as well as the schools and colleges that make up the institution.
Campus & Administration Support for Advising
Support from administration in terms of not only resources to support its advising mission, but also consistent language supporting the role of advising with respect to strategic planning and institutional commitment to student success (i.e., articulating the goal for a clear academic advising plan that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion in support of institutional mission and values).
Institutional Mission Statement for Advising & Student Learning Objectives
Create a clear and concise definition of academic advising that describes specific objectives, goals, and learning outcomes for the advising process. Develop an institutional advising mission statement that situates advising as an activity that facilitates student learning, consistent with institutional values, involving faculty, professional advisors, and students.
Recognition and Reward System for Faculty Advising
It is recommended that advising be explicitly situated within frameworks for reappointment, tenure and promotion (RTP). The College should also examine ways to expand DSI & DSA criteria to include academic advising. Recognition of advising excellence should be institutionalized, perhaps through alignment with NACADA’s guidelines for the recognition of advising excellence.
Institutionalize Advisor Professional Development and Training
Professional development should connect with the mission and vision for advising and draw from NACADA’s three components for advising: the Conceptual, the Informational, and the Relational components. Programming could be developed and offered by the Advising Council in the Faculty Development Center.
The proposed recommendations will require thoughtful development, consultation, and implementation. It is recommended that a 1-year task force be developed to support the project’s effective transition from planning to implementation.
The task force will develop and monitor the early implementation of the EAA Plan in a manner that is consistent with the College’s strategic initiatives and priorities, and communicate and disseminate progress reports to the community and identified stakeholders.