A few weeks ago, I started working at a different university. I am very excited to be on this campus, and for the opportunity to work with a specialized student population! In the short time I have been here, I have interacted with numerous students engaging in research and analysis both locally and abroad, students working with external clients through their coursework, and student leaders who have been, and are, delivering support services (scheduling assistance) and appreciation events (graduation celebration) for their peers.
This week, our institution hosted an advising conference for the more than 200 advisors across the campus. The campus leadership recognizes the importance of advising and support services, so greatly, advising initiatives were addressed in three of four recommendations for campus growth and change, in a internal report conducted three years ago.
The keynote speaker at this conference was Charlie Nutt Ed.D., the Executive Director of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). I had the opportunity to engage with Charlie during a small group question and answer session, and hear his keynote address! During both, he both spoke about the importance of advisor-advisee relationships for all students. He referenced the research done by Richard Light, of Harvard (2001), which came to the same conclusion: students need positive, directive, supportive advising throughout their college career in order to persist and feel personal worth. (Dr. Light’s research and NACADA resources were both utilized in ‘On the Quad.’)
Students and parents in the high school stage, please know, college relationships with academic advisors/counselors, is much different than the high school model. Meeting with them should be done frequently, and never viewed as an inconvenience or a punishment.
Students and parents in the college stage, please know, no matter what year you are (your student is) in, find at least one advisor, staff or faculty, who has the time to get to know you, who provides you a listening ear and reflective, helpful guidance, who motivates you, keeps you accountable, and helps you grow and succeed!