Last week, I shared my thoughts about what academic advising might look in the future in higher education with an advising group.
Based on Lowenstein’s (2013) “Vision, Not a Prediction” description in his Academic Advising Approaches chapter, I shared my ideas of how the field of academic advising COULD contribute to evolution of post-secondary education. Lowenstein shares a number of insights and examples about how advising as a profession can move forward, so my talk focussed on HOW (specifically with examples) where faculty and professional advisors can enhance student development in terms of:
- Interaction with students to contribute and encourage learning outside their curriculum.
- Influence to changes and developments on their own campuses.
- Integration into the broader focus and purpose of academia.
Much of this session discussed how higher education institutions and administrators would be the only ones to lead advising changes, unless the advising profession asked the following questions themselves:
- What is the role of advising or the advisor in post-secondary education?
- What will advising look like in 5, 10, or 20 years?
- What do YOU want the profession of advising to look like?
- What sort of advising “profession” do YOU want to participate in?
- How can YOU contribute to the change and develops occurring in higher ed, specifically with regards to how advising is organized?
In thinking about my own responses to the above prompts, I know that advisors can be at the forefront of institutional and organizational change. A number of advisors I interact with and know are very forward thinking, innovative problem-solvers who want to contribute to research, teaching, or service initiatives for the profession. It is this type of critical thinking and resilience of this generation of advisors, that we need to step up to debate practices, contribute ideas, and become active participants in how the role of advising at our institutions. Does this mean increased advising training and development, enhance qualifications, or greater expectations for advisors? Perhaps. I think the advising community of practice can decide that, and should before some one else in the post-secondary sector decides to take this challenge on without consulting advisors altogether.
Lowenstein, M. (2013). Chapter 14: Envisioning the future. In J. K. Drake, P. Jordan, & M. A. Miller (Eds.), Academic advising approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college. (pp. 243-258). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.