AcAdv, nacada

What’s On the Horizon for Academic Advising?

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:

  1. Interaction with students to  contribute and encourage learning outside their curriculum.
  2. Influence to changes and developments on their own campuses.
  3. 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.

 

Reference

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.

 

 

G*STEP, Professional Development

G*STEP: Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program

 

 

As part of the “Professional Development” section for my portfolio requirements (in lieu of comprehensive exams, I will defend a professional portfolio in order to become a Ph.D. Candidate before the semester over – I will blog about this in the near future), I am completing a variety of professional workshops, pre-conferences, colloquiums, and training events in my field to enhance my doctoral course work. I was just accepted to the Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Program (G*STEP) program, with approximately 85 other University of North Texas graduate students, who will complete the G*STEP certificate over the next 12 months.

 

 

 

 

 

As indicated by the image, the goal of the G*STEP program is to initiate mentoring, encourage personal growth, and support effective teaching and learning practices for graduate students. This non-credit certificate program was developed by the Toulouse Graduate School, the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign (CLEAR),the Provost’s office, Undergraduate Studies, UNT Libraries, and the UNT Program of Higher Education to promote effective teaching in higher education at UNT.

 

UNT would like to reach their FOUR BOLD GOALS for teaching effectiveness, which can be grouped into these three key factors:

 

1. Providing organized and clear instruction that contributes to understanding and promotes learning

2. Creating a learning environment that is inclusive, respectful and engaging

 

3. Guiding and encouraging self-directed learning resulting in a wider understanding and contribution to the learning process.

 

Although I already have teaching experience, in both the K-12 and higher education classroom, I thought the G*STEP program would improve my instructional craft, enhance my pedagogical methods, and connect me to other graduate students in various disciplines – to learn about their teaching practices, challenges and resources. The only cost to the program is purchasing Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers and committing my time/effort to the program for the duration of the twelve months.  As I plug through the online modules (8 total) and face-to-face meetings (6 total), I will be sure to share my contributions, reflections and progress here.