Open Forum Notes

November 29, 2005

Faculty Advising – Roles & Rewards

 

How Role of Advising Viewed by Faculty and Deans

 

Fred Kolb –

·         Current environment for advising as serious as I have ever seen it

·         Is responsibility of students to become masters of material found in catalogue – advisers pretty much just add clarification to that

·         Where adviser adds real value is giving emphasis on areas of concentration, comprehensive major vs. standard major plus minor, study abroad, weakness of program if plan to go to graduate school, etc.

·         Those are areas where students will look back and be glad they had an adviser

·         Do not see issue of timely movement to graduation (as legislators tossing idea around) as proper issue of advising – it is students’ job to worry about when they get out

·         Degree audit has some nice features – what it needs is plan to graduation

·         Should include what students intend to take until graduation

·         Then continue to enter courses on ongoing basis in order to register

·         If you have a plan leading to graduation, can critique – have whole plan to see as adjustments made through time

·         See university obligation to have courses, legislature has responsibility, students have responsibility; see role of advisers as giving students insights they would not otherwise have had

 

Jeff Lindauer (see Kinesiology handout) –

·         With 50 to 75 advisee each, becomes struggle to meet with all advisees

·         Use weekly/monthly/quarterly email updates

·         Mass advising meetings very helpful – meet with all freshmen in big groups to explain expectations, need to get off to good start, mentoring program, focus groups, etc.

·         Important for our students to talk about developing professionally and looking ahead toward graduation

·         Adding professional development content within courses

 

Tom Dock –

·         Role of advising, how it is assessed and how it is acknowledged and rewarded all equally important

·         If you pull one out, will not end up where you wish

·         If never reward or acknowledge advising, it becomes less appreciated and recognized

·         In College of Business, each faculty member has 50 to 75 advisees so volume becomes an issue

·         Must be equally knowledgeable on 60 credits from GE and 60 credit in COB

·         COB now mandates students see adviser in last two years, not just as freshmen and sophomores

·         Allows for talk about career planning, courses, electives, certificates to add, certifications, internships in junior year, job opportunities – things where faculty member can play significant role

·         Also laid out 12-month rolling course schedule for majors in business including professor and times

·         Helps clear up conflict between print (catalogue) and reality

·         Can pre-enroll in courses on priority basis so know seats are available

·         No sense to encourage 80 students to sign up for a class when only 45 people will get in

·         Supplies piece now missing

·         Strategic advising needs to be campus-wide, not just in more aggressive departments

 

Gloria Fennell –

·         Came into department (Social Work) that highly valued advising – all courses had adviser preassignments

·         Have since made some modifications and changed to model of advising that was not so course driven – became much more about human development

·         At end of first semester, new degree audits create four-year plan for freshmen

·         Hear about plans to study abroad, or double major right away

·         Do the same for transfer students and those changing majors

·         Looking from very early at what whole course of study looks like

·         Each faculty member has 40 to 50 advisees – plan allows advising to be taken out of crunch time when trying to register and encourages students to meet advisers throughout semester as interests change

·         Vast majority still meet every semester

·         Department values advising – evaluates through student evaluation system, which is combined with course evaluations

 

Mike Wick –

·         Advising not about choosing courses and scheduling, but helping students grow into self-sufficient entities

·         Important thing is teaching ability to think critically

·         Developmental advising is where value is added – life goals, major choices, referral mechanisms

·         Basic actions university should take

·         Modify four aspects of faculty role to include advising with teaching to put emphasis back on developmental advising

·         Create faculty task force to look at system of shared responsibility for academic advising

·         Investigate advances in technology that better enable advising process

 

Don Christian –

·         Activities in Arts and Sciences

·         Formal orientation program for new faculty spread over two years

·         Get frequent requests from more senior faculty for similar opportunity

·         Student advisery group on advising – concerns incorporated into orientation program

·         Exploring with chairs possibility of advising differently – group advising; peer advising with faculty oversight

·         Puzzled by some things in advising program at UW-Eau Claire

·         Why advising elevated to level with teaching, scholarship, and service – more often advising seen as aspect of teaching

·         Focus on retrospective degree audits instead of forward planning

·         Extent to which we relieve students of significant responsibility to plot their own degree

 

Moderated Discussion

·         Can mandate PAC codes for junior and senior years to implement advising for all four years

·         Faculty can play significant role no one else on campus can

·         Shift away from course issues allows focus on career opportunities, electives, internships, placements, etc.

·         College of Business uses central advising program to get details down for first two years

·         Some faculty want to maintain advising for all four years to develop rapport with students

·         Need to recognize student plans might not match our plans – some students doing lot of planning, others not so much

·         Three groups of advisees

·         Those who have done homework and can articulate where they are going and how to get there – for them advisers play reinforcing role and catching fallacies

·         Middle group that has several good questions

·         Group that hasn’t figured it out needs hand-holding and guidance

·         Limits built into system – can work with students, but is their responsibility to meet criteria

·         Our job is to have clear criteria, clear expectations, and to identify resources for them to use

·         How do you get faculty to buy into advising as teaching role? What is institutional role in getting faculty to be able to fulfill that role?

·         Identify roles and responsibilities for people and educate them to do those tasks

·         Don’t think you will need to motivate them – faculty don’t want to do course scheduling

·         If combine teaching and advising, can adjust teaching loads to fit advising loads so good advisers are not assuming heavier load

·         Some motivation to enhancing commitment to advising

·         Motivation for separating advising from teaching in early 1980’s was effort to elevate advising

·         May not have had that impact; putting it back may not have that wonderful effect either

·         Have not heard here about advising students who are lost and how to diagnose those situations faster

·         Need more direction of what to do with lost souls, other than sending them over to career services

 

How Advising is Assessed?

 

Debbie Gough (see handout) –

·         Associate Deans’ group has come up with proposal to include degree-planning audits

·         At present not high enough priority to push back migration – is on pending list

·         Already doing at university level

·         ACT student opinion survey

·         Exit interviews and other methods

·         Want to look at advising system as a whole

·         Learning outcomes more intentional about what you do in advising – what we want students to get out of advising relationship

·         Part of evaluation plants in their minds what they should get from plans, not just whether comfortable with their advising

 

Larry Solberg –

·         Assessment of advising by Communication Sciences and Disorders Department

·         Committed to good advising and spending time with students

·         Moving more of our assessments to technology

·         Using electronic format for surveys – gives better return and larger data pool

·         Use that information for tenure, promotion and salary recommendations

·         More at masters level than at undergraduate level as large percentage of students go on to graduate school in like or other areas

·         Part of our planning is to enable them to get somewhere else

·         Get undergraduate program laid out – get students involved in advising

 

Moderated Discussion

·         Troubling to see personal issues on evaluation – nothing in my training prepares me to deal with personal issues

·         Have heard lots of faculty talk about boundaries of advising – varies by department and discipline

·         Suggests need for helping faculty who are not comfortable doing this – perhaps lists of what offices can help with personal problems

 

How Advising is Acknowledged or Rewarded

 

Steve Tallant – Overview of Excellence Award

·         Now in Schofield for six years – advising talked about every year

·         As community need to be honest about it

·         Agree ultimately is responsibility of students as is all behavior

·         At UW-Eau Claire believe in critical thinking – good problem solving and good choices lead to doing real well

·         Is our responsibility to teach students how to advise themselves

·         Advising is newest of four awards – in fourth year

·         Created as a result of feedback from faculty and financial backing by Foundation

·         Student Academic Affairs Commission invites every student on campus to nominate an adviser for the award and submit with narrative

·         Commission narrows it down to five individuals and forwards that to Awards Committee

·         Awards Committee gets permission to contact advisees and asks nominees for advising resume and philosophy and selects the winner

·         Is the one award that starts with students and end with peers

 

Andrew Phillips – Overview of References to Advising in Department Evaluation Plans

·         Kinesiology plan shown by Jeff Lindauer pretty typical

·         Six examples shown

·         Some include overview and six things to look at

·         Another about availability to students, group advising, referrals

·         Some include procedures for determining advising effectiveness

·         Many plans count number of advisees – graduate advising committees – philosophy of advising

·         Some take spreadsheet approach to advising

·         Some look at technical parts – knowledge and ability to interpret and convey

·         Look at expectations for promotion of rank

·         All different in ways people evaluate and value advisers

·         Not particularly consistent theme but do carry some common features

 

Moderated Discussion

·         In looking at promotion and tenure materials, can read the parts about teaching and scholarship and know what went on – DPC’s put time in doing that across the board

·         Most departments also lay out service to the department, college, university and community

·         Not much on advising – need to look at it differently

·         Advising and teaching share lot in common – when doing teaching component of evaluation, advising already pretty much in there even though we haven’t put it that way

·         Need to engage in discussion of how to turn this around to focus on student outcomes

·         When talk about performance, assessability, paperwork up to date, want to learn some things, but measuring something else

·         Need to do something next – combining advising with teaching, form task force for ideas and thoughts – not just have nice set of minutes

·         Any formality we add to this would be good – suggest task force be put together next semester

·         Items for task force would be

·         Forward thinking degree planning process – frees up faculty to do more of value added advising

·         Like to see us advising more broadly in education – now doing disservice to students who will change jobs several times

·         Concept of merging language of advising and teaching

·         Along with definition of what we are talking about, also need steps for how we get faculty able to do these things and students able to do these things

·         Have not talked about support services here – have decoupled – need to look at various roles and who can do these roles; needs to be faculty-based committee looking at all resources

·         Suggesting provost facilitate, not necessarily run process

·         Within departments have better sense of what will serve our departments – comes back to actions that become part of Department Evaluation Plans

·         Would also be useful for task force to identify key markers of students in personal crisis and who to refer them to rather than going down path of serving as counselors to students

·         Clearinghouse for someplace to look at ideas and find adviser/advising tools – a place to go to find information

·         Provost will put group together

 

 

Notes Taken by Wanda Schulner

Secretary of the University Senate