The largest proportion of institutional leaving occurs in the first year and prior to the beginning of the second year. For this reason alone, the first year has become a special object of institutional policy aimed at reducing student attrition. V. Tinto Leaving College
Past view: look to your right, then look to your left....one of you wont be here after the first year Today: facilitate student success and provide support systems to help all first- year students succeed
The task of advising is concentrated in the opening days of registration and enrollment and consists of aiding students in the selection of courses. Handbook of College and University Administrators Asa Knowles, Editor 1960
Advising: viewed as retention tool assists students in academic, social and career development far more than scheduling classes
Anxiety vs false sense of confidence Interest in career preparation Frequent isolation Difficulty making friends Failure to connect with the institution Often underprepared for college level work Difficulty with time management
First-year students are dropping out of school in alarming numbers: one in four freshmen at 4-year institutions and one in two freshmen at 2-year institutions fail to return for a sophomore year. Crisis at the Core Preparing All Students for College and Work ACT, 2004
1. Too much fun at the expense of classes and grades 2. A sense of not belonging; a sense of isolation, homesickness 3. Academically unprepared, burned-out on education 4. Financial constraints; low on funds 5. Personal family issues
6. Academic climate fit 7. Choice of wrong major; major not offered 8. Lack of advising, guidance 9. Demands from part-time or full-time employment 10. Move to a different geographic location Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience. Richard Light
o Adaptable o Technologically savvy o Ability to grasp new concepts o Efficient multi-taskers o Impatient o Skeptical o Blunt and expressive o Image-driven o The me generation
o Short attention spans o Often under-prepared for college-level work o Interested in career preparation o Have the fast food mentality o Have strong relationships with their families o Very service-oriented
ExpectExperience o Be undecided 7%20% o Change majors 1265-85 o Fail a course 116 o Take extra time 860 o Drop out 140
ExpectExperience o Transfer colleges 12%28% o Work in college 3660 o Seek counseling 627 o Need tutoring 1520 o Seek career guidance 525 UCLA Freshman Studies (Astin), ACT Student Opinion Survey
Provides assistance mediating the dissonance between student expectations and the realities of the educational experience. Wes Habley, 1981 NASPA Journal
Theme o Become familiar with academic life o Set goals Needs/Tasks o Learn about college resources and support o Become acquainted with college missions, academic leaders, major program o Learn registration and class scheduling Gary Kramer Advising Students at Different Educational Levels
Theme o Make commitments o Use Resources Needs/Tasks o Understand major and university requirements o Understand policies and academic options Gary Kramer Advising Students at Different Educational Levels
Theme o Setting expectations and responsibilities Needs/Tasks o Time and effort required for success o Assess match between interests and abilities and major/career choice Gary Kramer Advising Students at Different Educational Levels
Four institutional conditions stand out as supportive of retention: information/advice, support, involvement, and learning. Tinto (1999)
o Ensure higher ed expectations are clearly articulated at secondary ed level. o ID strengths and needs of before classes begin. o Establish a warm and open relationship. o Be accessible. o Teach students policies/procedures while stressing their responsibilities. o Explain program requirements to advisees.
o Early alert warning system o Support groups for returning adults o Help students connect relevance of course curriculum to college experience and career development o Assist in designing appropriate schedules o Introduce campus resources o Make appropriate referrals
o Explore purpose and value of college education o Aid student with time management skills o Help advisees develop study skills, overcome test anxiety, and achieve course goals.
o Aid in developing realistic career goals o Help them make their own decisions and take responsibility for their education o Encourage them to participate in co-curriculars
Sometimes we look so intently toward the pinnacle that we stumble over the steps leading to it. Development begins just where you are. Mrs. Herman Stanley
Residence Hall-based advising Multicultural Centers Interventions with at-risk students Learning assistance centers Early alert system
FIRST-YEAR STUDENT TIMELINE Student applies Student accepts offer Student takes placement tests and completes online survey Student prepares for academic orientation -- first advising experience Student participates in academic orientation Student has traditional orientation before classes begin Student takes first-semester courses Student meets with assigned academic adviser Student communicates with adviser and vice versa Student plans next semester schedule Student takes second-semester courses Student meets with assigned academic adviser Student communicates with adviser and vice versa WHERE ARE THE POTENTIAL ADVISING INTERVENTIONS?
Caring attitude Efficiency Respect Good customer service Responsiveness to needs Enthusiasm for what theyre doing A willingness to go the extra mile Humor
What can YOUR college do to increase retention of first-year students?