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Let’s Talk About The Advising Syllabus

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1 Let’s Talk About The Advising Syllabus
Sandy Bauman Courtney Johnsrud Great Falls College Msu Advising & Career Center Introduce ourselves. We want people to talk about the topics as we got through the presentation

2 Advising! “Good advising is one of the key conditions that promotes retention for it reflects an institutions commitment to the education of students.” Vincent Tinto “Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience.” Richard Light

3 So Let’s Talk What does the philosophy of “advising as teaching and learning” mean to you? The conversations we had about this topic really led us to all that follows Do people agree with that statement? Talk about this for a few minutes and discuss as a group what this means. Get people talking

4 Teaching and Learning “An excellent advisor does the same for the student’s entire curriculum that the excellent teacher does for one course” Marc Lowenstein, 2005 Shift – advising away from an administrative task to a teaching opportunity. This means not just a philosophical shift, but a shift in what we do.

5 A Syllabus What does the syllabus do?
What are the benefits of using a syllabus? Can we just expect students to know and understand the value of advising? Lead a discussion briefly each of these questions

6 Topics for today How we did it? Who What Why
How does it contribute to our campus culture? How and where do we use it? How do we plan to move forward?

7 Why include all of these groups?
How did we do it – WHO? Advising & Career Center Executive Team representative Common Ground - Advisory Board Faculty Student Staff Distance Faculty Why include all of these groups? Describe how our advising center operates – centralized, all students assigned to advisor, don’t change advisors, faculty advise competitive program students Ask - Who else would they want to include on their campus?

8 How did we do it – WHAT? First steps – Develop an advising mission statement that ties to the College’s mission statement Advising is a teaching and learning process dedicated to student success. The Advising & Career Center will work collaboratively with the campus community to assist students in developing and implementing individual plans in order to live, work, and learn as active members of a global society. NACADA advise – develop your mission and tie everything back to it. Guides your processes, programs and curriculum. Must tie to the college mission.

9 How did we do it – WHAT? And we developed a common definition (course description) of advising that fits our college…. Advising is a comprehensive educational process whereby students, faculty and advisors are partners in: providing encouragement and support; ensuring student academic success; identifying resources to help students achieve their personal, academic, and career goals; meeting essential learning outcomes; and engaging students throughout their entire experience at the College. Everyone looks at advising the same way – course description of what it is

10 The Syllabus We followed our academic common syllabus template as much as possible – meets the guidelines of all syllabi on the campus How did this help us…… Make it relevant to the campus, division, etc that will be using it Don’t reinvent the wheel! Tied to academics which created a common connection to the faculty and put advising on the same level NACADA resources Resources – NACADA clearinghouse, publications, advising network

11 The Syllabus: The Parts
Responsibilities of Advisors Encourage and guide students to define and develop realistic educational goals Communicate the College’s degree requirements, policies, and procedures Monitor students’ progress Responsibilities of Advisees Clarify personal values and goals Become knowledgeable about college programs, policies and procedures Keep a personal record of academic progress Creates the understanding that Advising is a two-way responsibility Tells students and the advisor what they can expect and do to get the most out of advising

12 The Syllabus – The Parts
Learning Outcomes What do you expect students to Know and Understand (policies and procedures) Do (navigate Banner Web) Value and Appreciate (role of advising) as a result of academic advising Example: Students will develop a comprehensive, individual academic plan to graduation As a new advising center, this was a primary focus in the first and second year as we transition almost all students to the Center

13 The Syllabus: The Parts
Outcomes assessment – did you meet the learning objectives? Start small – measure 2-3 a year Creates accountability to the student and the College Ties back to academics and accreditation Evaluates how well the process of teaching and learning is progressing Let’s students and the campus know that we are accountable for doing what we say we are going to do Ties into our outcomes for the college and the individual courses – what we call Phase IV evaluation of each class

14 The Syllabus: The Parts
Resources – on and off campus Advising calendar Materials (catalog, planning sheets, web, etc) Contact Info What else? What could also be on the syllabus?

15 How did we do it – WHY? Buy in!
Reinforce advising as an academic pursuit – it is more than course planning Give us a means for evaluating our progress Gain cross-campus support for the new model of advising Let the faculty know their students were going to be taken care of!

16 How does it contribute to our culture?
Sets the tone for advising relationship Clarifies what advising is and the value it adds to the educational experience Makes advising visible and transparent to the College Creates mutual obligations Accountability It also creates a friendly and open relationship Promotes communication with students, faculty and staff Creates accountability for both parties involved in advising Makes advising part of the student’s academic pursuit

17 How do we use it? Introduce at registration
Small groups Explains the relationship they can expect May be the first introduction to a syllabus, what it is, and why it is important – teach the language of higher education Review at first advisor individual appointment More in depth discussion Reinforces academic nature of advising Defines the nature of advising to students

18 Are there challenges? A new process to learn
Can be uncomfortable as you figure out how and when to use it Buy in from advising, students, and the College It is a culture shift – it takes time What do you include in the syllabus (can’t be everything!)

19 How do we plan to move forward?
Improve process for online students Review our learning outcomes – develop them around momentum points Find new ways to effectively use it – orientation, web, D2L, study skills course Outcomes assessment – how do we measure it Resources – find more Advising Calendar – keeping it current Professional Development - Practice Measuring effectiveness of the outcomes AND the syllabus We no longer have the student success course as a way to measure – need to find a new way

20 Remember….It’s all about student learning
The Syllabus Remember….It’s all about student learning

21 References & Resources
Light, R.J. Making the most of college: Students speak their minds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Lowenstein, M. (2005). If Advising Is Teaching, What Do Advisors Teach? The NACADA Journal, 25 (2) Tinto, V. Taking Student Retention Seriously. Retrieved September 9/21/12 from Resource: Advising Syllabi:

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