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To Enhance Retention, Progression, Graduation, and Career Opportunities Dorothy Burton Nelson, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "To Enhance Retention, Progression, Graduation, and Career Opportunities Dorothy Burton Nelson, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 To Enhance Retention, Progression, Graduation, and Career Opportunities Dorothy Burton Nelson, Ph.D.

2 Northwestern State University  Will prepare its students to become productive members of society and  Will promote economic development and improvements in the quality of life of the citizens in its region.

3  1. Student Success  b. Increase the percentage of program completers at all levels each year.

4  Narrative Report:  In 2010-11, Northwestern's administration chose to focus specifically upon three initiatives to increase program completion at all levels: enhancement of academic advising…

5  Academic advising enhancement:  The Academic and Career Engagement Program (ACE) program provides professional development for academic advisors for all students, coordinates special advising efforts for incoming freshmen, and develops advising and career engagement sessions  Good academic advising is at the core of efforts to move students forward to completion of their degree programs in a timely fashion…  Early tracking indicates the ACE program will result in increased academic success leading to a higher percentage of completers.

6 First Advising Era  1636: Harvard: Faculty mentoring  Faculty lived, supped, prayed, and worked with students who aspired to ministry, medicine, law (Morison, 1946)

7 Second Advising Era  1870-1970: “Academic Advising as a Defined and Unexamined Activity” (Frost, 2000)  Introduction of elective courses and program options  Term “adviser” first associated with new freshmen (Rudolph, 1962)  Faculty advisers – more emphasis on undergraduate guidance for curricular decisions (Rudolph, 1962)

8 Second Advising Era  Gilman (1886) defined term “adviser” and stated responsibilities of role:  The adviser’s relation to the student is like that of a lawyer to his client or of a physician to one who seeks his counsel. The office is not that of an inspector, nor of a proctor, nor of a recipient of excuses, nor of a distant and unapproachable embodiment of the authority of the faculty. It is the adviser’s business to listen to difficulties which the student assigned to him may bring to this notice; to act as his representative if any collective action is necessary on the part of the board of instruction; to see that every part of his course of studies has received the proper attention (p.565).

9 Second Advising Era 1930s-1940s: Student-centered philosophy:  Student Personnel Point of View (SPPOV)  Encompasses the students as a whole…attention to the student’s well-rounded development – physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually – as well as intellectually. The student is a responsible participant not a passive recipient of an imprinted economic, political, or religious doctrine, or vocation skill. (American Council on Education, 1949, pp. 17-18)

10 Second Advising Era  SPPOV established the legitimacy of academic counseling along with personal, vocational, and job placement counseling in higher education, which extends to modern day. (Morrison and Ferrante, 1973)

11 Third Advising Era  1970s – present: “Academic Advising as a Defined and Examined Activity.” (Frost, 2000)  1977: National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)  Publication of research articles Crookston (1972) O’Banion (1972)  Organizational models of administrative structure of advising (i.e., Faculty-only, Total Intake)

12  Third Advising Era Emergence of  Prescriptive advising  Developmental advising  Intrusive advising  Advising as teaching

13 Third Advising Era  2000s: Focus on Results and Accountability (Troxel, 2008)  Assessment of advising  Learning outcomes  Academic mapping and tracking progress  Career salience (vocational identity)

14 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA (Pryor, et al, 2011)  Identified national norms of American freshmen More liberal in views Slight positive change in attitudes and behaviors aligned with academic success Expressed number one reason for entering college as being better job prospects Fewer scholarships and substantive financial aid

15 Students express number one reason for entering college as being better job prospects (CIRP, 2011) Three out of four students entering the university for the first time have no clear career/occupational goals, and only 8 percent of declared students have a clear understanding of their majors (Gordon, 1995). The advising process serves as the venue for personalizing a program of study (Glennon & Vowell, 1995).

16 “ All students need career advising, even those who are decided on an academic major” (Gordon, 2006, p. 5) “…helps students understand how their personal interests, abilities, and values might predict success in the academic and career fields they are considering and how to form their academic and career goals accordingly” (Gordon, 2006, p. 12).

17 Faculty and Staff Advisors should:  Know occupational options associated with major/field in which they advise  Know typical employers of those occupations  Know skills qualities necessary for employment in those occupations  Help students seek/connect with early experiences and part-time employment in field  Know when to refer students



20  Advisors partner with students for advising process  Advisors recognize issues, attitudes and behaviors which warrant referrals  Indecisiveness  Lack of progress (frequent withdrawals, inferior grades)  Avoidance, depression  Low self-efficacy, outcomes expectancy, decision certainty  Advisors know campus resources  Advisors track and follow-up

21  Readiness to declare/decide?  Level of decidedness?

22 The capability of an individual to make appropriate career choices taking into account the complexity of family, social, economic, and organizational factors that influence career development Capability – Individual student factors Complexity – Factors outside the student Sampson, Reardon, Peterson & Lenz, (2004)

23 How are career choices influenced by the way a student thinks and feels?

24 How does the world around the student influence his or her career choices? Family Friends Economy Society Employment opportunities

25 Complexity (high) (high) Capability Capability (low) (high) (low) (high) (low) (low) Low Readiness High Support Moderate Readiness Moderate-low support needed High Readiness Little support needed

26 Decided Individuals Very decided Somewhat decided Unstable decided Undecided Individuals Tentatively undecided Developmentally undecided Seriously undecided Chronically indecisive Gordon, (1998)

27 Very Decided Somewhat Decided Unstable Decided Tentatively Undecided Developmentally Undecided Seriously Undecided Chronically Indecisive Gordon, (1998)

28 Gordon’s (2006) 3-I Process: Inquire Inform Integrate

29 “The inquire phase involves identifying students’ academic and career concerns, clarifying their needs, and making appropriate responses to help them move to the information- collecting phase.” Gordon, (2006, p. 47)

30 “Interview Guide” (Amundson, 2003). Five parts: 1. Elicit the idea/belief/problem presented by the student 2. Gather confirming and disputing evidence 3. Seek information about concept development 4. Determine the social supports 5. Determine the positive and negative consequences of making the decision

31 Elicit the “Idea/Belief” presented by the student:  “Tell me about what you’d like to explore or possibly change about your academic plan.”  “What concerns do you have about your career plans?”  “Explain your primary academic or career goals and/or concerns.”

32 Gather confirming and disputing evidence:  “What qualities or characteristics do you possess that will help you succeed in your major? “What qualities or characteristics should you develop that would help you succeed in your major?”  “What would make you a good ?”  “Can you identify any reasons that you should not pursue the field?”  “Explain any doubts about going into this field.”

33 Seek information about concept development:  “When did you first become aware of an attraction to this field?”  “How long have you considered this field?”  “What were the most attractive features to you?”  “When did you begin doubting your decision?”  “What caused you to begin doubting your decision?”

34 Determine the social supports:  “Have you discussed your concerns or ideas with anyone?”  “How did your parents/friends/spouse (key person) respond to your thoughts?”  “What kind of support do you need to make a career/academic change or to support your current decision?”

35 Determine both positive and negative impact of the decision:  “What do you see as the positives of declaring or changing your major at this point in time?” ”Explain the benefits of changing right now versus waiting.”  “What are the consequences you’ll face with making this decision?”  “Can you manage those consequences?”  “Is there anything you can do to minimize the consequences?”

36 Often conducted by career services  StengthsQuest  Holland’s Self Directed Search  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator  SIGI3  Discover  Informal discussion

37 “Three areas where students need to gather career information are (1) their personal attributes, such as their likes and dislikes; (2) educational information, such as how academic decisions (e.g., major, coursework) relate to possible career directions and the acquisition of marketable skills; and (3) the type of occupational information that is pertinent to their academic situation and career goals.” Gordon, (2006, p. 63)

38  Advisor’s expertise and experiences  DISCOVER  Occupational Outlook Handbook  O*NET  SIGI3  Workers in the field

39  Discuss assessment results with students  Align results with occupational options  Write questions for gathering additional information  Scrutinize structure of the curriculum  Discuss skills inherent in general education and major courses pertinent to employability

40 “In the integrate phase, advisors and students determine what additional assistance is needed to help students organize and make meaningful connections between the information sources they have collected. The term integrate is used in this context to mean coordinating or blending all the student knows into a functioning or unified whole.” Gordon, (2006, p. 63)

41  Specify suitable occupation(s)  Write career goal(s)  Develop an academic map/plan to achieve goal(s)  Develop a timeline for checking progress  Adjust career goal or academic plan if indicated

42 Case of James James, a third semester sophomore, entered college as a business major. His father, grandparents and uncles are all involved in a family business and he entered college with the assumption he would continue the tradition. His father, especially, is looking forward to having James take on responsibility in the business, and hope that one day James will be in a good position to take over. As James took the required courses for business, however, he did not feel his academic strengths and interests were aligned with the content of those courses. He did not do well in his math or accounting courses, and, although he received a B in his first economics course, he did not enjoy it. Now, as he progresses through his sophomore year, he is having real doubts about his choice of a business major. James has been active in student government since his freshman year and was elected chair of several committees for his fraternity. Leadership roles seem to come natural to James. He finds political science and history courses to be his best subjects, and he does well in English composition. He has also been involved in soliciting and writing advertisements for the yearbook. James’ interests span so many areas that he is having difficulty identifying all the alternative majors that might be possible for him. James is concerned about going home to talk to his father about the doubts he has about continuing as a business major, but he feels sure that he needs to change directions.

43  What questions could you ask James to help clarify or conceptualize his situation?  Based on the information provided, what can you say about James’ readiness to make a decision?  What strengths/talents does James possess that you would consider paramount in the decision- making process?  What referrals might you consider that would help James move forward in his career and academic decisions?


45  Why should you?

46 Not about the institution’s retention and graduation rates Not about the Grad Act and university funding Not about the process of career advising About touching the life of each individual you advise About being a part of the rich and meaningful experiences associated with each person’s career journey

47 Amundson, N. (2003). Active engagement: Enhancing the career counseling process, (2 nd ed.). Richmond, B.C.: Ergon Communications American Council on Education. (1949). The student personnel point of view (rev. ed.). American Council on Education Studies, series 6, no. 13. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. Clifton, D.O., Anderson, E., & Schreiner, L.A. (2006). StrengthsQuest: Discover and develop your strengths in academics, career, and beyond (2 nd ed.). Washington, DC: The Gallup Organization. Crookston, B. B. (1972). A developmental view of academic advising as teaching. Journal of College Student Personnel, volume 13, pp. 12-17. Frost, S.H. (2000). Historical and philosophical foundations for academic advising. In V.N. Gordon, W.R. Habley, et al. (Eds), Academic Advising: A comprehensive handbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Glennen, R. E. and Vowell, F. N. (eds.) (1995). Academic advising as a comprehensive campus process. NACADA Monograph Series, no. 2. Manhattan, KS : National Academic Advising Association. Gordon, V. N. (1995). The Undecided College Student: An Academic and Career Advising Challenge (2nd Ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. Gordon, V. (1998). New horizons: learning from the past and preparing for the future. NACADA Journal, 18 (2), 5- 12. Gordon, V.N. (2005). What is your career advising IQ? Academic Advising Today, 28(4). Gordon, V.N. (2006). Career advising: An academic advisor’s guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Gordon, V.N. (2007). The undecided college student: An academic and career advising challenge (3 rd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. Gordon, V.N., & Sears, S.J. (2010). Selecting a college major: Exploration and decision making (6 th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

48 Hughey, K.F., Burton Nelson, D., Damminger, J.K., McCalla Wriggins, B., & Associates.2009). The handbook of career advising. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Morison, S.E. (1946). Three centuries of Harvard: 1636-1936. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Morrison, J.L., & Ferrante, R. (1973, February). The public two-year college and the culturally different. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. O’Banion, T. (1972). An academic advising model. Junior College Journal, 42(6), 62-69. Pryor, J.H., DeAngelo, L., Palucki, B.L., Hurtado, S., Tran, S. (2011). The American Freshman: National norms fall 2011. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA. Rudolph, F. (1962). The American college and university: A history. New York: Knopf. Sampson, J.P., Jr., Reardon, R.C., Peterson, G.W., & Lenz, J.G. (2004). Career counseling & services: A cognitive information processing approach. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Troxel, W.G. (2008). Academic Advising: A comprehensive handbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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