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Revisiting a Concept of Academic Advising in Japanese Higher Education

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1 Revisiting a Concept of Academic Advising in Japanese Higher Education
Megumi Yamasaki Soka University Eiko shimizu Ehime university

2 Who is called “Academic Advisor”?
Faculty member Usually teach first-year experience course. Function as an academic advisor till end of second year. During 3rd and 4th year, “zemi” faculty plays a role as an academic advisor. In writing, function of academic advising in Japanese higher education sounds like other countries.

3 Other types Career advising by alumni (career counseling)
Study advising by faculty (learning support) Curriculum advising (registration) Academic advising by graduate student (TA/RA) Learning Center by grad students and faculty (learning support)

4 How Japanese higher education views student support
3 layers of student support Assisting students’ needs by specialists; i.e. counselor, career counseling, learning center, etc. 3rd layer: support by specialists 2nd layer: “systemized” support Assisting students’ needs through system; i.e. academic advisor, tutorial, peer tutoring, etc. 1st layer: routine support Assessing individual needs and referrals by all faculty and staff. ★Training, exchange information, and suggestions for “better support” Japan Student Services Organization, 2007

5 Needing to address for “better support”
Need to develop advising skill Need to “know” resources on and off campus Need to develop advising training Need to provide opportunities to cultivate relationship among units/roles

6 Academic Advising Purpose/Function by UNESCO, 1998
To assist students in developing educational plans that are consistent with their life goals. To provide students with accurate information about academic progression and degree requirements. To assist students in understanding academic policies and procedures. To help students access campus resources that will enhance their ability to be academically successful. To assist students in overcoming educational and personal problems. To identify systemic and personal conditions that may impede student academic achievement and developing appropriate interventions. To review and use available data about students academic and educational needs, performance, aspirations and problems. To increase student retention by providing a personal contact that students often need and request, thereby connecting them to the institution.

7 Academic Advising Typical Activities by UNESCO, 1998
Assisting students with decision-making and career direction. Helping students understand and comply with institutional requirements. Providing clear and accurate information regarding institutional policies, procedures and programs. Assisting students in the selection of courses and other educational experiences (e.g. internships, study abroad). Referring students to appropriate resources, on and off campus. Evaluating student progress towards established goals. Collecting and distributing data regarding student needs, preferences and performance for use in refining or revising institutional/agency decisions, policies and procedures. Interpreting various interest/ability inventories that provide students with information related to their career choices. Utilizing a variety of supplemental systems such as online computer programs to deliver advising information.

8 CASE 1 Yasuda Women’s University Yasuda Women’s College
Located in Hiroshima, Japan Private Women’s University Founded in 1961 (College) 1966 (University) Faculty of Letters, Education, Psychology, Current Business, and Pharmacy Department of Kindergarten Education and      Business Student population (May, 2012)

9 Academic Advisor 1 Faculty member as “Class Homeroom Teacher”
• 40 – 80 students during 4 years (enrollment to graduation) • Teach liberal art class called “MAHOROBA PERSONAL AND SOCIAL EDUCATION Ⅰ~Ⅳ” •Assistance with goal setting •Assistance with personal growth and career development •Selection of educational program •Monitoring academic progress •Clarification of academic and institutional policies •Assistance with academic issues etc.

10 Academic Advisor 2 Staff belong each department
•Selection of educational program •Assistance with personal growth •Giving information that students need •Bridging between students and faculty etc.

11 No Training System for academic advisor
Faculty member No Department Staff Yes, but general contents ex. PC skills, Management, …… No Training System for academic advisor

12 Located in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan Private Four-year Institution
CASE 2 Soka University Located in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan Private Four-year Institution Founded in 1971 Faculty of Economics, Business Administration, Law, Letter, Education, Engineering, Nursing Student population (Undergraduate, May, 2012)

13 Academic Advisor 1 Faculty member
Teach first-year experience course (about 25 students) Teach third- and fourth-year seminar called Zemi (about 50 students) Meet regularly with first-year students Meet regularly with third- and fourth- year students Give academic advice mainly to 3rd and 4th year students

14 Academic Adviser 2 Staff member, Student Affairs Office
Conduct orientation for all in-coming students. Give registration advice; class choice, transfer options, alternative ways to get credits. Give “academic advise”; adding and dropping credits due to academic difficulty Meet with students who are in financial difficulty Meet with students who have issues in their regular lives

15 Academic Advising Training
Faculty member Voluntary coaching and communication training available during break time. Voluntary IT training available few times during academic year. Department Staff Mandatory training for policy and procedure for daily duties. Although academic advising training is provided, it is not systemic. Participants, both faculty and staff, are not aware how these training sessions are linked to academic advising. Systemic Academic Advising Training session needs to be developed.

16 Conclusion Japanese higher education “system” is not easy to restructure. A lot of members of faculty and staff are aware that “advising” is part of their job. If training sessions are provided, they are not systemic. Without changing structural system, we need to “change” faculty and staff ways of thinking about academic advising.

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