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Using Groups in Academic Advising Dr. Nancy S. King Kennesaw State University
Underlying Principles of Group Advising üCan be an important supplement to one -to-one advising sessions üNeeds to incorporate principles of developmental advising philosophy üMust be a student-centered process
Why Use Groups in Advising? üDuring peak advising periods üWhen the number of advisors vs. number of advisees is out of line üAs a way of connecting students with both their peers and an advisor üAs a very effective and efficient way of sharing information üOther reasons?
Developmental Advising Principles that are Adaptable to Group Advising üAdvising is a shared responsibility between advisor and advisee.
üAdvising contributes to the development of problem solving skills, decision-making skills, exploration of career and life goals, and behavioral awareness. üAdvising, when done well, is a form of teaching.
ARE ADVISING AND TEACHING DIFFERENT? TEACHING Domain Primarily cognitive Delivery Primarily groups Delivery Skills Presentational Outcomes Primarily cognitive growth Evaluation Usually one-way Expertise Academic discipline ADVISING Primarily affective Usually individually Relational Growth along several dimensions Two-way (collaborative) Situational
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Advising I. Skills Teaching Knowledge of subject matter Advising Knowledge of institutional policies, procedures, programs of study, referral sources Planning and organization of course material Preparing for advising meetings
Teaching Advising Giving students feedback on their progress Working together the advisor and student regularly evaluate the student’s goals and progress toward those goals Helping students learn to analyze and problem solve Assisting students in decision-making skills Engaging students in actual participation in their learning Guiding students to be selfdirected and autonomous
II. Communication Teaching Clarity of presentation of subject matter Establish dialogue with students in the classroom Demonstrating excellent listening skills, not simply a “talking head” Advising Sharing information in a clear manner Leading students to question and interact with the advisor Listening both to what advisees are saying verbally and non-verbally
III. Attitudes for both Teaching and Advising üTreats students with respect and concern üIs accessible and available to students outside the classroom üOffers regular encouragement üActs as a role model for students in higher education process the
“Higher learning provides an opportunity for developing persons to plan to achieve selffulfilling lives. Teaching includes any experience that contributes to individual growth and that can be evaluated. The student should not be a passive receptacle of knowledge, but should share responsibility for learning with the teacher. ” Crookston, 1972
Developmental Advising is… üStudent-centered üResponsive to individual student needs üFocused on student growth and development üBased upon a relationship between advisor and advisee
Developmental Advising Activities üAssessment of values, interests, goals, abilities üExploration of educational and career goals üRelationship between academic major and career üAwareness of the need to plan
Developmental Advising Activities üKnowledge of the purpose of General Education requirements and skills they develop üGoal-setting and decision-making skills üKnowledge and use of resources üSelection of courses (particularly electives) üScheduling of classes
Discussion Question Are these activities transferable to group advising?
Methods for Delivering Group Advising üOrientation programs (most frequently used format for group advising). üFirst-year seminar courses (curriculum mirror many of the goals of advising). üLearning Communities or Freshman Interest Groups (FIG) usually include some group advising.
Role of Advisors in Learning Communities 1. Can assist in making decisions about the structure of the learning communities 2. Can assist students in the selection of a learning community 3. Can assist in the selection of peer leaders
4. Can assist in administering the program 5. Can teach a first-year seminar as part of a community 6. Can assist in identifying the support needs of both students and faculty in the community J. W. Bennett, Learning Communities: New Structures, New Partnerships for Learning, 1999
Other Methods for Delivering Group Advising üAdvising in Residence Halls üSenior Capstone courses üExamples?
Group Advising for Special Populations üDual purpose: a means of information sharing and a way of establishing relationships with peers and an advisor/mentor üProbation students and those returning following dismissal
üHonor students üMinority students üInternational students üAdult learners
üOver-subscribed majors üUndeclared/open option students (“What’s my major? ” sessions) üOthers?
Keys to Successful Group Advising üAdvisor needs to be trained in strategies for successful group facilitation üAdvisor must make the goals of advising and the group sessions clear üAdvisor needs to know all the students’ names and something about their background
üGroup must promote a climate of trust and respect between the advisor and the students and among the group members üGroup advising should be a highly interactive process üGroup advisors must be familiar with all the campus resources and make referrals when appropriate
üGroup advisors must be able to encourage and motivate students üEffective peer mentors may help advisors facilitate the group
Why Use Peer Advisors? üCreate a larger pool of assistance for students üAssist faculty and full-time advisors üLeverage resources üAid students in developing a relationship with at least one fellow student
Peer Advising Research indicates that peer advising may increase retention. “Many students believe they can learn (information) much more reliably from their peers. ” Campbell & Koring, 2005
Effective Peer Advising Programs Must… üSelect peer advisors very carefully üTrain peer advisors thoroughly üRegularly monitor and assess peer advisors’ effectiveness
Assessment of Group Advising üThe administrator in charge of the program should conduct both formative and summative evaluations of ØGroup advisors ØGroup advising program
üAssessment must include feedback from the students in the advising groups, advisors and administrators. üAdjustments and refinements in the program should be made as a result of the assessment.
Conclusion üWhen done well, group advising may: ØAid retention ØEase advisors’ loads ØConnect students with a peer group that will contribute to their success