Academic Advising’s Role in Change Implementation

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Developing a High-Performing and Productive Advising Department

  1. Assessing and Meeting Student Needs
  2. Assessing and Meeting Employee Needs
  3. Optimizing Your Use of Student Information Systems
  4. Academic Advising's Role in Change Implementation

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by Sue Ohrablo, author of High-Impact Advising: A Guide for Academic Advisors

In this series, "Developing a High-Performing and Productive Advising Department," I've discussed strategies for identifying, assessing, and meeting student, staff, and advisors' needs.

Now I will discuss strategies for positively impacting departmental, college, and university-wide systems and contributing to the effective implementation of change.

Be a Voice in Decision Making

Institutions vary as to how they deliver academic advising and where the function resides. Sometimes it is housed in student affairs, sometimes in academic affairs within colleges and departments, and other times there is a cross-over or shared responsibility between academic and student affairs. No matter where advising is situated, academic advising is just one small part of a larger unit. If advising is housed within student affairs, there is a challenge contributing to academic decision-making, as the role of the advising department is often thought to be limited to implementing and communicating academic decisions to students. Even when the academic advising unit is located within academic affairs, there is a risk of being considered a limited support service role and thus being excluded from decision-making and change implementation.

Let's examine the implementation of a new curriculum as an example. Typically, institutions will regularly review curriculum on a cyclical basis. Factors such as currency of content, industry needs, employment trends, and enrollment management strategies might all contribute to the desire to revise curriculum, or add or remove program offerings. Academic advising administrators can fulfill a critical role in the change process. Below I’ve outlined the way that faculty approach change implementation and how advising administrators can contribute to its success:

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Get Sue Ohrablo's Book High-Impact Advising

High-Impact Academic Advising: CoverHow can academic advisors provide high-quality developmental advising in the face of diminishing resources and increased commitments? We brought this question to Sue Ohrablo, a nationally recognized speaker with 25+ years of experience working with diverse institutions and student populations. In this 300-page, comprehensive training guide, Sue offers practical guidelines for academic advisors.

“I highly recommend that all academic advising professionals read High-Impact Advising: A Guide for Academic Advisors, as it will help them to enhance key skills needed to establish positive relationships with students, appropriately assess students’ needs, effectively teach students, and efficiently provide high quality service.”
Jacqueline T. Hollins, Assistant Vice Provost/Director of Academic Advisement, SUNY at Buffalo (UB)

“As a department leader in academic advisement, I would use Sue’s book as a training resource and teaching mechanism for advisors. It allows advising professionals to understand today’s complex environment of advising students, beyond just selecting courses.”
Jake Shilts, Director, Advisement & Career Services, Miami Dade College

“Advisors will reap the benefits of this well-balanced, informative guide.”
Shari Saperstein, Associate Dean, College of Undergraduate Studies, Nova Southeastern University

"A student-centered, informative, and practical approach. Dr. Ohrablo presents powerful guidelines geared towards student success for 21st century academic advisors. The handbook offers indispensable information and engaging scenarios that mirror real life college instances that students experience. A key resource tool for academic advisors and higher education professionals."
Dr. DeLaine Priest, Associate Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Services, University of Central Florida