Assessing the Advising Experience

Rachael Switalski, Jeffrey Birou
2011 Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention  
In the same year, the director was also planning to leave. Aware of the impending change, the five advisors in the office sought other opportunities to advance their careers. This led to a 100% central staff turnover within one academic year. We (the authors) both began working in the student services office as academic advisors in Spring 2008 while other advising positions were also being re-staffed. We were part of the "cross over" advising staff who decided to continue current office
more » ... and procedures for the fall term because the existing structure had worked in the past. However, we were soon to learn that the way things "had always been done" was not necessarily the best way. Students arriving at the beginning of the fall term seemed to be in a state of perpetual panic. They repeatedly asked the same questions, didn't understand how their curriculum was structured, weren't aware whom to contact for help, and didn't know who their advisor was or how their advisor might help. This situation left us feeling harried and burnt out. Based on this anecdotal information, we suspected that this sense of disconnect stemmed from inadequacies in our initial outreach to the incoming class; therefore, we decided to build a unique assessment in an attempt to identify weaknesses and understand the students' perceptions of their advising experiences. One advantage to having 100% advising staff turnover is the ability to look at all activities with fresh eyes and provide new suggestions for programmatic changes. Thus, we used this opportunity to examine the standing practices and reformulate them as needed. That fall, the office secured funding for a new team member to attend the
doi:10.24926/jcotr.v19i1.2790 doaj:1084de397a08406f9e80b84b9f1e81c6 fatcat:o7u6ytqnkzaqdm5bospriyzxrq