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Initiative Seeks to Overhaul Academic Advising

November 8, 2017

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising and the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education this week announced a new national effort to help colleges and universities redesign academic advising. The two-year Excellence in Academic Advising program is a comprehensive strategic planning process. An initial cohort of institutions will be guided through an evidence-based decision-making, planning and adoption process, based on NACADA and the Gardner Institute’s nine Conditions of Excellence in Academic Advising.

“NACADA and the Gardner Institute, along with the initial group of institutions, will refine, validate and establish the aspirational standards for colleges and universities to evaluate and improve academic advising,” the groups said in a statement. “The process draws on NACADA's academic advising audit experience and is enriched by the Gardner Institute's success in guiding institutions toward systemic change and improvement in student success. Formal consultants' reviews and guidance will support the development of a set of evidence-based institutional recommendations for change, as well as provide support for plan implementation.” NACADA will host a series of free information sessions about the project this fall.

Drew Koch, president and chief operating officer of the Gardner Institute, said via email Tuesday that there “are scores of vendors who sell technology solutions for academic advising.” And while these tools are often useful, he said, “they do very little to change the actual processes, practices and culture associated with academic advising at a college or university -- at least not in any intentional way.” The new initiative, by contrast, is “something completely missing on the higher education landscape today -- and the absence of a process like this may shed light on why many advising ‘solutions’ do not quite yield their desired results.”

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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