Many students need help to identify an appropriate degree program and remain on track to complete their post-secondary credential. Proactive advising provide meaningful, credible, timely support to students on selecting a program that will meet a student’s academic and career goals and provide support when they become off track in their program. The role of advising with relation to student success cannot be underemphasized.
As a primary point of contact for students on campuses, academic advisors are responsible for developing lasting relationships with students to help them navigate college and graduate. Professional advisors, faculty, and even other students serve as advisors at USG institutions, working to provide accurate, appropriate, and timely information to students as they progress through programs of study. In recent years, changing needs among students and new technology have influenced the role of advisors and highlighted a need for additional skills within the profession.
The USG review of academic advising worked to address these issues by engaging with faculty, professional advisors, Information Technology professionals on campuses, Institutional Research professionals on campuses, System Office staff, and others to update policy, provide guidance on best practices, and develop tools to strengthen advising at USG institutions. The review was organized into four main areas of work:
Advising Practices Review
As part of the Complete College Georgia Initiative (CCG), these efforts resulted in more clarity on the definition of academic advising, the development of a community of advisors and related institutional personnel that can learn from each other, and produce outcomes that directly support the goals of CCG.
Issues associated with academic advising were initially raised with System Office staff in 2015. Campus administrators highlighted concerns that current policy and procedures do not reflect the diversity of advising models across the University System and could be interpreted in such a way that limits the ability of advisors to best serve students. In spring 2016, four regional meetings were hosted by CCG where attendees indicated a need for a system-wide review of advising capacity and guidance for institutions on best practices.
In addition to CCG, this comprehensive review of advising included several groups, including the Regents Advisory Committee on Advising (RACAD), the Regents Advisory Committee on Institutional Research, the Chief Information Officers Advisory Council, the Georgia Consortium on Teaching and Learning, USG IT, USG Research and Policy Analysis, and other System Office staff.
An overview of the advising review is available.