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Mythbuster FAQs

The new UW advising model – MYTHBUSTING EDITION!

You’ve all probably heard that UW is shifting its advising model in the coming month.  Some of you have heard bits and pieces, and some of you have heard a lot.  Here are a few bite-sized pieces of FACT on the topic – and more information on the new system can be found at the Advising 2.0 website, http://www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/advising/

 

BASIC FACTS:

  • 20 new professional advisors will join existing UW professional advisors embedded in college advising centers and trained by ACES. There is no “central advising center,” but rather hubs in each college with specialists trained in your college’s programs and fluent in the content of other colleges’ programs.  They will take holistic and student-centered approaches to advising and develop relationships with our students.  All first-year students, as well as first-semester transfer students, will be able to go to these centers for their advising.  Depending on your college, students after this first transitional phase will either continue to be advised by your college center, or transition to your program’s advisors.
  • A hand-selected group of faculty will also advise new students. If you have not received a nomination notification, your advising duties will likely shift, depending on your college and department, to a mentorship role rather than assisting in scheduling courses.  If you have received a notification, more detail is in that notice about next steps for the advising training timeline and requirements.
  • All advisors will be required to go through Advisor Training modules which will develop and hone competencies and skills needed to have complex transition conversations with students.

 

WHY?

  • A comprehensive study of internal practices, student satisfaction surveys, and research into best practices was conducted by the Advising Redesign Group. The resulting white paper documents that consistently-high-quality, routinely-available advising was a real need at UW.  Many good people do much good advising, but there was no training, no meaningful assessment or evaluation, no mechanisms for systemic improvement, and no benchmarking against or ability to nimbly adapt to national best practices among our peers. 

 

EVIDENCE?

  • Academic advising is the only structured activity in which all students have the opportunity for ongoing, one-to-one interaction with a concerned representative of the institution. Therefore, advisors are the people most vital in retention efforts.
  • Universities that have adopted campus-wide, proactive advising, or Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (IPASS) include many of our peer institutions. First semester and second semester GPA and retention rates as well as progression rates from sophomore to junior and junior to senior year are documentably and significantly higher when advising systems are reformed to include integrated and proactive advising.

 

WHAT’S THIS MEAN FOR ME AND MY CURRENT STUDENTS?

  • You should continue to advise your rising sophomores, juniors and seniors unless informed otherwise by your college.

 

WHAT’S THIS MEAN FOR MY RELATIONSHIP WITH NEW STUDENTS IN MY MAJOR?

  • Your department – and you – should take every chance you can to develop strong and engaging ties with your students, starting from day one.
    • Have open houses,
    • Create opportunities for your graduate students to engage with your undergraduates in formal or informal settings,
    • Invite students to a departmental lunch,
    • Share research and seminar opportunities,
    • Engage your students in your student organizations,
    • Tell students about upcoming opportunities for internships of international experiences,
    • Give students career and post-graduate advice.

 

In other words, invite your students into your department culture and ask them to join you in building their academic success.  This is your chance to make a difference in their sense of belonging and commitment to their own success. 

 

I WASN’T NOMINATED FOR ADVISING – IS THERE SOME SORT OF APPEAL?

  • If you believe your department or college made an oversight by not nominating you, please follow these steps.
    • Email to aalex@uwyo.edu explaining your rational for appeal.
    • Anne Alexander will forward appeals to the Advising Managers group for review and decision.
    • The appellant is informed of the decision.

 

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS TRAINING.

  • There are four “levels” of training an advisor will complete in order to work with first-year students, transfer students, and special populations. These trainings are based on the competencies researched and developed by NACADA, the professional association for academic advising. To engage with students during registration week (i.e., to give out PERC’s), advisors must complete at least 2 levels of training. Nominated faculty will be “grandfathered” from the training until December 2018, before which they must complete an accelerated version of the training.  New advisors must complete all levels assigned to them by their department heads (faculty) or managers (staff). The training architecture will be in the Employee Learn Center in the Fall, and prior to that will be located - TBD.  For more information or to schedule an information session for your department, contact Richard Miller, acriod@uwyo.edu.

 

WHO’S ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MODEL WORKING?

  • This is a joint endeavor among Academic Affairs, ACES, the Colleges, the College Advising Centers, and you. The new UW Advising Council has begun meeting, and it consists of representatives from each academic college or school, supplemental advisors, and ASUW.  A working group is also developing assessment mechanisms for the training, the system, and advisors.

 

OTHER QUESTIONS?

Check our Advising 2.0 information site, or email Anne Alexander at aalex@uwyo.edu or Richard Miller at acriod@uwyo.edu.


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