• A Critical Issue: Academic Advising with Attention to Intention

      Mrozinske, Elena
      Student needs in higher education institutions continue to increase each year with intersecting dynamics that are influenced by gender, age, race, external student obligations, financial needs and responsibilities, as well as their varied levels of preparedness upon enrollment (Calderon & Mathies, 2013). In an effort to meet these students’ needs, higher educational institutions are faced with a critical task in determining how to best support students during their educational experiences to increase persistence and timely graduation. In systems of shrinking resources, institutions often use advising as a mode of support for students. How advising is delivered is dependent on how advising is defined structurally, characteristics used in discussions, modality of delivery, and training for all those involved in an effort to meet the purposes as defined by each higher education institution. The structure and implementation of advising often takes a one size fits all approach which falls short of adequately meeting students’ needs. Failure to create an advising system that navigates students through their higher education experience with support and clear benchmarks of measureable success will contribute to attrition, students with excess credits en route to graduation, and student financial risk which in turn leaves higher education institutions vulnerable. This paper explores the emergence of academic advising in higher education as a critical issue including its historical development, an example of advising perceptions at Indiana University Northwest, a review of the current literature that discusses the structural approaches of academic advising from multiple points of view, and what the research supports as necessary for a successful advising approach. Finally, steps that can be taken to address the critical issue of advising at a regional campus will be provided including cost implications.