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Intrusive Faculty Academic Advising for Part-Time and Commuter Graduate Students

Intrusive Faculty Academic Advising for Part-Time and Commuter Graduate Students
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   ASHE, 2013 Roundtable Discussion St. Louis, MO 1 Intrusive Faculty Academic Advising for Part-Time and Commuter Graduate Students Jim Vander Putten Abstract This discussion will explore applications of undergraduate intrusive academic advising strategies to non-cohort based Higher Education programs with part-time and commuter graduate students to increase persistence and graduation rates. I analyzed program-level data as a foundation for investigating the potential role of technology to increasing graduate advising structure and efficiency. Objectives of the discussion The purposes of this roundtable session are to: •    present and analyze 4 years of descriptive data on persistence rates for conditionally-admitted  part-time and commuter MA and EdD students from one Higher Education program; •   explore advising practices and discuss applications of technology to faculty advising; •    provide participants with a context for increasing graduate advising structure and improving advising rigor using undergraduate intrusive academic advising strategies as a guide; •   facilitate a conversation on training needs of Higher Education program faculty related to effective academic advising of part-time and commuter graduate students with the goal of increasing persistence and graduation rates. Perspectives to guide the discussion Education graduate programs experienced steadily increasing average annual growth in first-time graduate enrollments of 5.3% for full-time students and 1.6% for part-time between Fall 2000 to Fall 2010 (Bell, 2011). In Fall 2010, the attendance status of first-time graduate enrollments in Education programs was split equally: 50% full-time and 50% part-time. In regard to degree completion, Education master’s degrees comprised 26.5% of all master’s degrees awarded in 2009-2010 and Education doctoral degrees comprised 13.3% of all doctoral degrees awarded during the same time period. A significant body of research and scholarship exists that addresses intrusive advising strategies for undergraduate students. However, little empirical research or practitioner scholarship has  been conducted specifically on the outcomes of various academic advising strategies for graduate students. Bemak, Epp, and Keys (1999) completed a case study outlining a 5-step process model for advising practices related to psychologically impaired graduate students, and found that significant faculty time was required for implementation. The strategy of intrusive academic advising involves a systematic schedule of advisee academic  progress reviews and intentional contacts with advisees (Upcraft & Kramer, 1995). Just as instructional philosophies have shifted from instructor-centered teaching to student-centered learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995), intrusive academic advising shifts from traditional reactive and  prescriptive approaches to proactive and adaptable advising in which faculty advisors initiate contacts with their advisees. One potential goal of intrusive academic advising is to develop caring and supportive faculty-advisee relationships that can lead to effective working and mentoring relationships.   ASHE, 2013 Roundtable Discussion St. Louis, MO 2 Research has identified that intrusive academic advising is a high-impact practice that increases academic motivation, persistence, and graduation (Gordon, Habley, & Grites, 2008). This advising strategy can be implemented in a variety of different ways to develop personal connections with advisees, including personal phone calls, group advising sessions in-person or  by video Skype, mandatory synchronous or asynchronous orientation meetings and advising sessions, and Facebook postings, among others. Faculty-initiated contacts with advisees are intentional efforts that can establish ongoing interactions to: provide advisees with course registration calendar information and reminders, continuously review advisee course registration  plans to ensure that they meet degree plan requirements, and inform students of different schedules of course offerings. Data related to the discussion topic In preparation for an April, 2013 State Department of Higher Education-mandated academic  program review, I completed transcript analysis of conditionally admitted MA and EdD students from the past 4 years (See Table 1 for aggregate enrollments by degree program). Conditionally admitted MA students are allowed to enroll in 6 credits of prescribed coursework and upon successful completion, students are granted regular admission to the program. Conditionally admitted doctoral students are allowed to enroll in 12 credits of prescribed coursework, and upon achievement of a 3.5 GPA or higher, students are granted regular admission to the program. Table 1. Persistence rates of Conditional Admits by HIED graduate degree program, 2009-2013 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 MA Conditional Admits 33% (N=3) 20% (N=5) 25% (N=16) 36% (N=14) Ed.D. Conditional Admits 17% (N=6) 60% (N=5) 66% (N=9) 66% (N=6) These data document the proportions of students who were admitted during each academic year (Fall through Summer) and who were still enrolled in Fall semester, 2013. Intuitively,  persistence is higher for students who have been in the program for fewer semesters. However, this serves as initial evidence to reexamine faculty advising policies and practices, including considering them implementation of intrusive advising practices. Intrusive advising strategies Fusch (2012a) identified some undergraduate intrusive advising strategies that can be adapted to graduate education: •   Use predictive modeling to proactively mine admissions transcript data to identify relevant ‘building block’ courses students completed in BA or MA programs, and the grades earned.  •   Have students complete a non-cognitive skills assessment to measure ‘grit’ or resilience to stress and academic challenges, or the level of diligence they bring to their studies.  •   Review historical admissions data on demographics, course-taking sequences and loads. academic performance, and the other data available to identify patterns of shared characteristics among both students who failed to persist and students who were most   ASHE, 2013 Roundtable Discussion St. Louis, MO 3 academically successful. This can help inform a more targeted intrusive advising approach to identification and early outreach to at-risk graduate students. •   Schedule email messages before the term begins to students who have been identified --  based on predictive data -- as potentially academically at risk. In this way, graduate faculty can devote their limited time in more targeted ways to scheduling advising sessions and  problem-solving with graduate students. On a graduate program-level, Fusch (2012b) interviewed Tom Grites, past president of  NACADA and assistant to the provost at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, for his advice on the subject. Grites suggested: •   Establishing a set of shared faculty goals for academic advising •   Developing a system for ongoing and systematic assessment of advising effectiveness •   Providing the necessary development and peer-to-peer training for faculty advisors •   Writing an "advising syllabus" to outline specific expectations and guide the work of faculty advisors Discussion questions 1. What challenges do you encounter in advising part-time and commuter Higher Education master’s and doctoral students? 2. What practices do you currently use in advising part-time and commuter Higher Education master’s and doctoral students, and how do you assess and evaluate them? 3. What practices have you found particularly effective in advising part-time and commuter Higher Education master’s and doctoral students? 4. What impact might technology and learning analytics have on increasing the efficiency of intrusive academic advising practices?  NOTES:   ASHE, 2013 Roundtable Discussion St. Louis, MO 4 Bibliography Abelman, R. & Molina, A. (2001). Style over substance revisited: A longitudinal analysis of intrusive intervention.  NACADA Journal, 21  (1&2), 32-39. Austin, M., Cherney, E., Crowner, J., & Hill, A. (1997). The forum: Intrusive group advising for the probationary student.  NACADA Journal, 17  (2), 45-47. Barr, R. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change ,  27  (6), 12-25. Bemak, F., Epp, L., & Keys, S. (1999). Impaired graduate students: A process model of graduate  program monitoring and intervention.  International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 21 , 19-30. Caulfield, M. (2013, November 12).  Purdue Course Signals data issue explainer  . Retrieved from: CCSSE. (2012).  A matter of degrees: Promising practices f or community college student  success . Austin: University of Texas Center for Community College Student Engagement. Earl, W. R. (1988). Intrusive advising of freshmen in academic difficulty.  NACADA    Journal, 8 , 27-33. Fusch, D. (2012a). Taking the next step with early alert programs: From reactive to proactive. Retrieved from: programs-reactive-proactive Fusch, D. (2012b). Improving faculty advising. Retrieved from: Glennen, R. E., & Baxley, D. M. (1985). Reduction of attrition through intrusive advising.  NASPA Journal, 22 , 10-14. Gordon, V., Habley, W., & Grites, T. (2008).  Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook  . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Herbert, A. (2013, May 8). The case of the vampire student. Retrieved from: Kirk-Kuwaye, M., & Nishida, D. (2001). Effect of low and high advisor involvement on the academic performance of probation students.  NACADA Journal, 21  (1 & 2), 40-45. Upcraft, M., & Kramer, G. (1995). Intrusive advising as discussed in the first-year academic advising: patterns in the present, pathways to the future.  Academic Advising and Barton College , 1-2.


Apr 16, 2018


Apr 16, 2018
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