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REPORT OF THE STUDY GROUP ON ACADEMIC ADVISEMENT · PDF file Appendix B, CUNY Advisement Staffing and College Profile, provides each campus’s number of students, number of advisors,

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    Findings and Recommendations

    City University of New York Office of Academic Affairs

    May 2013


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    Table of Contents

    Background 2 OAA Advisement Study Group Findings 4 Advisement Staffing and Services 5 The Role of Faculty 6 The Role of Technology 7 Assessing Advisement Programs 8 CUNY Core Advisement Learning Outcomes and Opportunities 8 Recommendations 9 Appendices 12 Appendix A: Academic Advisement Study Group Members 12 Appendix B: CUNY Advisement Staffing Appendix C: CUNY Select Student Services Staffing and Role in Academic Advisement 19 Appendix D: CUNY Faculty Advisement Policies 21 Appendix E: CUNY Faculty Role in Advising 25 Appendix F: CUNY Core Advisement Learning Outcomes and Opportunities 31

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    Background As part of the 2011-2012 Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) work plan, Executive Vice Chancellor Logue charged University Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Frank Sanchez, University Dean for Undergraduate Studies Karrin Wilks, and University Associate Dean for Student Success Initiatives and Executive Director for Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Donna Linderman with developing a strategy to analyze current academic advising services and resources, and to make recommendations for improving academic advising across CUNY. Two OAA study groups undertook this charge: one led by Vice Chancellor Sanchez to explore early alert and call center models, and one led by Dean Wilks and Director Linderman to explore academic advising models. The OAA Advisement Study Group was established in fall 2011 with cross-campus and cross- departmental representation from academic affairs, student affairs, professional advisors and faculty (see Appendix A: Academic Advisement Study Group Members). The Study Group was charged with making recommendations for improving student advisement for students with fewer and more than 30 accumulated credits, and more specifically to:

    1. Review the findings from the Graduate NYC! Advisor Survey and Catalogue of CUNY Advisement Models and Practices.

    2. Analyze advising models currently in place and those in development, both inside and outside CUNY, including for:

    - new/ incoming students (including pre-admission activities), - general education course-taking (related to Pathways), - first-year students, - second-year students, - academically at-risk students, - students in special programs, - students intending to transfer, - the use of peer mentors, - the use of technology to assist advising, - community college students vs. senior college students,

    - students in particular majors (including pre-professional and liberal arts) - students nearing graduation.

    3. Collect and analyze information about how advising systems are evaluated both inside and outside CUNY.

    4. Collect and analyze data on current staffing resources allocated to academic advising.

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    The Study Group met six times between January and June 2012, including two meetings facilitated by National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) consultants Susan Campbell (Special Assistant for Enrollment Management, University of Southern Maine) and Kathy Stockwell (Faculty Advising Coordinator, Fox Valley Technical College).1 The final meeting in June included all Directors of Advisement (the CUNY Advisement Council) as well as Study Group members, both to widen participation and to prepare for shifting the work of next steps to the Advisement Council in 2012-2013. An overview of Study Group findings and recommendations follow. OAA Advisement Study Group Findings The majority of campuses have established advising mission or goal statements aligned with national standards established by NACADA and CAS (the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education). CUNY campus advising philosophies generally adhere to NACADA’s concept of advising as a teaching and learning process that requires learning outcomes, a pedagogy and assessment mechanisms— all aligned with institutional mission. Some CUNY campuses have developed advising syllabi that outline roles and responsibilities for students and advisors. The NACADA concept of academic advising (2006) offers the following sample learning outcomes:

    Students will be able to:

    · craft a coherent educational plan based on assessment of abilities, aspirations, interests, and values;

    · use complex information from various sources to set goals, reach decisions, and achieve those goals;

    · assume responsibility for meeting academic program requirements; · articulate the meaning of higher education and the intent of the institution’s curriculum; · cultivate the intellectual habits that lead to a lifetime of learning; and · behave as citizens who engage in the wider world around them.

    Defining High Quality Advising CUNY advisement philosophies differentiate between prescriptive approaches that focus on requirements and developmental approaches that take into account the active role of the student (see Lowenstein, 2005). CAS standards for academic advising state that the primary purpose of academic advising programs is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans (CAS, 2010). Various strategies are underway at CUNY campuses to facilitate the development of individual educational plans, including mandatory advisement of students with fewer than 12 credits at John Jay; special group advising through Freshmen Academies at

    1 The NACADA consultancy was approved by OAA leadership in March 2012 to support the Advisement Study

    Group. Both consultants are advisement leaders at their respective campuses and have served as lead NACADA consultants at numerous colleges across the country. Specific charges to the NACADA consultants were to help the Study Group consider advisement assessment models and to support the development of learning outcomes for advising.

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    Queensborough; “It’s About Me,” an online planning tool at Hunter; and the use of e-portfolios for transfer students at Lehman. In addition to facilitating the development of students’ educational plans, the Study Group identified other key components of high quality advising programs, including pre-enrollment activities, orientation offerings with faculty involvement, mandatory and intrusive advisement in the first year, early alert systems, differentiated services for transfer students based on their point of entry, ongoing training for faculty and professional advisors, effective use of technology and comprehensive assessment. For each component, there are promising practices already in place across CUNY. For example, CSI recently implemented a comprehensive, mandatory orientation for all new students. Baruch has in place a mandatory six-week program for at-risk students identified through their early alert systems. Faculty at City Tech reach out to each new student one month in advance of classes. Advisement Staffing and Services This first pass at an inventory of advising resources in CUNY has revealed a range of staffing and organizational differences such that use of student to advisor caseload ratios and a more in- depth ratio analysis would give us an inadequate, even erroneous, picture of actual advising services. Thus, such ratios by campus are not included in this first pass scan. Attempts to determine ratios simply did not provide a complete picture of the advising resources available to students on most, if not all, campuses, given the range of advising services from units across a campus that may not technically be under the auspices of official campus advising operations . The Study Group did however review the NACADA data on student to advisor caseload ratios, as noted below, as a point of reference on the topic should we want to pursue this further for future analysis and reporting. Appendix B, CUNY Advisement Staffing and College Profile, provides each campus’s number of students, number of advisors, and the target populations the advisors serve. Students are measured as total headcounts and advisors are measured as total professional advisors. Thus, although all students are included, not included are employees who sometimes serve as advisors (e.g., faculty, disabilities office personnel, veterans’ office personnel, career services office). Academic advisement staffing is supplemented by career services, disabilities offices, counseling centers, veterans’ services and in some cases ESL services (see Appendix C: CUNY Select Student Services Staffing and Role in Academic Advisement). In some cases these offices provide informal academic advising, particularly through career services. Further, all campuses have faculty involvement in advisement in some capacity, which is detailed in Appendix D: CUNY Faculty Advisement Policies. Our NACADA consultants provided us with an early release of the results of their most recent national survey on academic advising, conducted in 2011 (National Academic Advising Association, 2012). From the preliminary results: “Based on the survey data, the median advising caseload for all institutional types is 296 per full-time professional academic advisor… By institutional size, the median individual a

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