The PSU Academic and Advising Redesign Workgroup will present their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising on Thursday, November 10, 10-11am and 1-2pm in SMSU, 209M. I encourage everyone interested in this topic to RSVP and attend the event and to read the report to be released at the event and subsequently posted on the Redesign Project website.
The Redesign Project is designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates, improve the student experience, and make advising more rewarding and effective for both professional advisors and faculty. It is intended to create a unified advising framework to increase student self-efficacy and a sense of agency, as well as improve the experiences of academic and career advisors. It aligns with PSU’s Strategic Plan, Goal #1: Elevate Student Success, Initiative #3.1: Increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services.
The Advising Ecosystem
Advising at PSU is done by faculty, professional advisors, career counselors, exploratory advisors, and peer advisors; all part of the advising ecosystem. Professional advisors and faculty both noted in surveys and engagement sessions that they would like more clarity and definition around advising roles and expectations. There are cases where work is being duplicated and other cases where students are not getting services that they need because everyone assumes that someone else is doing it. The Academic and Career Advising Redesign Workgroup looked closely at how advising is currently happening across campus to see how we can better serve our students, and developed recommendations for how to best structure professional advising, career counseling, and exploratory advising.
I want to put to rest fears that there will be a diminishment of the critical role that faculty play in advising. There is a recognition that advising is not an either/or – professional advisors or faculty advisors – but rather a sharing and assignment of duties that reflect where each can best serve students.
The Advising Redesign Project launched in September 2015. The charge came from the Academic Leadership Team to build campus-wide involvement and support to develop specific advising recommendations. The team had a mandate to hold community engagement sessions with students, professional advisors, faculty, and other collaborators; conduct student surveys and 1:1 interviews; engage in best practices, research, and examine internal PSU data.
The discovery phase followed, which included:
- 81 1:1 interviews
- five community engagement sessions
- a student advisement survey
- researching literature on advising practices at four peer universities
- examining PSU retention and completion data
- reviewing three prior student surveys
- OIRP conducting an analysis of patterns and flow between majors
- advisors conducting experience mapping
Advising is a complex topic and the team found that our fragmented systems hamper advisor effectiveness. They propose a redesigned organizational structure that brings greater clarity to advising roles that will eliminate confusion and inefficiency for students, advisors, and faculty. Best practices that support long-term advising relationships leading to student success are incorporated throughout the recommendations.
The report and recommendations are now complete and I will soon make a decision on if and how to adopt the recommendations. I seek your informed input, so please attend the November 10 session, read the report posted on November 11, and share your thoughts by the end of November.