ACADEMIC ADVISING SUPPORT SERVICES

                                                                                            Unit Annual Report

                                                                                                        2002-2003

Purpose                 

 

Academic Advising by the faculty is an integral part of UMM's central mission and is considered part of teaching.  The Academic Advising Support Service (Advising) is the administrative arm of the advising system, reporting to the office of the Vice-Chancellor and Dean John Schwaller.   Advising staff establish, manage, monitor, and improve the system; initiate campus discussion of advising issues; design and conduct training sessions for new students, summer advisers and first time advisers; respond to students' and advisers' questions; and create, update, and/ or distribute appropriate advising materials. The Advising staff advise UMM PSEO students, register students who are unable to come to UMM at the scheduled times, and trouble shoot for students with complex academic questions. We work with the Scholastic Committee to implement the academic probation and suspension system.  We oversee the assessment of advising in the freshman year and have begun working with the assessment tool to evaluate advising in the major.

 

 Personnel

 

Advising and the Scholastic Committee staff were brought together in one space in 1994 to reduce overlap and to better relate the programs. Staff have responsibilities and are based fiscally in two or more programs.  Staff include Karla Klinger, director of Academic Advising/ Scholastic Committee Coordinator (53%); Brenda Boever, new student adviser and transfer coordinator (with responsibilities to Advising, Admissions and the Registrar's Office); Dorothy DeJager, executive secretary and lead clerical for the combined offices; and Ginger Nohl, office specialist (10 months, 75%).  Since fall 1999, DeJager has provided support for the First Year Seminar. Other Advising clerical support is provided by a work study assistant.

 

Narrative or Statistical

 

During 2002-2003, Advising processed 548 changes of major, 307 changes of adviser, and 90 administrative changes for a total of 942 changes.   Initial advising assignments are made on the basis of a student's intended major, identified during summer registration.  Assignments thereafter are made at the request of the student or adviser.  A summary of adviser assignments by division in Spring 2003 showed the following advisee averages per unit: Administration 15; Education 19; Humanities 11; Science/ Math 16; and Social Science 16.  Across the campus, the number of advisees per adviser is as low as 4 (German) and as high as 53 (El Ed).    The campus average was 15.

 

The staff provided 23 APAS reports for students, way down from the 482 provided the pervious year.  Student access to APAS on the web probably accounts for the difference.


Advising Support

 

1. Empower advisers and advisees

 

The Advising Office's role is to empower both students and advisers through information, training, support, and intervention in difficult cases.  During each year, staff accurately track advising assignments for the division chairs and monitor advising changes, folders and files.

 

Advising sponsors several annual workshops for students and faculty:

 

q            Incoming summer advising workshop for incoming Gateway students: Klinger helps new students understand how to plan their academic programs and what the requirements are for staying in good standing.

 

q            Academic Planning Workshop for Freshmen October 29: Professors Nancy Carpenter, who helped design the workshop, and Jeff Ratliff-Crain, conducted the sessions on the day registration began. The Advising staff handles publicity.  The numbers attending the 2002 workshop were under 200 for the first time. Next year, we will hold it a few days before students receive their registration materials.

 

q            A half-day workshop for first time advisers during the week before classes: This practical faculty workshop conducted by Klinger is designed to introduce new advisers to advising expectations, advising materials, and to other experienced advisers.  Attendance is required.  This workshop is the foundation for building a commitment to advising among new faculty advisers.

 

Since fall 2000, Advising has provided student information to advisers, such as a student's name, ID, major, adviser, email address, campus post office number, and number of credits earned. Following the web-based dissemination of information, more of DeJager's time is required to update and maintain the Advising web-site. 

 

2. Oversee advising aspects of summer registration

 

Six single day registration sessions for new students were held in spring and summer 2003.  The Advising staff is in charge of the academic aspects of summer registration, coordinating our work with Admissions and the Registrar's Office.  The division chairs recruited advisers; Advising staff placed students in advising groups, conducted the information sessions for faculty, prepared and distributed advising folders, and trained student assistants.  Brenda Boever registered 148 students by phone or by special appointment, who were unable to register during scheduled registrations.  She often corresponded with transfer students by email or met with them when they came to campus. 

 

3. Contact students in academic difficulty: 

 

New academic progress criteria were implemented in 2002-2003.  Students who do not maintain a 2.0 GPA in either fall or spring term are placed on probation.   The Advising Office worked with the Scholastic Committee to notify 211 students at the end of fall term and 137 students at the end of spring 2003 that they had been placed on probation.

 

 4. Advise students

 

Staff provide UMM students with drop‑in and problem‑solving advising. Contacts with students who drop-in with questions or who contact the staff by e-mail are not recorded, but an increasing number of faculty and students contact the Advising Office for help.  Klinger had 56 recorded Scholastic Committee contacts, usually conferences to discuss exceptions to policy, academic progress, or prior learning.  DeJager met with a larger number of students to determine whether they needed to meet with Klinger, and the entire staff talked with countless others to respond to their requests.  Many new students registered by Boever meet with her on a drop-in basis.

 

Boever advised 36 high school students (21 full-time and 15 part-time) enrolled in the Post‑Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program as well as prospective PSEO students sent to her by Admissions.  PSEO is a labor-intensive program involving over 1200 contacts with students as well as with their high school counselors and the state. Boever took the initiative to develop and have approved the UMM response to the Minnesota Graduation Standards and  Course Equivalencies.  The document will be defunct next year, since the state has dropped the Profile of Learning.  Jacki Anderson, Principal Secretary with Continuing Education and Regional Programs, provides written documentation for the state. A full report of PSEO students' college choices, along with a year by year comparison, is prepared for the administration each year.

 

Boever works with Admissions to plan an orientation for new students who enter UMM between fall and spring semesters. She also provided over 262 informal transcript evaluations for incoming students by the end of June.

 

5.  Special Projects:

 

              MSP Advising Partnership: Given the resignation of Rickey Hall, MSP director, the MSP advising pilot continued throughout the year.  Eight faculty each advised up to five incoming minority students who would otherwise have been advised by MSP staff.   Although an experienced adviser, Shezwae Fleming, left the program in summer 2003, the pilot will not be necessary in 2003-04. The new MSP director is Aida Martinez, an experienced  UMM adviser.  One effort undertaken by the faculty advisers on the pilot project was to consider whether there were differences in advising students of color.  The August 2003 faculty retreat will address this question through a session on Advising Students of Color, to be led by Pareena Lawrence, acting director of MSP, and James Cotter, Professor of Geology.  Hopefully, this information will be available for broader distribution.

 

             Web site: The Web site is located at:  <http://www.morris.umn.edu/academic/advising/>.

Klinger edits the Advising Web; DeJager keeps the site updated.

 

              Assessment of Advising: An anonymous advising questionnaire measuring the response of first semester freshmen to the advising they receive has been conducted through the First Year Seminar (FYS) since 1999.  In December, 2002, 414 of 414 freshman students attending FYS completed the questionnaire. These data are appended to the hard copy of this report.

In fall 2002, seniors applying for graduation were asked to complete the assessment questionnaire evaluating advising in the major.  One hundred sixty of 339 graduating seniors responded, 91 during round  #1 and 69 during round #2.  We will consider ways to increase the response in the coming year.

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The two assessment instruments have been posted by invitation on the web site of the National Advising Association (NACADA) at http://www.advising.hawaii.edu/nacada/assessmentIG/advising Assess tools.asp

 

              August 18-19 Faculty Retreat on Advising:  The annual fall retreat, sponsored by the Faculty

Development Committee, will be titled, Deepening Our Commitment: ADVISING FOR A LIBERAL EDUCATION AT UMM.   After consulting with key faculty who have provided counsel to Advising, Klinger and Paula O'Loughlin, Professor of Political Science, proposed to the Faculty Development Committee that the retreat center on advising.  An email questionnaire initiated by Klinger, O'Loughlin and Bert Ahern was sent to faculty in spring.  They developed a practical and issues-oriented agenda in April and May, based on questionnaire responses. Focused interaction will be encouraged. With the exception of an outside keynoter, Lynn Anderson of the Bush Study Abroad Integration Project, presenters will be UMM faculty. Since an increasing number of students wish to enrich their academic programs by participating in opportunities such as study abroad, internships, and research, the conference will be designed to provide advisers with information they need to do this effectively.  Some of the materials should be appropriate for the Advising Handbook and Advising Web  as well as a new site to be developed. (August N.B.: 20 faculty participated as presenters.  On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being highest, 59% of 41 respondents gave the retreat a rank of 5, 2% created a rank between 4 and 5, 32% ranked it 4, and 7% gave it a 3.)

 

Looking ahead: 

 

              Fall 2003 faculty retreat: The fall advising retreat will require additional preparation and follow-up and an opportunity to provide additional helpful information to advisers.

 

              Implement advising assessment: The freshman assessment questionnaire will again be distributed through FYS. We will try to increase the number of students who assess advising in the major.

 

              Workshops: Workshops are scheduled for Gateway students, new faculty advisers, and for freshmen.

 

              Implementation of the academic progress standards for probation: The Advising Office will work with the Scholastic Committee to send out probation letters in fall and spring.

 

              National presentation: Klinger, O'Loughlin and Jess Larson will discuss UMM's assessment process at the national NACADA conference in Dallas in October, 2003.

 

              The future of Advising linked with the Scholastic Committee: Staff will be involved in discussions of the future organization, since Klinger will resign in June 2005.


Summary:

 

2002-2003 was another productive year for the Advising staff.  We maintained the ongoing program of adviser assignments and worked with the Scholastic Committee to implement the probation system and to implement new academic progress standards.  We were co-planners of six summer registrations. In addition to managing the advising system and responding to student and faculty requests, we updated, compiled and distributed advising handbooks, designed and conducted several workshops, conducted the assessment of advising, and began reorganization of the advising web.   Klinger was pivotal in planning the fall 2003 faculty advising retreat.

 

                                                          Karla Klinger, Director of Advising



Assessment of Advising in Fall Semester 2002

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