The present academic advising model at Sinclair has served the college well for many years but is now showing significant signs of stress and indications that it no longer meets the needs of students or academic counselors. This is a phased project that will define both current and ideal academic advising models; define a plan for transitioning from the current to ideal state; and implement the plan to develop a new academic advising model that better serves the needs of students, faculty, and staff.
Primary: 3. Understanding Student and Stakeholder Needs
Related: 1. Helping Students Learn
4. Valuing People
7. Measuring Effectiveness
9. Building Collaborative Relationships
Related AQIP Principles
A. A mission and vision that focuses on serving students and other
B. Broad-based faculty, staff, and administrative involvement
D. A learning-centered environment
F. Collaboration and a shared institutional focus
Sinclair has identified specific problems related to our current academic advising model including stakeholder dissatisfaction; inadequate advising resources to service the number of students needing or seeking help; widespread inconsistencies in advising practices, policies and information; the lack of accessible information and appropriate toolsets to support advising activities; large variances across the institution in terms of the availability of advising resources, general demand for services and peak advising periods; and large numbers of student who self-advise. We believe that academic advising positively impacts student goal attainment, thus making it a priority. This project is designed to define and develop a new academic advising model that will address these issues and better meet the needs of Sinclair students, faculty, and staff.
Organizational Elements Affected by Project
This project has broad impact across the institution. Areas that are specifically affected by it will include the instructional divisions, student services, and our student population. Information Technology may be impacted in terms of the development and support of advising tool sets; and facilities in terms of planning and construction.
Processes Affected by Project
Advising; training of academic counselors, faculty and students; student orientation, scheduling and registration processes; course placement testing; student referral to and from support services; information technology (tools, electronic permissions); and record and policy alignment and consistency.
Definition of Process Measures
The first stage of our project focuses on the mapping our complex and highly distributed academic advising model. We anticipate that we’ll have a better idea of what data is being collected and how to determine the most appropriate process measures upon completion of this stage.
Potential process measures might include: availability of academic counselors (availability of appointments, service hours); volume of students advised (personal contacts, phone calls, appointments, emails, workshops); number of academic counselors participating in advising related training; % of students assigned an academic counselor; % of first time students receiving advising services; frequency of students meeting with academic counselors; % of students with academic difficulty receiving advising; early alert students receiving advising.
Definition of Outcome Measures
Current, former student, and graduate satisfaction related to academic advising. In addition, the following are being considered as potential outcome measures: improved persistence rates within courses and term-to-term, as well as improved rates of degree completion/goal attainment on the part of students receiving various levels of academic advising services (specific measurement criteria to be developed); decreased number of exceptions to graduation requirements attributed to advising errors, increased faculty/staff/student knowledge of program/degree requirements; increased faculty and staff satisfaction with advising; and higher GPA on the part of students receiving various levels of academic advising services.
Year One: Document and assess Sinclair’s current academic advising model; benchmark and identify best practices; document ideal model; perform gap analysis; develop plan to transition from current to ideal model.
Year Two: Implement plan to address issues and opportunities related to academic advising.
Year Three: Complete any remaining implementation activities; assess impact and effectiveness of new academic advising model.
Sinclair has established an AQIP Academic Advising Project Team and developed a formal project plan to meet the objectives of this project. The project will be led by a dean or director. The College’s AQIP Coordinator, participants from the Strategy Forum, and a project facilitator from our Strategic Project Management Office will join other stakeholders as team members. Our Delta Team Leadership Group will serve as the AQIP Steering Committee and monitor project status.
Nancy Thibeault, Team Leader for Academic Advising