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GRANTS

Innovation and Incubator Grants from the University System of Georgia

Developing Common Learning Outcomes For Academic Advising

Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Albany State University & East Georgia State College

2016

Grant Type: 
Collaboration
Project Lead: 
Sharon Duhart
Interim Director, The Center of First Year Experience & Academic Advising
Other team members: 

Dr. Ouida McAfee, Director
Academic Advising and Retention Center
Albany State University
Ouida.mcafee@asurams.edu

Dr. Karen Jackson, Director
Academic Advising Programs
Georgia Gwinnett College
Kjackson5@ggc.edu

Deborah Kittrell-Mikell, Director
Academic Advisement
East Georgia State College
dkittrell@ega.edu

Project Overview: 

While each USG institution has a unique mission and serves varied student populations, there are common experiences that support student success including student engagement and access to and utilization of quality academic support services. Tinto (1999) suggests academic advising plays a key role in supporting these experiences. The purpose of this project is to establish core learning outcomes for first year advising across USG institutions and to develop an online repository of best practices to support shared learning outcomes. 

Project Description: 

Area of Need:

One of the goals of Complete College Georgia is to “provide proactive advising to keep students on track to graduate.” Additionally, academic advising was one of the top areas of interest at all of the CCG regional meetings. As such, it is important for the USG to establish core learning outcomes for academic advising. By doing so, the System will provide a fundamental framework in which institutions can build upon to best serve their unique student populations. Furthermore, by establishing learning outcomes, the USG will provide a foundation for institutions to develop meaningful assessment plans to make data driven improvements to advising.

Potential impact on student success and college completion:

Proactive advising based on clear student learning outcomes and best practices will increase retention and progression, which will lead to an increase in timely degree completion. This will be especially impactful on those populations traditionally underserved in post-secondary education. A best practices symposium will also provide professional development for advisors as they work to broaden their knowledge of proven strategies that affect student success. This will also encourage continued collaboration across institutions.

Potential Lessons Learned:

Several lessons can be learned from this project, including:

  1. A clear understanding of the advising student learning outcomes USG institutions identify as being critical for student success;
  2. Identification of advising best practices that contribute to achieving the student learning outcomes; and
  3. Data driving decisions based on the assessment results of the student learning outcomes.

Process:

Using Counsel for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) standards, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) guidelines, research on retention, progression, and graduation, and the collaborating institutions will identify potential learning outcomes and solicit the RACAD membership for feedback on determining the key learning outcomes that can be applied across all USG institutions. After core learning outcomes have been identified, USG Advising Teams will be invited to participate in a 1-day symposium to share best practices that support the student learning outcomes. The four USG system institutions will collect, analyze, interpret, and synthesize information into an official report. 

Sustainability:

Collaborative institutions will work with RACAD leadership and USG web designers on establishing the web page that will be linked to the USG main web site under the System Office of Academic Affairs.   Updates to the Academic Advising Best Practices web page will be proposed annually by RACAD leadership to the USG System Office.