Our Advising Models
Our Advising and Academic Services Office, in collaboration with other collegiate advising offices, assesses student learning outcomes related to advising that map directly to the broad learning goals of the university and are supported in research and pedagogy through NACADA (National Academic Advising Association). The following student learning outcomes, with regard to advising services, have been identified and are annually assessed.
Our college encompasses a diverse range of academic fields in the liberal arts, social sciences, humanities, visual arts, and performing arts. Each area works with its students in unique ways designed to best support student development in that field. Some of our departments match students with faculty advisors beginning in the first semester, while others utilize an Intake Model that begins with professional advising staff.
While faculty and professional advisors have the same set of responsibilities, their roles in supporting students differ as students move through their undergraduate experience. As shown below, Creamer (2000) offers a continuous process model for advising in which the need for information and the need for consultation are negotiated between the student and the advisor. This model depicts a gradual and incremental transition over time from an advising relationship that is characterized primarily as information-sharing to one that is characterized by consultation (Habley and Bloom, 2007).
Our visual and performing arts major programs are closely structured, with sequential lists of skill-building courses beginning in the first semesters. Fine arts students also work individually or in small groups with faculty right from the beginning of their study, so those majors benefit from a direct Faculty Model of academic advising. Fine arts students are required to meet with their faculty advisors at least once per semester in the advising period prior to each registration timeframe. The professional staff in the Advising & Academic Services serve as a support resource that is also available to students at any time.
For the remainder of major programs, professional advisors are best able to support students during the predominantly information-laden first and second years. During the more consultative junior and senior years, faculty advisors are then able to focus on the major, optimizing learning, and establishing a mentoring relationship.
More information about NACADA’s concept of Academic Advising
Understanding the Advisor’s and Advisee’s Roles
- Invite advisees to meet with you each semester
- Help students clarify their educational values and goals
- Engage student's in discussion about plans for courses and degree completion
- Guide students toward internships, UROP, and opportunities for engagement in the campus community (clubs, organizations, volunteering, etc.) and discuss the connection to their educational and life goals
- Know campus resources that support academic and personal success
- Follow the FERPA law regarding educational records
- Help students reflect upon and make meaning of their college experiences
- Be familiar with the use of UMD advising tools (APAS Reports, Graduation Planner, Adviser Connect)
- Challenge students to think critically, reflectively, and creatively
- Help students determine credible sources of information when choosing criteria and making decisions
- Responsible for scheduling, preparing for, and keeping advising appointments
- Meet with their Academic Advisor at least once a semester
- Ask questions
- Bring a printed copy of their APAS report to advisor meetings or bring laptop
- Know the requirements of the liberal education program
- Know the requirements of their degree program
- Prepare a plan for degree completion using Graduation Planner
Assessment within our Advising & Academic Services
The identified UMD Student Learning Outcomes & Campus Goals were established collaboratively with the other UMD Advising & Academic Services offices. Our office sends out a survey to all enrolled students every spring term to assess how our services satisfy these outcomes and goals.
Advising activity that aligns with Campus Goal
|Learning Outcome 3: Think critically and creatively in seeking solutions to practical and theoretical problems. (Campus Goal - Thinking)|
|Activity: Students use information from credible sources in making decisions.|
|Learning Outcome 5: Demonstrate self-knowledge across a range of developmental areas. (Campus Goal - Self-Realization)|
|Activity: Students know and understand their talents, values, and interests.|
|Learning Outcome 9: Apply life skills to succeed in college and beyond. (Campus Goal - Life Skills)|
|Activity: Students effectively craft and revise educational goals & plans.|
Access the Assessment Google Folder to view our program and how other departments and programs are meeting particular UMD Student Learning Outcomes & Campus Goals.
2020-2021 Academic Year
Of notable interest from the survey this year was that students consistently ranked the APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) as a credible resource that they used “often” or “always” to “inform decisions about their education.” Advising offices have long prioritized and accentuated the importance of APAS as a credible resource vs. some other sources that are not fact-based. Additionally, students agreed that both faculty and professional advisors “always” or “often” encouraged the use of APAS to make academic decisions. Such findings have the potential to transform our student culture and graduation rates by helping them to learn the difference between a credible (fact-based) resource and one that is not. Such lessons at the university translate to lifelong lessons in learning and self-advocacy.
2019-20 Academic Year
Due to COVID-19 and the closing of campus in March 2020, we did not survey our students. This was supported by AVC Jennifer Mencl, UMD Academic Affairs.
2018-19 Academic Year
After the spring 2019 survey our office implemented the following:
- Created signs for social media and campus digital signs related to campus resources (financial aid, tuition bill, calendars, careers, experience, etc).
- Created signs to advertise our minors which do not have majors.
- We discussed how can we receive a larger response rate. We will brainstorm this issue next year.
2017-18 Academic Year
This year we incorporated our assessment of Outcome #5 into the Benchmark. We asked students the following optional questions:
What did you learn while completing this benchmark and your tentative Grad Plan?
We appreciate both positive feedback (what does our collegiate unit do well?) and constructive feedback (what could our collegiate unit do differently?).
Based on the results it was refreshing to see that students appreciated this service. Most students reflected on this as a positive experience and saw the benefit in having a plan. Some even stated they used the opportunity to reflect on their progress and acknowledged how their choices and interests shaped their plan. Many saw room in their plans to study abroad, add another major/minor or do another internship.
A few things from this review are:
- Inform students about the link to our Class Descriptions.
- Provide more information/warning that this requirement will be coming.
- Review Grad Planner's logic when listing electives and other scenarios.
2016-17 Academic Year
After the spring 2017 survey our office did the following:
- continued the weekly drop-in hours for next year, made posters and cards to advertise
- offered workshops focused on Grad Planner and APAS
- offered group advising sessions to cover APAS and next term registration
- offered specific workshops for students who are interested in the sciences and engineering programs
2015-16 Academic Year
After the spring 2016 survey our office implemented the following:
- online form to drop or declare a minor within our collegiate unit
- established weekly drop-in hours for fall and spring terms
- professional advisors met with Career & Internship Services and Study Abroad offices to learn about current trends and resources for students