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advisingMATTERS Summer 2016

Spotlight: Dr. Laura Pacifici Dr. Laura Pacifici has been recognized as an outstanding academic advisor by NC State, winning this year’s New Faculty Advisor award, and by NACADA, the national academic advising professional organization, which awarded her a certificate of merit. Dr. Pacifici is an Assistant Teaching Professor and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (FWCB). She’s been an advisor at NC State since 2013. As an academic advisor with a large caseload, Dr. Pacifici finds that efficiency is essential. In her first semester at State, Lara instituted group advising sessions for FWCB students. These groups are led by a team of faculty advisors, so that students and advisors together feel like they were part of a community. She also mentors 80 FWCB students and loves hearing about the great things her students do. Laura believes that “advising that is accessible, relatable, and efficient opens doors for student success here at NC State and beyond.” Her advisees agree – they appreciate her support and say “she is a truly amazing advisor!” In addition to advising FWCB majors, Lara is the faculty co-advisor of the Leopold Wildlife Club and the NC State hapter of the Quality Deer Management Association. She teaches Mountain Wildlife Ecology and Management (FW 313), Conservation Biology in Practice (FW 333), Vertebrate Natural History (FW 373), and Professional Development in FWCB (FW 415).

Nominate an Advisor Do you know an outstanding academic advisor,


advising administrator, or advising program? The call for nominations for NC State’s advising awards is

coming up – an initial nominating form and a statement of advising philosophy will be due in mid-October.

Final packets are due after Thanksgiving. For more information, go to undergraduate-academic- advising-awards/

2015 - 2016 Advising Award winners with Dr. Carrie McLean. L to R: Aimee Stright, Dr. Stephanie Curtis, Dr. Carrie McLean, Maria Crockett, Dr. Lara Pacifici. Read the story here: dasa.ncsu. edu/2016-undergraduate-academic-advising-awards/

* Gordon, V. N. (1995). The undecided college student: An academic and career advising challenge (2nd. ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas

Inter College Transfer Students: Exploring new options Whether you work with undeclared or undecided advisees, or students already in a major, you know that some of your students will change their major. Nationally, between 78% and 82% of undergraduates change their major at least once.* At NC State, these students need help understanding their options and navigating the CODA system. Students who are ready and willing to explore can participate in the Inter-College Transfer (ICT) Program. Students transfer out of their current major to the ICT Program and are assigned to an experienced, cross-curricular academic advisor affiliated with Academic Advising Services (AAS). ICT students and their AAS advisors work together to explore majors and minors that fit the students’ interests and, optimally, maximize the coursework they’ve already taken. Students can take the Strong Interest Inventory, a career assessment that provides insights into how interests, values, and perceived skills relate to career fields, and they’re encouraged to work with the Career Development Center, and to take advantage of resources on and off campus to learn about careers. AAS advisors like working with ICT students because they’re eager to explore and are excited to learn about all the options available to them. And it’s rewarding to see them move into a new major. AAS has worked with hundreds of students over the years who have successfully transitioned to new majors and have graduated from N.C. State. If you are interested in learning more about the ICT Program please contact Martha Wicker (; you can show students the ICT webpage at and send them to AAS walk-in hours as well. We’re open all year to meet with students!

Advising Assessment at NC State What do students know, and what can they do as a result of academic advising? What is their experience of academic advising at our institution? These are important questions because academic advising is integral to student success, learning, and development. A comprehensive assessment program can help to answer these questions. Through assessment, we can identify opportunities for datadriven improvement in our advising work. The University Academic Advising Council (UAAC) working group on the Assessment of Academic Advising is charged with developing a comprehensive assessment program for undergraduate advising at NC State. The working group members are Jill Anderson (COS), Jason DeRousie (DASA Office of Assessment), Dara Leeder (CHASS), Kim Outing (chair, Exploratory Studies), and Myles Robinson (COE). The group has developed a mission statement, objectives, and outcomes for academic advising, and is currently working on developing measurement methods for assessment. Some measures are already in place, such as scheduled university-wide surveys that capture data on student satisfaction of advising services. The working group will expand the assessment focus to include student learning. Ultimately, a number

of different types of measures, including surveys, advising rubrics, and analysis of student work and behaviors, will need to be implemented in order to get a full picture for assessment. This summer the assessment working group is analyzing data from a survey that they administered to 5,000 NC State undergraduate students in April 2016. The items on this nationally-benchmarked academic advising survey align well with the student learning outcomes drafted by the working group. Just over 26% of surveyed students responded and the assessment group will share the results with advisors and stakeholders later this year. Also this summer, the group is developing training for advisors who will participate in a pilot program focusing on measuring students’ ability to articulate an achievable long term course plan, taking into consideration such factors as progress to degree, program requirements, and recommended course sequences. Advisors and departments interested in participating can contact Kim Outing ( For more information about the UAAC and assessment of advising, go to:

New Student Orientation Is Here! Are You Ready? Advisor Training and Development The Advisor Development Institute offers faculty and staff a chance to demonstrate their commitment to undergraduate student advising. The ADI offers four types of programs: 1.  The Advisor Academy is an intensive two-day workshop offered three times a year:  August, February, and May. The Academy covers key policies within the context of common advising situations, key referral points at the University, and effective communication with a diverse student body. The Academy concludes with a simulated advising appointment that gives participants an opportunity to synthesize what they have learned.

NSO is a great opportunity to establish a good relationship with your advisees. Take some time to introduce yourself to them and let them know what they can expect from you at NSO and during the school year. And let them know what you expect from them – advising is a two-way street! Share your department or college’s advising calendar with them (check out the Advisors Toolkit on the AAS website for an example of an advising syllabus-and-calendar). Here are a few tips on making NSO work for you and your advisees: •

Get to know your students: if you have a lot of advisees, you can use a short survey to keep in their file.

2. The Advisors Roundtable focuses on emerging issues, changes in policies, and new or changed campus programs. Roundtables take place monthly, September through May.

Remember that most of your advisees are just finished with high school. College is new, exciting – and scary. For your transfer advisees, NC State may be a much bigger school than what they’re used to. Reassure your advisees (and yourself!): everything does not have to be perfect.

3. Topic Sessions cover key aspects of undergraduate advising at NC State.  Recent sessions have covered The Global Perspectives Certificate, Referring a Student to the Counseling Center, and Preparing for Registration Advising. 

Keep it simple – NSO can be information overload. Give them the most important information, and repeat it. You can follow up with more details later.

Find out if students still want to be in the major or college. If not, let them know they can work with Academic Advising Services after NSO, and direct them to the AAS website.

4. Core Workshops focus on the four areas of advisor development required for the ADI Certificate: Introduction to Technology and Policy, Communicating with Advisees and Developmental Advising, Career Readiness, and Advising a Diverse Student Population.  The ADI certificate recognizes participation in six workshops -- the four core workshops and two elective sessions -- and provides advisors with an opportunity to assess their effectiveness by engaging in a simulated advising appointment.  Advisors who go through the Academy only need to participate in two other sessions to earn their ADI Certificate. For more information about the ADI and the ADI certificate, go to: institute-adi/ Sessions start up in September -- check the website and watch for notices on the NC State advisors listserve.

Help students choose the right courses for the fall semester: •

Make sure they have reported all of their AP and IB scores and their transfer coursework, and that they take needed placement tests (math, chemistry, English, foreign language).

Find out some of their interests

Give them a quick overview of the GEP (a paper worksheet is helpful) and the link to the GEP course lists.

Follow up after NSO: short email blasts with a few reminders and resources will keep your advisees on track and help develop your relationship with them.

And – take care of yourself! Keep hydrated, take tissues and aspirin, and laugh.

New Student Programs has good resources: https://newstudents.dasa.ncsu. edu/ Academic Advising Services website ( has AAS Academic Resources and an AAS searchable FAQ.

Advising Matters - NC State Academic Advising Services Newsletter, Summer 2016  

Read the latest news about advising services at NC State University.

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