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Advising  Philosophy   I  advise…you  decide!  

  Although  new  to  the  field  of  Academic  Affairs  and  Academic  Advising,  I  have  worked   in  Higher  Education,  professionally,  for  three  and  a  half  years,  and  my  educational   philosophy  remains  student-­‐centered.  As  all  students  have  different  needs,  interests,   abilities,  and  experiences,  I  find  Progressivism  the  best  way  to  describe  my  philosophy.   Progressivists  believe  individuals  learn  best  from  what  they  consider  most  relevant  to  their   lives.  Whether  it  is  a  little  extra  attention  for  many  questions  or  just  a  list  of  classes  with   not  much  explanation,  I’m  always  willing  to  give  a  student  what  they  need;  however,  I  do   find  a  huge  difference  between  “coddling”  and  assisting,  and  I  often  find  myself  stopping  to   make  sure  I  use  the  latter  in  my  advising  sessions.     Burns  Crookston  (1972),  compared  descriptive  advising  to  a  doctor/patient   relationship  in  which  the  advisor    “diagnoses”  a  problem  and  “prescribes”  advice  on  how   the  issue  should  be  solved.  Contrary  to  what  most  higher  education  researchers  and   professionals  believe,  I  still  find  prescriptive  advising  beneficial  and  necessary  at  times.   When  looking  at  our  traditional  millennial  students,  coming  in  with  60+  hours  of  college   credit  and  an  Associate’s  degree,  it  is  natural  to  come  in  contact  with  students  who  do  not   feel  they  need  “extra  attention”,  as  they  call  it  these  days.  Experienced  students  may  know   the  drill  with  registration,  campus  resources,  and  possibly  already  have  a  schedule  mapped   out  and  just  need  classes  confirmed.  If  this  is  the  case,  students  may  classify  our  services  as   unnecessary  and  “extra”.  My  philosophy  is  that  an  advisors’  “extra”  attention  is   developmental  advising.  Crookston  (1972),  goes  on  to  describe  developmental  advising   being  focused  on  student  skills,  growth,  and  a  relationship  of  a  shared  and  collaborative  


responsibility  with  interactive  dialogue  (National  Academic  Advising  Association,  P.  4-­‐5).   Since  I  work  with  only  freshman,  students  with  60+  hours  or  not,  I  find  myself  using   develomental  advising  because  students  are  still  discovering  who  they  are  and  their   purpose  on  campus.  Previously,  I  advised  transfer  students  who  had  college  credit,  but  also   college  experience  and  at  times,  a  more  prescriptive  style  was  necessary  and  in  their  mind,   needed.  I’d  like  to  say  my  advising  style  depends  on  my  target  audience.   Prescriptive  and  developmental  advising  are  both  important  and  necessary  in   today’s  academic  advising  world;  when  to  use  each  one  is  the  challenging  part.  Realizing   when  the  student  has  moved  through  Chickering’s  first  three  vectors,  autonomy  towards   interdependence,  understand  how  to  manage  emotions,  and  developed  interpersonal   competence  (Chickering  &  Reisser,  1993)  has  a  lot  to  do  with  which  approach  I  take.  A  first   year,  first-­‐generation  student  and  the  typical  millennial,  first-­‐year  student  who  is  a  junior   by  hours  are  going  to  be  advised  two  completely  different  ways  in  my  office;  but  with  my   true  freshman,  it  will  more  thank  likely  be  developmental.  Both  will  get  the  advice  and   attention  needed,  but  my  deliverance  will  be  the  biggest  difference.  In  the  end,  regardless   of  my  advising  style,  a  student’s  journey  should  be  and  will  be  their  choice  because  I  just   advise…they  decide.       Chickering,  A.W.,  &  Reisser,  L.  (1993).  Education  and  Identity  (2nd  ed.).  San  Francisco:       Jossey-­‐Bass.     Crookston,  Burns.  (1972).  A  Developmental  View  of  Advising  as  Teaching.  Journal  of  College       Student  Personnel,  13,  12-­‐17.     National  Academic  Advising  Association,  What  is  Academic  Advising.  Pocket  Guide  Series,       PG01,  4-­‐5.  


Academic Advising Philosophy - PACE