Purposeful Advising (part 1 of 2)

by | September 7, 2008

In my first entry posted on 8/8/08, I asked the question, “What role would you like advising to play in your doctoral experience?” One of my colleagues, Jon answered, “Personally, and borrowing from NACADA, I’d like to see Capella Advising cultivate the intellectual habits that lead to a lifetime of learning, a mission to help learners think critically about their roles and responsibilities as future PhD’s, and to prepare them be educated, well-prepared scholar-practitioners in a global community.”

Jon and I don’t always agree on advising techniques and expected learner outcomes; however, I believe that we do agree on the potential power of purposeful advising. In his book, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds, Richard J. Light writes that purposeful advising positively influences individual academic growth and development, and, in addition, purposeful advising generates overall satisfaction with the faculty and the institution. The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), the leading force in defining academic advising, developed an academic advising model that echoes Light’s call for purposeful advising,

NACADA emphasizes six core values for academic advisors. As academic advisors, we are first and foremost responsible for the individuals that we advise. But we are also responsible to the larger communities and to ourselves.

The core values of the advising model are:

In a follow-up entry, I will examine this model more closely: What does it mean to be responsible in an advising context? Will this model be adequate for online advising? Is it a pragmatic model? Are there conflicts within the model, i.e. is it always possible to be responsible to both the learner and the institution? Is the model conducive to purposeful advising?