College summit on student advising

The summit was opened by the acting Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Assurance followed by opening remarks by the president.

This summit focuses on advising and improving advising in support of student success. The Vice President for Instructional Affairs covered some of the curricular innovations engaged in last year including the use of compressed schedules, embedded tutoring, and teaming up a developmental reading course and the general education history of Micronesia requirement. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning provided support for bringing in a filmmaker in support of the reading course and the history of Micronesia course.

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services. 1505 students sat the COMET entrance evaluation tool. 1299 were seniors. 78% placed into programs, 22% were not able to be admitted. 25% of the admitted seniors were placed into college level courses, 75% were placed into developmental course programs. In light of these numbers, a summer transition program was put into place. Graduated high school seniors were encouraged to attend summer courses to complete developmental requirements. The non-admitted students in Pohnpei were put into a special program that was the result of a collaboration between the state department of education and the college. to improve their core skills. At the end of the program 71% were able to gain admission to the college.

The core to the morning is updates on financial aid including changes in regulations, policies, and guidelines. A couple areas that I had not previously absorbed is that changing majors does not restart the financial aid clock, thus an advisee near the end of their program should not attempt a change of major. They should go ahead and graduate and then either change majors on their way to a bachelor's degree elsewhere, or, if they insist on continuing at the college, pursue the new major as a second associate's degree. The advisee should be cautioned, however, that the second associate's degree continues their overall six year financial aid clock towards a bachelor's degree. A second associate's reduces the time available to pursue a bachelor's degree. Another takeaway was that courses not on the student's individual degree plan are not covered by financial aid. A business major takes a nursing course only at their own out of pocket expense.

The afternoon session began with a Dreamers/I have a dream video featured students at the college. This was followed by a skit by students as to how their dreams wind up deferred or shunted aside by a collegiate system that desires to fit every student into an existing major, regardless of their dreams.

The second session of the afternoon was led off by Gordon Dow on the topic of dreams with a focus on change as a result of dreams. Dreams both as the nocturnal variety and the second meaning in English of future desires. What drives us to dream of different futures and to change to realize those dreams.

Coverage of five stages of change, minus the relapse stage noted in the diagram below from The Relationship Blog.

Habits take something on the order of 66 days to set into place in the transtheoretical model of change. Dreams are realized through having achievable goals, both short and long term. Helping a student map from their dream to realizable goals is a task that an academic advisor can assist with.

A student has to believe in their own ability to succeed in specific situations or at specific tasks, this is termed self-efficacy. If the student does not believe that they can succeed, then they will not succeed. Help the student see that they can achieve their goals - short and long term.

Commitment to achieving a goal requires attachment to the goal, without attachment, again, the goal will not be achieved. Goals can sometimes conflict with each other, assistance with sorting this out may be necessary.

Dreams drive goals. In the second half of the afternoon the faculty actively engaged in a dream drawing/dream map building exercise, an exercise that advisors can engage in with their advisees. One draws an image of where they dream they will be in the future, their dream career or life goals, as an image. The exercise of visualizing and drawing provides a platform from which to build solutions: paths to the future.

After everyone drew their dream map, the drawings were posted as a "gallery walk." Summiteers were asked to post comments using adhesive notes on three of the dream drawings. Students then shared how their own dream drawings led to career path plans here at the college and beyond. A key theme, reinforced by a skit performed by the students, was for advisors to listen to students, not just push the student into existing programs. Work with them on their dreams, help them achieve that dream.

Day two of the summit opened with a presentation by Charles Sasaki, Dean of of Academic Affairs, Windward Community College, Kaneohe, Hawaii.  At Windward they realized that when a student requests a transcript, that student is either graduating or is leaving the institution. Windward does a quick debrief with the student at transcript request time to learn why the student is leaving. Is this a "win" - the student graduated, or a loss - the student is leaving prior to graduation for other reasons. One of the things Windward learned was that students were leaving sometimes as the result of a single interaction. A reaction to a comment made by an instructor on a specific day in a specific class that reinforced the student's sense that they did not belong there, confirming their sense of not belonging.

Windward has a dual enrollment program with the local high schools. Math beyond prealgebra is handled by Windward, not the high schools. The high schools also usually offer only a single foreign language, Windward provides other foreign language opportunities.

Veterinarians, plant biotechnology program, but primarily transfer programs and STEM. Honolulu Community College handles on CTEC programs, Windward does not overlap HCC, so no technical programs at Windward.  52% indigenous Hawaiian, 40% Pell eligible. Highest percentage of Hawaiians of institutions in Hawaii. No international recruitment, no ESL students. Mission statement was written in Hawaiian and then translated into English - an unusual move for a stateside institution.

'O keia ka wā kūpono e ho'onui ai ka 'ike me ka ho'omaopopo i kō Hawai'i mau ho'oilina waiwai. Aia nō ho'i ma ke Kulanui Kaiāulu o ke Ko'olau nā papahana hou o nā 'ike 'akeakamai a me nā hana no'eau. Me ke kuleana ko'iko'i e ho'ohiki ke Kulanui e kāko'o a e ho'okumu i ala e hiki kē kōkua i ka ho'onui 'ike a nā kānaka maoli. Na mākou nō e ho'olako, kāko'o a paipai i nā Ko'olau a kō O'ahu a'e me nā hana no'eau ākea, ka ho'ona'auao 'oihana a me ka ho'onui 'ike ma ke kaiāulu — hō'a'ano a e ho'oulu i nā haumāna i ka po'okela.

Windward Community College offers innovative programs in the arts and sciences and opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of Hawai‘i and its unique heritage. With a special commitment to support the access and educational needs of Native Hawaiians, we provide O‘ahu’s Ko‘olau region and beyond with liberal arts, career and lifelong learning in a supportive and challenging environment — inspiring students to excellence.

The mission statement is also unusual in that a specific ethnicity is named in the mission statement as a special commitment of the institution.

Hawai's Pacific University is larger and needed a system to monitoring students headed for academic difficulties. HPU developed an eighth week early alert system. A specifically assigned full time advisor would meet with students identified by the early alert system.

There was also a list of services developed as a "Prescription for Success."

Kapiolani Community College is a large community college. Their student body is 30% international, F1 visa holders. The community around Kapiolani is shrinking. The science curriculum was retooled into a full STEM program. Controversial aspect: students were advised to leave the AA in Liberal Arts and move into STEM. This shift happened six years ago.

Windward also developed a study abroad program. Footholds abroad initiative. The focus was on students traditionally underrepresented in study abroad programs and the students are only sent to countries with are culturally relevant to Windward, its students, and community. This means going to places linked by culture or ocean only, not the traditional study abroad in Europe sort of program. Students go to places such as New Zealand. Four trips thus far, 50 students have gone abroad. Some students have since transferred abroad to institutions abroad.

Kauai Community College  Wai'Ale'Ale takes students who have been out of school for over five years. These are students who dropped out of school, who do not stay in school. They use cohorts. They have nearly a 100% retention rate. The students are linked to social services, advising, support services.

Guam Community College has a Chalani 365 program is an amazing advising structure built from student requests. A year round registration process. They register at one time for 12 months. They register for fall, spring, and summer. This was made possible by summer Pell. This was complex: overriding pre-requisites. But the upside was that students knew exactly what they will be doing for the next 12 months. They can structure employment, child care, for 12 months.

Ka'ie'ie transfer program involves students taking a single class at a four year institution while continuing to attend community college.

University of Hawaii had 25 math pathways. This was too complex and advising was incredibly difficult. This was redesigned to four pathways.

On each pathway there is only a single developmental mathematics course. Four levels of developmental meant students were taking two years to get to college level math. Compressing four levels of developmental courses to a single developmental course has been challenging. There are now only two developmental math course options for the four tracks, and a student only takes one of the two developmental courses. At the collegiate course level a co-requisite course functions as a tutoring session for students in need of further assistance. Some students who were previously placed into the developmental "stack" are now put into college math courses with a co-requisite.

StarFish is being used by faculty at Windward in support of advising. Starfish is a student advising system.

Flags are private notes the faculty makes for their own reference only. Referral has ten further options for referring students. This is a two sided communication tool.

Kudos can be given to a student through the StarFish system. StarFish is used primarily as a communication tool.

University of Hawaii is piloting STAR GPS advising system. This system was two years in development. Two videos, one for students. Another for employees. STAR GPS is now being used to register for classes, provide advising to those students. Some students still need and are given traditional advising. Many students, however, use STAR GPS to self-advise. The system is custom programmed and has to be continuously updated as curriculum changes. Setting this up was complex: for every single course the pre-requisite and follow-on courses had to be specified. Programs had to be delineated. The system builds and defines pathways and automatically readjusts and students shift courses around in their program.

Windward is using co-requisite course structures to support weaker students in college level courses. The STAR GPS software is maintained by a single programmer, a custom built package. This is not presently a commercial product. The software does not, not at present, consider financial aid implications nor tie into billing. The system is a student advising package and is not underneath their SIS system which remains in Banner.

After a break Charles Sasaki covered the Inquire, Inform, and Integrate model in use at Windward Community College.

This model is from the National Academic Advising (NACADA). The student inquires, then you provide information, and then the student will integrate the information. This 3-I model does not always fit out here. Our students often come with some information coupled with an inability to formulate questions. Our students do not follow the nice three stage model. Our processes are much more interactive, moving among and between the three stages in a fluid order.

From Career Advising: An Academic Advisor's Guide by Gordon, 2006.

Tools for advisors include the ACT World of Work Map, John Holland's RIASEC personality types, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. RIASEC is available for educational purposes online.

The afternoon was a deeper dive into the 3-I model of advising. Each table was provided with a grid that asked participants to map each of the three I's against tools, probing questions, and activities. Over the lunch break I found the Minnesota State Career Cluster Interest Survey. The survey is rather comprehensive and yet completes fairly quickly. The survey looks at activities that you enjoy, personality self-descriptions, and the sorts of courses that you like. This generates career clusters. Each cluster includes, via drill down, four further areas for exploration: careers in the cluster, industries in the cluster, pathways in the cluster, and majors in the cluster. Each of those in turn drills down to further details. I hope to try to use this with my advisees during the advising sessions over the next few days.


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