An Exploration of Academic Advising Practices Within Small Institutions in North Carolina

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The sustainability of an institution of higher education lies in its ability to attract and retain students. Young-Jones, Burt, Dixon, and Hawthorne (2013) assert that faculty–student interactions contributed to student success along with other factors. One outside factor that contributed to student success was the role of the advisor in linking students to the institutional culture. O’Banion (2012) reminded us that when students first enter college they are unprepared for making sound decisions about courses, their career, and even their future; therefore, they rely heavily on the guidance they receive from institutional representatives. Advisors are one of the main representatives studied by scholars, as well as the theories and best practices associated with advising. What we lack is a clear understanding of what advising practices are beneficial to students, and how those practices can improve advising. The purpose of this study was to compare the viewpoints of supervisors, advisors and students regarding their knowledge, experiences, and opinions surrounding advising at small institutions in North Carolina. To this end, the research questions were the following: How are advisors addressing academic, career, and interpersonal needs of students at small 4-year public institutions in North Carolina? What advising strategies hindered successful advisement of students at these small institutions in North Carolina? What do the various stakeholders identify as beneficial practices that improve advising on small campuses in North Carolina? Surveys, interviews and open coding procedures were used on two North Carolina institutions. Further research should explore efforts to improve advising in other states and their results on retention.

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  • 02/16/2024
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