Academic Affairs

Academic & Career Advising Task Force

Advisor Competencies

Knowledge of Higher Education

Brief description of competency: possess an understanding for and appreciation of higher education, both in a general sense and relative to the history of one's institution.

Summary of Competency's Main Points

  1. Knowledge of history of higher education in general.
  2. Knowledge of history of one's institution.
  3. Familiarity with current issues in higher education.
  4. Knowledge of ethical and legal implications affecting advising.
  5. Understanding of political, social and economic issues affecting higher education.
  6. Basic knowledge of academic disciplines.
  7. Knowledge of campus services that aid students in their personal and professional development.

Incorporating Competency into Training

Those who develop training programs for academic advisors should include ways in which those they are training develop an understanding for the Conceptual, Relational, and Informational elements of academic advising.

CR I Does your training program for professional and faculty advisors include:
X  X 1.  A history of higher education in general?
X  X 2.  The history of your institution and its mission and goals?
X  X 3.  Discussion of the value of post-secondary education in today's society?
XX X 4.  Discussion of current problems in higher education today (i.e. admission quotas, time to degree, change-of-major, remedial education, plagiarism)?
   X 5.  A review of the academic disciplines?
   X 6.  Explanation of campus services and proper referrals?
CR I Questions/activities which may help guide you in the development of your training program:
   X 1.  What is the difference between a BA and a BS degree?
X  X 2.  What is the meaning or significance of the general education or liberal arts component of a bachelor's degree?
XX X 3.  Should state tax payer dollars be used to support higher education? Why/why not?
XX X 4.  How would you refer a student who says s/he wants to transfer to another school?
X  X 5.  What benefits are gained by adding a minor to a bachelor's degree?
X  X 6.  How does a post-secondary education affect one's employment options?

Case Study

Ryan tells you he plans to transfer to another school at the end of the fall semester. His reasoning is that he didn't make the cut for the college baseball team. When he decided to come to Podunk University he was also being recruited by Whatchmacallit College to play baseball there. He decided to come to Podunk because it's a state school; it would be more affordable. Whatchamacallit College is private, therefore more expensive. Now Ryan is saying he's transferring to Whatchamacallit because they're promising to put him on the team. His major isn't offered there, but he says he'll find something to like.

What do you think of Ryan's decision? What words of support or encouragement can you offer him?

Recommended questions/issues to bring up in discussion with Ryan:

  1. It seems like baseball is more important to Ryan than an education. Why? Is he hoping to make a career in baseball?
  2. What does he think of his own talent and skill; does he think he's professional material?
  3. Is there a difference between making the team and actually playing?
  4. What will Ryan do if Whatchamacallit puts him on the team but doesn't play him?
  5. Will he be able to pay the difference in tuition in the next semester and for the next 3+ years?
  6. Is there an opportunity for an athletic scholarship?
  7. Discuss the importance of having the degree/education in something he sees himself being happily employed in if a career in playing baseball doesn't happen (perhaps something in sports management?); recommend an appointment with a career exploration advisor.