Office of Public Affairs
Sept. 10, 2003
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Mandel, 312-2232
FIRST-YEAR ADVISING PROGRAM WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego's 3-year-old First-Year
Advisement Program is winning national recognition. The program for new
students will receive an Outstanding Institutional Advising Program
Certificate of Merit next month at the annual meeting of the National
Academic Advising Association in Dallas.
The program matches incoming students with faculty
and peer advisers before they arrive on campus to help integrate them
into the campus community and keep them on track to a degree in four
Directed by Michelle Bandla, Oswego's program is one
of 12 to be honored with this award in nationwide competition this
year. The 12 include programs at such institutions as the University of
Wisconsin at Madison and Purdue University.
"This honor is an affirmation that our First-Year
Advisement Program not only makes a tremendous difference on campus,
but is recognized nationally for its effectiveness in meeting the needs
of our students," President Deborah F. Stanley said.
Associate Provost Rhonda Mandel nominated Oswego's
program in NACADA's national awards program last fall. It has proven
effective in keeping students satisfied and enrolled at Oswego, she
Retention of first-year students increased by about
9 percent in the first two years of the program, Mandel said, and for
students in at least one other first-year program -- such as
FirstChoice or the First-Year Residential Experience -- retention
increased from 11 to 14 percent.
In the program, each first-year student is assigned
to one of about 60 faculty-peer adviser teams and notified by both
members of that team during the summer before the student attends.
Each faculty adviser meets with each student at
least five times during the year, beginning with opening weekend,
Bandla said. Each faculty adviser has about 25 advisees. Peer advisers
also meet with students and plan activities and workshops for them.
Both faculty and peer advisers receive training in
campus resources, student development issues, student success factors
and principles of best practice. Peer advisers take a one-credit course
designed specifically to assist them in their responsibilities. Faculty
and peer advisers also meet together to refine the faculty-peer
relationships and to define responsibilities and expectations.
Assessment results indicate that faculty, staff,
peer advisers and first-year students are "highly satisfied" with the
program, Mandel said.
"The impact of advising on student satisfaction and
retention is well documented," said Betsy McCalla-Wriggins, president
of NACADA, "and it is through efforts such as those of SUNY Oswego that
we are able to share new advances with others."
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