Action plan

The overarching goal of the Committee for the Review of Academic Advising and Planning (now referred to as the Oswego Team for Effective Advising and Mentoring (O-TEAM) is to improve retention and student success. It has become increasingly apparent that one aspect of undergraduate education was not receiving sufficient attention: undergraduate academic advising and planning. The critical point came with the distribution of institutional data on student opinion surveys highlighting the chronic problems with advising and subsequent surveys that introduced potential solutions to those problems.

With the goal of student success as a focus, the Committee considered issues related to academic advising and planning, identified the best advisement practices for SUNY Oswego, and submitted the results and a proposal to President Stanley in Summer 2016. President Stanley, in consultation with Acting Provost Walter Roettger, charged the committee with developing an action plan to implement the proposed Oswego Team for Effective Advising and Mentoring (O-TEAM) advisement model as a pilot in fall 2017.

Pilot topics

The Committee continued its work to identify departments/programs to be included in the pilot phase and to articulate on the following topics:

  • Professional Advisor role and responsibilities
  • Faculty Mentor role and responsibilities
  • Faculty Mentor and Professional Advisor professional development opportunities
  • Communication strategies
  • Measures of program outcomes and assessment.

Committee, work group leaders and members

Committee

Committee chair
Doug Pippin

Core committee members
Jerri Howland, Julie Pretzat, Brad Korbesmeyer, Karen Wolford

Work Group Leaders and Members

Best practices
Julie Pretzat (group leader), Adrienne Mccormick, Michele Bandla, Alicia King, Sandra Kyle, Lisa Brancato, Tal Gorden (student), Grace Maxon, Jessica Reheer  Joey Tse, Sue Witmer, and Donna Steiner, Kelly Roe

Communications
Brad Korbesmeyer and Jerri Howland (group co- leaders), Joanne O'Toole, Michele Bandla, Shelby Davis (student), Ashley Sewer (student), Lisa Brancato, Joey Tse, Wayne Westervelt

Assessment
Karen Wolford (group leader), Shelby Davis (student), Alicia King, Kristen Munger, Mario Bkassiny, Grace Maxon, Ashley Sewer (student)

Best Practices

  • Identify role and responsibilities for both the professional Advisor and Faculty Mentor as well as the shared and collaborative responsibilities;
  • Recommend a professional development program for Faculty Mentor and Professional Advisor;
  • Identify educational and professional qualifications of an effective professional advisor.

Communications

  • Review best practices for pilot program communication plans, and reach out to NACADA (National Academic Advising Association);
  • Establish a dedicated webpage for pilot program communication;
  • Discuss the pilot in depth with advisement personnel already in place;
  • Provide details about the pilot program amongst various stakeholders;
  • Answer questions and concerns in a coordinated and timely fashion;
  • Direct the overall implementation of communication and informational activities;
  • Infuse assessment throughout the process.

Assessment

A series of assessment programs will be deployed to gather information on:

  • Implementation process
  • Effectiveness of the new model
  • Improvement needs  

The Assessment Work Group has identified the following outcomes as major indicators of success:

Retention
The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment will provide retention data with a series of comparative analysis.

Academic success
The proposed team-approach advisement/mentoring model is expected to support students academic success as measured by number of students with good academic standing and reducing number of students on academic probation. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment will identify students with academic difficulties and share the list with the professional advisor as early as mid-term exams.

Student satisfaction with advisement
Overall, we reviewed the plan to use the NSSE Academic Advising Survey module for the main advisement/mentoring satisfaction outcome measure. This is the measure used for all the SUNY schools. The measure uses the term academic advisement, which we expect to use when referring to the mentors. It will give us benchmark data from our previous rankings and help us to measure progress going forward. This data is gathered by the Institutional Research and Assessment Office. In addition, we recommend a short “student satisfaction” survey to be implemented at “point of service.”

Implementation

Spring 2017

  • Search for and hire one approved Professional Advisor
  • Professional Advisor orientation
  • Faculty Mentor professional development and training
  • Form Implementation Group that will include faculty representative from pilot department and professional staff involved in student advisement works to iron out the details

Summer 2017

  • Professional Advisor meets with pilot group at summer orientations
  • Professional Advisor  works with faculty mentors to plan for the registration of incoming freshman  students in pilot group
  • Professional Advisor creates and communicates each student’s O-TEAM