“Advising: The Center of Student Success”

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Concurrent Session I: 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Advising and Counseling the Special Needs Population in Higher Education

Jeremiah Dix, Kean University Sara Torres, Kean University
Billie Bailey, Kean University Paula Muindi, Kean University
Elis Sosa, Kean University Matthew Stevens, Kean University


This panel discussion intends to inform professional advisors about methods and techniques for counseling the academically under prepared and special needs population in higher education. Personal growth, professional development and counseling processes are aided through activities of various components including: Affective Education/Transitions, Career Planning, Mentoring/Internships, and Achievement and Recognition. These activities begin during the pre-freshman summer program of the Exceptional Educational Opportunities (E.E.O.) program and continue throughout the students’ academic years at Kean University.

Nuts and Bolts of Advising: A Roundtable Discussion

Mary Zagorski (Facilitator) Kean University


A roundtable discussion will be facilitated for open sharing about advising issues and problems of concern to you, with practical ideas and experiences from roundtable members working at community or four-year colleges. This is your opportunity to learn from colleagues about what works for them and to share your experiences.

Negotiating the Pitfalls of Placement Testing: Strategies to Eliminate an Advising Center’s Worst Nightmare

Tracey Gottlieb, Seton Hall University


Seton Hall University transformed its placement testing over a four-year period from an outdated process into a near-seamless system that has eliminated confusion and unnecessary delays. This presentation will review the past history of testing and all its pitfalls -- including paper testing and on-campus testing -- and describe how a committee with representatives from Freshman Studies, the Math, English and Modern Languages departments, and Information Technology, re-engineered the process. Seton Hall University transformed its placement testing by first improving outreach to students when they send their tuition deposits. Today, Seton Hall's
placement testing begins in March and students are able to access the university IT system in order to complete distance testing. Students are able to self-evaluate their English strengths and weaknesses while accessing the university's learning platform, Blackboard, in order to complete their Math and language placement long before they ever arrive on campus for orientation.

Advising 2006: Blending Technology with Advising

Maureen Sanford, Montclair State University
Nicole Weir, Montclair State University
Tara Morlando-Zurlo, Montclair State University


This session is intended to provide advisors with an overview of how technology can be successfully integrated into the advising process. Emphasis will be placed on how technological elements/processes can aid and assist in student retention and satisfaction in addition to advisor effectiveness and efficiency. Practices that may be highlighted include the following: (1) Utilizing on-line forms for student outreach and to initiate the one–on-one counseling experience, (2) Maintaining an on-line resource page for students, (3) Including PowerPoint presentations on various topics (i.e. registration, the transfer process, etc.), (4) Maintaining an on-line resource page for faculty and professional advisors, (5) Development of on-line 4-year plans for students’ academic career planning. Participants will leave the presentation with an understanding of how technology can be used at their institutions to facilitate the advising experience. A question and answer period will be allocated at the end of the presentation.

Tools of the Trade

Gail Okun, Berkeley College
Tia De Louise, Berkeley College


The presenters of this workshop will focus on the electronic tools, which Berkeley College has developed and currently utilizes to better serve its student body. For advisors, it enables them to perform their tasks more efficiently; for students, it empowers them to be more responsible and in control of their choices. This flow of information makes for a more successful college experience. These are a few of the areas that will be discussed and demonstrated through a combination of Peoplesoft and Blackboard: a system-wide advisement site, Degree Progress Reports, Self-Service Progress Reports, and Enrollment Verification. Join in for the discussion and demonstration and discover how you can create a seamless flow of information between the advisors and students at your college.

Transfer Myths and Realities

Jean Goldstein, Bergen Community College


As more students choose to begin their collegiate education at a community college, it is important for advisors to be aware of the realities governing transfer in New Jersey. While most community colleges employ counselors or advisors whose focus is “transfer counseling”, students ask transfer questions of all advisors, and accurate information is essential, even when an advisor is able to refer the student to an “expert” for additional details. For advisors at upper level institutions, it is also important to be aware of policies and procedures governing this important function; the transfer students you see expect that you will know and understand the path they have taken to arrive at your institution.

Advising Science Majors

Yeung-gyo Shin, Kean University


Students majoring in a science in particular face complex sequences of prerequisites and co-requisites spanning several different disciplines. Usually they have to have substantial mathematical background to even start the introductory sequence. As a result, poor planning during the freshman year could result in up to 2 years of delay in graduation, even if the student completes all course work successfully beyond the first year. Therefore, it is crucial to inform students of the requirements and recommended course sequences at the earliest possible time; i.e. as soon as students identify themselves as science majors. In addition, all instructors of Transition to Kean (freshman seminar) need to be informed of the requirements in anticipation of advising potential science majors in their classes. This presentation will highlight our efforts to assemble and effectively disseminate all the pertinent information to our incoming freshmen.

The Efficacy of Research Methodology: Completing a Dissertation or Thesis

Joe Melendez, Kean University


Professional academic advisors are often faced with the desire or need to obtain higher levels of academic scholarship through attainment of advanced degrees. However, a large percentage of students never graduate because they do not complete their theses or dissertations and remain all-but-dissertation (ABD) due to the lack of skills or time to complete their studies. Completing a research assignment can be daunting and frustrating. Some of these issues will be addressed and salient steps and materials will be presented to begin and to complete an advanced research project. The session will include the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative research methodology and design, how to effectively obtain data to perform descriptive and inferential statistical analyses to synthesize results and report interpretation, and how to identify and select the best research design or data analyses for your study (t-test, ANOVA, Regression, Z-Scores, Chi-Square or Correlations).

Concurrent Session II 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

Advising without Walls: An Introduction to as an Advising Tool

Julie Traxler, Rutgers College, Rutgers University

CAS-106 has taken college campuses by storm since the online network launched in February 2004. With students at over 2,500 institutions checking Facebook more frequently than e-mail, this site offers the promise of a new tool for advising. The session will introduce and its features and highlight how advisors on one campus have used the network to connect with students. It will discuss the different levels of commitment, from full profile to hidden access, and will explore concerns about advisors using online student networks. Because the popularity of online sites introduces issues of privacy, personal information, and freedom of speech for students, an online advising presence may enhance our teaching mission as we help students make decisions about their public selves.

Is “Seamless Transfer” Possible in New Jersey?

Peter Hagen, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Tom Grites, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
John Scott, NJ Transfer
Linda Tromp, NJ Transfer


The panel will lead discussion on issues regarding transfer students in New Jersey. Such issues will include (but are not limited to) articulation agreements, federal legislation affecting transfers, statewide governmental initiatives, dual credit/dual admissions options, and programs in other states.

The Nuts and Bolts of Advising with a Focus on Community Colleges:

A Roundtable Discussion

David Farrokh (Facilitator), Kean University

A roundtable discussion will be facilitated for open sharing about advising issues and problems of concern to you, with practical ideas and experiences from roundtable members working at community or four-year colleges who want to share and learn from others. The focus of this session will be on community college students and the transfer process. This is your opportunity to learn from colleagues about what works for them and to share your experiences.

Designing an Interactive Web Site for Undecided Students

Paula Dollarhide, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey


At Stockton College, 14% of students are undecided about their major. Our undecided students are frequently advised by faculty who lack sufficient time to help them through the decision-making process. To bridge this gap, the author has created an online workbook format to guide students in choosing a major. The web site has been incorporated as an important advising tool at our college. This workshop will detail how a needs analysis was conducted using student questionnaires, faculty focus groups, and administrative interviews. It will show how sound instructional design principles were employed in the site. The four-part decision-making process in which the student responds via a journaling process will be highlighted. Participants are urged to bring questions about how to design their own projects.

Advising Hispanic Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students for Academic Success

Angela Lopez, Kean University
Maria Obando, Kean University
Myriam Quinones, Kean University

CAS 251

The purpose of this presentation is to share specialized knowledge acquired through many years of academic advising addressing the needs of Hispanic LEP students. Academic advisors not familiar with Hispanic students issues may not be prepared to understand the complexities involved in advising Hispanic LEP students. Hispanic LEP students, along with minority learners, encounter cultural and linguistic realities that may have significant negative effects. The impact of the acculturation process and how it will affect the Hispanic LEP student success will be discussed. The extent of career selection for the Hispanic LEP students advised through the Spanish Speaking Program at Kean include a population comprised of Freshman, Transfer and Second Degree Students. Hispanic LEP students come to the academic advisor seeking opportunities to advance themselves, but at the same time, they also bring a multitude of questions and problems that the academic advisor must address in order to provide the necessary support system to help the students succeed. Cases illustrating some of the issues will be discussed.

Peer Advising in Practice: A Departmental Model

Hui-Min Kuo, Rutgers University


Academic advising is an essential element of higher education in student services. To adequately address the needs of academic advising in a large unit, the Department of Communication at Rutgers University has implemented an effective peer advising program. This presentation will introduce and discuss (a) the goals of the program in the context of communication studies, (b) the process of selecting and training peer advisors, (c) the primary responsibilities and activities of peer advisors, and (d) the impact of peer advising on the department, students, and peer advisors. The peer advising program serves the purposes of providing advising services effectively through peer-to-peer dynamic interactions, offering motivated seniors an opportunity to gain advising experience in both interpersonal and group settings, and ensuring departmental advisement is instituted with success.

Creating an Academic Advisement Program for Liberal Arts Students in an Urban College Setting

Rhea Parson, Borough of Manhattan Community College/ CUNY
Bill Roane, Borough of Manhattan Community College/ CUNY


Liberal arts students in an urban community college have special academic advisement needs. Failure to recognize and meet the needs of such a diverse population may lead to a high percentage of students on probation and an increased attrition rate. This session will explore the creation, implementation, and analysis of a developmental academic advising program supported by a Title V grant. Topics include developing an advisement model, faculty advisor training, technological support, and assessment ofhe program. The audience will be encouraged to participate and share best practices from their own experiences.

Teaching Freshman Students Decision-Making Skills

Matthew Stevens, Kean University
Billie Bailey, Kean University


This workshop is designed for counselors and advisors. The focus is teaching the use of case studies and role playing exercises to teach Freshman Students “How To” make sound decisions, and ease the transition from high school to college. The presenters will conduct a brief lecture about the case study methodology, followed by testimony from students that have used case studies in the Kean University Exceptional Educational Opportunity Program’s Freshman Seminar Class. The workshop will conclude by allowing the audience to participate in a series of case studies that focus on topics that freshman students often encounter. (e.g., dormitory issues, drug use on campus, and dealing with uncooperative professors).

Concurrent Sessions III: 2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

The Nuts and Bolts of Advising: A Roundtable Discussion

Marilyn Freeland (Facilitator), Kean University


A roundtable discussion will be facilitated for open sharing about advising issues and problems of concern to you with practical ideas and experiences from roundtable members from community and four-year colleges. This is your opportunity to learn from colleagues about what works for them and to share your experiences.

Moving from Ethnocentrism to Ethnorelativism: Advising Students of Color at Kean University

Jennifer Chen, Kean University
Joseph Burden, Kean University


Considering that Kean University is one of the most diverse public higher education institutions in New Jersey, it is imperative that the faculty appropriately adapt their advising strategies to meet the needs of this University’s increasingly diverse student population. To contribute to this effort, our presentation will focus on understanding advising approaches that can recognize and strengthen the academic potentials of students of color. We will first highlight the ethnic/racial demographic composition at Kean University in light of demographic changes in the U.S. Next, we will discuss empirical findings related to ethnic/racial learning styles, academic achievement, and paradigms for advising diverse student populations. We will also invite the audience to share their experiences with advising college students of color. We will conclude by suggesting some effective strategies (based on previous research and personal experiences), that advisors can apply when mentoring students of ethnically diverse backgrounds for academic success.

Putting the “I” Back in Advising: Teaching Students Self-Responsibility

April Smith, West Chester University
Linda Huff, West Chester University


Although prescriptive advising has been successful in the past, this approach may not help students develop self-responsibility (Appleby, 2001). In many of our advising sessions, students expect a prescriptive approach. As Pre-Major Academic Advisors, we are constantly developing strategies to teach students the importance of understanding and working toward self-responsibility and self-motivation. The purpose of our presentation is to explore a more consistent and engaging approach that Advisors-Teachers can use in their advising sessions with students.

Instituting Academic Advising Assessment: One University’s Journey

Cynthia Demetriou, Adelphi University


After attending the 2004 NACADA Academic Advising Assessment Seminar, the Office of Academic Services at Adelphi University began the process of developing its own academic advising assessment plan. This presentation follows the path of the department’s journey over the subsequent 2 years, from analysis of the suggested NACADA practices through planning stages, to the development of assessment tools and the first collection of data. It also shares the assessment plan outline, surveys and report. Participants will be encouraged to discuss institution specific application of the NACADA suggested guidelines and their individual university experiences with academic advising assessment.

One Unit, Several Functions: CATAES College Advisors and Transfer Admission and Evaluation Services

Stephen Kubow, Kean University
David Farrokh, Kean University
Michael Worlds, Kean University


Members of the CATAES unit (College Advisors and Transfer Admission and Evaluation Services) will discuss, in panel format, its unique model for the compilation of services offered to transfer and other undergraduate students, combining transfer admission and evaluation in one site. The pros and cons of the combination of services, along with the experience of implementing the unit, will be discussed. Transportability of the model to other institutions will be reviewed.

Strategies for Working with Low Performing High Achievers

Veronica Jackson, Kean University
Annan Vidal, Kean University


Unmotivated students can be generally categorized into two groups – students who are chronic under-achievers with a history of disinterest in school, and high-achievers who generally perform well, but for one reason or another have begun to experience academic difficulties. These two groups of students can be quite different with respect to the causes of their lack of motivation, how they experience the low motivation, and also what types of interventions will prove effective for them. Although much work has been done with respect to strategies for assessing and working with chronic under-achievers, much less has been done with low-performing high achievers. In this workshop we will present some strategies that we have developed to work with this latter group. Our method includes conducting an assessment of the “personal motivation factors” that initially provided the motivation for the student to perform, and then using this knowledge as a foundation for developing appropriate and creative interventions to help the student to get back on track.

Controlling Your Stress versus It Controlling You

Phyllis Morris, Kean University


A fun, interesting method of dealing with stress developed by the Harvard Medical School will be presented. What stress is, ways to control it, and the importance of handling stress effectively will be addressed. Join this interactive session to learn what your stress level is and how you can reduce it.

3:15-3:30 p.m. Table Presentations in CAS/End of Conference

3:30 p.m. Optional “Tea and Tour” at Liberty Hall Museum (for pre-paid attendees only)