2014-Goal 2

      2014 Strategic Plan

      2014 Strategic Plan

      2013-2014 Champions

      A Special tribute to WARHAWKS for an amazing season of play in 2013-2014 year: (1) winning a record six National Championships, (2) achieving unprecedented trifecta in the NCAA sports history, and, (3) achieving best finish ever, second place in the 2013-14 NCAA Director's cup (highest in UWW history).

      Goal 2


      Goal II: Develop a comprehensive approach to improved advising that promotes an integrated learning and enhanced general education experience, consistent with our campus LEAP initiative.

      a. Review current assessment of advising?  Reviewed

      1. AAEC surveys
      2. NSSE surveys of freshmen and seniors

      b. Define "comprehensive approach to improved advising":  Defined

      c. Identify "best practices":  Identified

      d. Establish criteria to evaluate advising according to best practices in a way that is consistent with LEAP:  Developed new outcomes for assessment that are consistent with LEAP

      Team Leaders: Deb Heiber, Advising Council; Pam Tanner, Advising Council

      Team Members: Tracy Arneson-Baker, Advising Coordinator, COEPS; Debra Heiber, Director of Advising and Advising Coordinator COLS; Bob Mertens, Associate Dean and Advising Coordinator COAC;   Eric Roche, Senior Advisor and Advising Coordinator COBE; Pam Tanner, Director of AAEC and Advising Coordinator

      Other participants: Jan Olson, Asst. Dean, COBE; Tom Karthauss,r IR

      Frequency of the meetings: Several meetings over the two-year period

      Executive Summary (comprehensive advising):

      Advising, like learning, is a broad and complex construct that can occur in many places and forms from admission to graduation.  An integral mission of the university is to serve its diverse student population achieve their educational goals through effective advising.  Aspects of advising are integrated throughout a student's educational experience beginning with recruitment, orientation, student services and activities as well as in the formal advising structures with the institution.  The institution strives to provide well-balanced, holistic academic advising to its students, nonetheless.

      For purposes of this study, the group did a comprehensive review of academic advising for currently enrolled undergraduate students within the formal advising structures in the institution: the Academic Advising and Exploration Center (AAEC) and the four undergraduate colleges Arts and Communication (COAC), College of Business and Economics (COBE), College of Education and Professional Studies (COEPS), and the College of Letters and Sciences (COLS);  Elements examined were how advising varies among students levels: freshmen (up to 24 earned credits and upper level students (sophomores 24 credits, juniors 60 credits and senior 90 credits).  The Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising (Appendix A) were established in 2005, when the advising coordinators began assessment activities following the assessment model of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).  These advising outcomes define advising within a framework of mutual goals for students and advisors: encouraging student responsibility, providing effective advising interactions, and creating positive affective outcomes.  The group has reviewed all available advising assessment data and has been identifying best practices for all aspects of a student's advising career, attempting to capture a "comprehensive" view of the students advising experience from Plan-It Purple to graduation.

      Institutional Advising Structure (see appendix B flow chart)


      The entering freshman class attends an orientation program, Plan-It-Purple (PIP).  Freshman are oriented and advised at programs with over 200 students per program.  After orientation sessions, students are divided into groups by undeclared status or by the college of their majors. They are advised by AAEC advising staff and select faculty advisors.  Transfer students also attend an orientation/registration program at which, most transfer freshmen are advised by the AAEC while upper level students and freshmen in the Arts are advised at departmental or college locations.   The faculty assisting at the freshman Plan-It Purple (PIP) programs have been designated as "University Master Advisors," a program created to support freshmen advising for the PIP programs and by teaching the New Student Seminar (NSS). There has been no formal assessment of this program, and it recently has been changed such that teaching the NSS is no longer part of the University Master Advisor functions.

      On-going Advising

      After orientation, the structure of each advising unit varies depending on the level of the student, the requirements of the curriculum and the needs of the students (see flow chart, Appendix B) The goals for freshmen established by the AAEC are: clearly understand the purpose and format of the academic advising report; understand the General Education Requirements, utilize WINS as a resource for academic advising and registration, and be aware of the stages and locations of advising at UW-Whitewater.   Advising needs for upper level students vary by level and choice of major. The complexity of advising increases as students begin to focus on degree requirements, pre-requisite structures and requirements in the major, as they plan for Internships, undergraduate research and other out-of-class experiences. Upper level students may also be challenged by standards for admission to professional programs and need to make difficult decisions about majors and minors.

      Measures and Accomplishments

      Measures and Accomplishments

      1. Measure: Review current assessment of advising

      i. AAEC surveys
      ii. NSSE surveys of freshmen and seniors


      A. Analysis of data from external sources Reviewed information from three external sources prior to reviewing campus survey data: the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), and interviews with comparable institutions.

        • NACADA recommendations from a national survey of advisors conducted in 2011:
          1. regular assessment
          2. assessing Learning and not just satisfaction
          3. assessing advising loads
          4. assessing advisor training and development
        • AACU recommendations on philosophy of advising should:
          1. be based on a philosophy/mission for academic advising
          2. identify clear outcomes for student learning and the delivery of academic advising
          3. develop systematic processes of assessment; include comprehensive and ongoing professional development programs
        • Interviews: The team interviewed five institutions which are comparable in size, degree programs and admissions standards: UW-Superior, UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, Western Illinois and Winona State.  Based on interview conversations and assessment of UW-W advising practices by external schools (system) several best practices were identified (see measure b).

      B. Analysis of data from UW-Whitewater Assessment

      1) Comparison of results for NSSE, SOAS and UAS
      The team considered three sources of information about advising effectiveness: the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Senior Outcomes Assessment Survey (SOAS) and the Undergraduate Survey of Academic Advising (UAS). This report focuses on the results of the UAS data since 1) it was constructed specifically to assess advising outcomes, and not simply satisfaction, and 2) the UAS provides the most comprehensive information on how students experience advising from freshman to sophomore year. 

      The chart below compares student satisfaction with the quality of advising in freshman and senior years.

      Average for all Freshmen Sample Average across all colleges for Seniors Sample
      NSSE 3.27 589 2.73 777 Spr. 2011
      UAS 3.52 160 3.15 342 Spr 2011
      SOAS N/A N/A 3.26 1087 Spr. 2010

      Satisfaction with advising as reported in the Table above by students taking the NSSE shows that although senior advising has improved over the years, it is still below both UW-W freshman and comparable institutions (see Appendix C).  However, the UAS reports that both freshman and senior satisfaction with advising is considerably higher than that reported by the NSSE. Similarly, the SOAS shows even higher advising satisfaction for seniors.  SOAS Information by college is presented in Appendix D, and indicates that seniors in Letters and Sciences have higher satisfaction than in other colleges, which may indicate satisfaction with the on-going advising relationship developed in the L&S advising model.

      2)  Undergraduate Advising Survey (UAS):   2011-Administration of UAS to all undergraduate students

      3)  Conclusions from the 2011 UAS: 2011 Survey Responses (see Appendix E)

      b. Measure: Define "comprehensive approach to improved advising": A comprehensive approach to improved advising enables a diverse student body to achieve educational goals through effective advising. It includes policies, procedures and structures that support advising, with an emphasis on 1) students' transitions throughout their academic careers, 2) adequate resources at all academic levels, and 3) faculty engagement.

      c. Measure: Identify "best practices":   Identified

      Best practices for general advising from the interviews:

      • Advising should be required for all students each semester
      • Advising needs to be supported with appropriate resources
      • Sustainable advising loads are critical to provide effective advising

      2.  Other schools noted that best practices specific to UWW campus:

      • Advising assessment plan was more fully developed
      • UWW Advising Coordinator structure is a good decision making model in  addition to a  large Advising Council
      d. Measure: Establish criteria to evaluate advising according to best practices in a way that is consistent with LEAP:  work in progress- developed new outcomes for assessment that are consistent with LEAP (Appendix F).

      Additional Comments: 2011 UAS Survey Response Summary-Learning Outcomes for Advising (see Appendix E)

      #'s Survey Questions Response feedback
      1 Understanding of university resources and preparation for advising Positive growth from freshman to senior year
      2 Discussions with advisors about course planning, information and referral, and goals Freshmen and COLS upper level students responded positively with the highest values across all questions.
      3 Students' interactions with their advisors Advisor knowledge is positive from freshman to senior year and across all colleges while advisor availability and productive relationship are highest during the freshman year and for upper level students in COLS.
      4 Effective outcomes Students are uncertain about their academic goals throughout their academic experience.   Values for confidence for degree completion and satisfaction with the quality of advising are higher in COLS.
      5 Overall satisfaction Underrepresented minorities have a slightly more positive advising experience than the general student body. Students with higher GPAs were more positive on every outcome.

      Looking forward: Future themes/goals/recommendations

      Recommendations for further assessment

      • Revise 2005 advising outcomes in accordance with LEAP outcomes to reflect increased awareness of competencies and student involvement in High Impact Practice (in progress).
      • Revise existing undergraduate advising survey to reflect outcomes and allow college specific questions (in Progress).  Qualtrex should allow us to better define student groups for improved information.
      • Conduct student focus groups to explore areas of concern from survey, and advising process/transition questions that are difficult to assess in a survey.
      • Survey professional and faculty advisors on their goals, perceptions and knowledge.
      • Assess how our advising structure affects the quality of advising for transfer students.

      Recommendations for advising practices

      This review of advising suggests that the campus should provide additional resources to support advising for all level students:

      • Develop strategies that support required, one-on-one advising for upper level students.
      • Develop advising practices that focus on student transitions.
        1. Entering transfer students.
        2. Freshman transition to sophomore year.
        3. Students transitioning between colleges, especially those with academic issues.
      • Create incentives for faculty engagement with advising.
      • Provide additional college level support for students and advisors.
      • Examine sustainable advising loads for faculty and professional advisors.
      • Review the campus University Master Advisor position description.

      Supporting material and links:

      1. (See http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Implications-for-assessment-2011-National-Survey.aspx)
      2. (http://www.aacu.org/peerreview/pr-wi08/pr-wi08_AcAdv.cfm )
      3. Appendix A: Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising
      4. Appendix B: Flow Chart
      5. Appendix C:  NSSE Advising Chart 2001-2010
      6. Appendix D:  SOAS chart
      7. Appendix E:  2011 Survey
      8. Appendix F:  2014 Learning outcomes revision draft 

      2014 Strategic Plan

      2013-2014 Champions

      A Special tribute to WARHAWKS for an amazing season of play in 2013-2014 year: (1) winning a record six National Championships, (2) achieving unprecedented trifecta in the NCAA sports history, and, (3) achieving best finish ever, second place in the 2013-14 NCAA Director's cup (highest in UWW history).


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