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Importance of Academic Advising

Good advising is vital to the long-term success of Oregon Tech. The advisor is the link between the student and the institution. The success of the institution, after all, depends on the success of its students. Advising can make a huge difference in the lives of university students. Advisors can take a student who might otherwise leave the university or college and guide that student to some extent so that the student stays and excels and feels good about himself or herself.

Retention literature stresses the importance of first-year advising and “front-loading” advising help. Advisors can play a key role in helping university students adjust to a new environment, clarifying expectations, and interpreting the higher education experience to their advisees. Perhaps an advisor’s greatest contribution to student retention and success may be in reducing initial student confusion, strengthening affiliation with the institution, and in enhancing clarification on matters pertaining to the higher education experience (Tinto, 1987).

Literature on the subject of advising and retention concludes that college student success improves when college students make progress toward educational and career goals; and when they are satisfied with the quality of educational programs, services, and environment. Academic advising at Oregon Tech plays a significant role in addressing these factors. In short, good academic advising can be a key to student retention. The best way to keep students enrolled is to keep them stimulated, challenged, and progressing toward a meaningful goal. One way to do that—especially with new students—is through meaningful academic advising.

First and second-year students can feel overwhelmed by the college experience. The reality is that many new students have trouble coping with so many new experiences. Increasing numbers of students enrolled in universities are under-prepared for the rigorous expectations of university academic life.

Even good academic preparation does not always equip students to persist and succeed academically. Attitude and motivation are powerful predictors of student success. Most students don’t come to the university knowing how to make academic decisions. They have to learn this. (National Academic Advising Association. (2006). NACADA concept of academic advising. Retrieved September 1, 2007 from http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Concept-Advising.htm )

Advisors can teach students how to gather information, how to make decisions, and how to test then reflect upon the results. (Noel-Levitz)