What do entering students need? Academic Advising

Posted on February 5, 2013. Filed under: Community Colleges, Completion Agenda, Higher Education |

Well, the results of the 2012 CCSSE and SENSE surveys are in and both point to the need for redesigning community college academic advising practices.

Faculty, students, and staff agree: academic advising is vital to student success! And now data from the SENSE survey (Survey of Entering Student Engagement) shows that too many entering students are not engaging in ways that help them chart a successful course.

What do we mean when we say academic advising? Well, academic advising is not just about selecting courses. Good academic advising should include:

  • talking with students about their outside commitments to determine how many courses to take
  • helping students to set academic goals and create plans for achieving them
  • helping students understand how placement test scores are used to determine if they are ready for college-level courses or if they need to take courses to help them become college-ready
  • helping students understand how many hours outside of class (per week) they need to spend to prepare and study for each course they are taking
  • making sure students know where to find help if they are considering withdrawing from a course

Mercer County Community College participated in SENSE in September 2012. We will get our SENSE data back about February 1, 2013 and be able to see how well we meet the national benchmarks for student engagement.

For more, see CCSSE’s Engagement Matters, Vol 10.1 (January 2013).

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