Between April 2014 and March 2016, workshops were offered as part of the pilot program, Advancing Practice, a two-year professional development program for advisors and student service professionals. Workshops mapped to the five core competency areas of advisor professional development identified by Wes Habley (1995) and Jeffrey McClellan (2007)[1]. Two levels of certification (Blue & Gold) were available to participants who made significant commitments to the program through regular participation and supplemental learning activities. In addition to in-person learning activities, the Advising Council supported a travel-grants program for conference attendance, and subsidized memberships to the National Academic Advising Association. A campus-wide awards program for advisors was also initiated to recognize exceptional performance in December 2015. Advancing Practice received a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Institutional Advising Program from the National Academic Advising Association in 2015.

Though Advancing Practice was offered as a non-mandatory professional development program, 70% of our core audience (academic advisors) and a 39% of the entire job family (all student service professionals) participated in the program during the pilot phase. Over 30 subject matter experts contributed to the delivery of the program including faculty and distinguished visitors. According to a mid-program outcomes survey, 75% of participants indicated they were more reflective about their practice, 65% were more motivated to try a new approach or method, 63% felt more connected to the advising community, 41% were more confident in their skills, 49% created or used new advising resources, and 39% were more empathetic to students. Based on these important successes, Advancing Practice received the support it needed to continue as a regular campus-wide learning program. The program is widely viewed as a critical investment in advisors and an acknowledgement of the important contributions they make to student progress, learning and success.

In 2017, a special on-boarding program for new advisors and additional specialist tracks will be added to our core curriculum. The program is directed by Elizabeth Wilcox, Sr. Consultant for Advising. Special recognition goes to Amber Dillon, Donna Vivar and Maire Lanigan, the curriculum design team, who supported the program during its pilot phase and played key roles as learning strategists, facilitators, and trainers.



[1] McClellan, J.L. (2007). Content Components for Advisor Training: Revisited. Retrieved from NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site:  http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Advisor-... - See more at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Advisor-...