Any effective advising program must define and review how it organizes and delivers its services. Effective organizations typically have (a) clearly stated strategic goals and plans, (b) structure, policy, and culture that allow continuous improvement, and (c) leadership that advance the organization/team/individuals to accomplish program mission and goals.
Guiding Questions to examine organizational effectiveness
1. Is the current organizational structure working? What is the working climate of your unit?
- Do you have a functional work flow graphics or oganizational charts demonstrating clear channels of authority?
- How are advising responsibilities divided?
- How do you collaborate with faculty to support student success?
- Is the structure conducive to sharing information and collaborating with other academic and student services units?
- How does the advising director engage and manage staff? Are expectations clearly articulated and communicated?
- How are ethical behavior and institutional citizenship modeled and practiced?
- Does the organizational culture promote continuous improvement?
2. How does your unit engage in strategic planning? Are the advising services structured purposefully and effectively?
3. Are financial, personnel, and physical resourcews available to support and meet program goals? Is the advisor-to-student ratio appropriate? (NACADA 2011 survey median case load: 1:300)
- Map of UC, Berkeley advising community(link is external) by organizational structure.
- Map of UC Berkeley advising community(link is external) by purpose.
- Sample organizational chart: Departmental student services unit(link is external)
- List of various responsibilities performed by advisors(link is external) (emphasis on Academic Affairs)
Once you reviewed your organizational effectiveness within your unit, consider discussing what can be modified or improved in the short-term and long-term. Come up with an action plan.