Undergraduate Advising at Key Transition Points

Learning centered advising is particularly important when it is provided at key transition points, for example, during the transition:

(1) to campus and first-year experience;

(2) from lower to upper division study in a declared major (and as transfer students are entering the University);

(3) (this “transition point” is actually a continuous process, not a single point in an academic career) when students are evaluating and integrating high-impact learning activities into planning (i.e. first year programs, research, service learning, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, global learning, internships, capstone courses and projects (Kuh, 2008);

(4) and as they are preparing for career and or advanced study after graduation.(Wilcox, 2013)

When advising is structured to deliver learning-focused, “active” forms of advising at these key transition points, progress and satisfaction with advising are greatly enhanced. UC Berkeley’s competencies include important references to knowledge and skills that help expand the advisors understanding of learning theory and practices, and encourage deeper knowledge of relevant courses, and the structure and purpose of degree requirements. They also encourage approaches and methods that incorporate open dialog and deeper exchange that enhance important learning dispositions (Perkins & Tishman, 1993) (curiosity, growth mindset (Dweck, Walton & Cohen, 2014), grit (Duckworth, Peterson & Matthews, 2007), collaboration, flexibility, risk taking and awareness of self and others) (Claxton & Carr, 2004) (Maiers, 2012) (Schwartz, 2015). Through the use of complex advising skills (critical reflection, identification of strengths, exploration, goal setting, listening, clarifying and connecting, praise, challenge and support (Cohen, Steele & Ross, 1999), providing feedback, etc.) the advising relationship can reach its fullest potential with the greatest impact to successful transition, learning, progress, connectedness, discovery and growth. Active engagement and partnerships with faculty in the delivery of advising is also strongly encouraged.