Advisor Learning Program

The Advisor Learning Program is designed to  augment the professional development of WSU Academic Advisors in their work with students.  Provided as a collaborative effort between the Academic Success & Career Center and Human Resource Services, this program is comprised of courses that expand both the technical and relational aspects of effective academic advising.

More information on the Advisor Learning Program


Last updated: 9/25/2018

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Core Requirements

These courses must be completed by all Academic Advisors

Foundations of Academic Advising: Part 1

Not currently scheduled

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In this course participants explore the foundation of advising, basic tools and knowledge needed to assist students through their academic advising experience. It provides hands-on opportunities including in-depth information about the tools and resources available to advisors at WSU.

Foundations of Academic Advising: Part 2

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This course further explores the foundations of advising and expands upon the knowledge gained through Foundations of Academic Advising Part 1. It provides participants with opportunities, through case studies and interactive activities, to build upon their knowledge of how to communicate effectively with students in an advising session. Participants also learn about the variety of resources available for students in order to make effective referrals.


Recommended Courses for Further Study

Though not requirements of the Learning Program, these course provide information that is valuable to all Academic Advisors.

Academic Advising and First-Year Students: The Power of Purpose and Movement toward Self-Efficacy (NACADA webinar)

November 13, 2018 | 2:00-3:00 p.m.

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In the NACADA Advising First-Year Students Community-sponsored webinar, the presenters will consider ways to support students as they move through this important transition year, discovering new identities and setting goals for their personal and academic futures. Since students’ movements through these vectors are unique, advisors’ awareness of these stages fosters effective understanding of and communication with students in the first year.

The presenters will also discuss ways to facilitate the learning and reflection process, based on Baxter Magolda’s Theory of Self-Authorship (2004) and Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (1984), in a variety of student meeting settings. They will share strategies to promote the transformative power of guided reflection and value-exploration through activities that can influence student confidence in decision-making, comprehension of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors, and achievement of both personal and academic goals. Coaching skills that empower students to take ownership of all aspects of life and articulate their own vision for success will be explored.

Academic Advising for Double Dose First Generation Students (NACADA webinar)

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A considerable body of research explores the added challenges that first-generation students encounter, including developing a sense of belonging. But what about first-generation students who have the added challenge of being first-generation in a new culture as well?

This webinar’s presenters refer to these students as double-dose first-gen students, and as members of this population themselves, they have experienced first-hand many of the challenges and obstacles they will discuss. In this NACADA First Generation College Student Advising Community-sponsored event, the presenters will begin with a brief explanation of the concept of double-dose first-gen students, and then explore the cultural challenges that arise as these students navigate higher education. They will frame this exploration through Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory, taking a closer look at some specific differences between the U.S. national culture and other national cultures (such as Pakistan, China, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, and India) that are often the place of origin of double-dose first-gen American students.

They will then review select advising approaches through this cultural lens to determine the pros and cons of each approach as it relates to the double-dose first-gen population, considering ways to overcome the potential downfalls to ensure that advisors and students are able to work collaboratively to better ensure students’ sense of belonging, engagement, and success in higher education.

Academic Advising in their Language: Communicating with Today’s Students

December 13, 2018 | 11:00 – 12:00 p.m.

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Engagement with students “where they are” has become increasingly complex for educational professionals as language and preferred modes of communication evolve at an ever-increasing pace. Demands of constantly-changing communication technologies combine with challenges of working with students accustomed to instantaneous feedback. Advising professionals may struggle to keep up with the latest forms of textspeak used by their students in relation to academic performance, major exploration, and experiential learning.

Academic advisors serve a unique role in student retention, managing expectations, and advocacy. In this webinar, the presenters will consider the importance of building rapport with advisees so they feel comfortable sharing their concerns. Drawing on Social Construction of Reality theory, participants will be challenged to think about their personal advising practices to accommodate (or not) the way students choose to communicate in order to instill self-efficacy. Effective ways that advisors can assist students to view experiences as growth opportunities will be shared, and strategies to instill self-efficacy will be explored.

Advisor Learning Program Kick Off: Create Your Advising Philosophy and Professional Development Plan

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In this course, advisors learn about the new Advisor Learning Program and how to earn Advisor II certification. It includes a workshop on creating your advising philosophy and professional development plan.

Advising Transfer Students Panel

November 15, 2018 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

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Best Practices: Advising Moving Forward

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The Murrow Student Services team of professional academic advisors, took part in the 2 year pilot program known as the Equitable Advising Pilot. Sara Stout and Megan Starr-Gepford will share their experience with the pilot program; what worked and what didn’t work in regards to communication with students, appointment scheduling and tracking of student visits. They hope to help other WSU advisors problem solve to avoid some of the same struggles. Murrow advisors focused on the colaborative relationship of advising instead of the student actions of course selection and registration using the model of Advising as Teaching.

Coaching as Advising Strategy: Increasing Motivation Responsibility, and Trust

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Coaching is an underutilized approach to Advisement and alternative to “Counseling.” Despite the diversity of approaches to Advising and Counseling, Coaching actively engages four fundamental capabilities of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and harnesses EI more effectively than the other Advising styles. Whereas similar Advising approaches take technical queues from the academic field of Positive Psychology, this session will clarify key points of difference between similar Advising approaches and techniques that Coaching shares with formalized Counseling interventions.

Critical Conversations: Saying No to Students and Parents

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Having to tell a parent or student “no” can be tricky and sometimes difficult. In our roles, it is necessary to become comfortable with this situation. The presenters will offer strategies on how to approach these conversations in a constructive, healthy manner.

Critical Advising Conversations: Getting To Know Your Students – Tips for Getting Beyond Curriculum Conversations

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Trying to find out what our students’ problems really are can be difficult. Advisors must toe a fine line between effective intrusive advising and being perceived as too nosy or pushy. This presentation will provide strategies for advisors to direct conversations to the root of students’ concerns and help advisors support students in working towards solutions.

Leap Kit | How to Design Learning Through Short-Term Experiences

November 6, 2018 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

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Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in Advising

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As advisors, we are arbiters of success, guiding our students into adulthood, and helping them to become more engaged members of a new community. For some populations of students, with specific attention to students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, this task is complicated by their sexual or gender identity – identities that are often foregrounded in their experience but hidden because of social stigma and fear. Understanding the complexities of living, growing, learning, and engaging as an LGBTQ+ student is central to offering advice (and advising) to these students.

Understanding of and Caring For Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Academic Advising

November 29, 2018 | 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

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Presenter: Dr. Thomas Dickson, Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, UC Riverside

This presentation will review the topics of stress, trauma, burnout, and compassion fatigue as experienced by Academic Advisors. It will cover how each interact and build to become compassion fatigue. We will discuss methods for reducing stress, caring for ourselves, and addressing burnout and fatigue in ourselves and our teams.

Using Technology to Enhance, Not Hinder Your Practice

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Learn quick tips on how to use technology to make your daily advising activities smoother.

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