It takes a unique academic advisor to truly get excited about the impending summer orientation that seems to only be a month or two away. Many of us see it as a cringe inducing time stuck in the middle of a summer that really isn’t all the different from the fall and spring semesters.
The level of participation for academic advisors differs from campus to campus with some advising units solely responsible for orienting their students, to full blown orientation offices that do most of the legwork, logistics and planning.
In just the past week our office has shifted into orientation mode with a couple of orientations in the next few weeks for those starting during our summer session. The calendar invites have been flying in to block off time stretching into July. What this year will look like we do not know. What we do know? Orientation is inevitable. Read more…
Oh the turn of the new year. Time for renewal and change for the good. Out with the old and in with the new. And all that jazz.
Oh what a year 2012 was in the advising office. Much of the same, yet so much that is different. Small reorganizations to the office structure. Hiring a couple of new advisors. New duties, old duties. Met some great new colleagues from across the country and in my region. Fired up the research engine and tried to give back as I could. All in all, a very busy year.
And 2013, underway for a couple of weeks now, promises to be full of much to look forward towards. And what would a new year be without new year resolutions? It’s a seemingly futile annual exercise for myself on the personal side, but perhaps, just perhaps, some advising resolutions I can truly keep.
So without fanfare or bluster, here are just a couple of things I resolve for 2013. Read more…
I have always held to the notion that the workplace is a place of business, but there is always time to stop and laugh. A little room for fun and games every now and then. You know, all work and no play makes Jason something…something.
Now if it is just me, alone on an island, doing all the joking, it might be kind of awkward. So hopefully you are surrounded by a team of colleagues that will join you in a bit of frivolity every now and then. And even better if those above you buy in as well (also known as chipping for a bit of the cost and time if needed).
So yes, finding morale boosters as an advisor is a must. Cheap and easy is even better. So it was wonderful of @AcAdvChat to talk about that very subject this week.
Q1: How much importance does your institution put on morale currently? How much importance do you give it?
The University of Utah, as an institution, seems to invest in both the mental and physical well being of students, staff and faculty. Read more…
Pardon this interruption to your normally scheduled programming.
The past couple of years have not been kind to the newspaper world. The advent of this thing called the Internet has really been a thorn in the side of print journalism.
Social media has played a role in taking a few shots as well. Journalists subscribe to the thought of KISS, or keep it short and simple (or my fav keep it simple stupid). But in a world of 140 character status updates in real time, how does one keep the profession of journalism alive.
As I was ending my time as a sport reporter at the small outfit of The Kerrville Daily Times, the world of online journalism was exploding. I was part of early incarnations of websites devoted to regurgitation of the previous day news. The Internet evolved to present the news instantly. As that happened, newspapers quickly became old news. Readership dwindled.
Cities with multiple newspapers went away over the later half of the 20th century. And now even cities with single newspaper cities are starting to feel the crunch on if a paper newspaper is really all that feasible.
So do newspapers exist down the road? I would venture to say yes. The old guard will hold onto their paper and coffee in the morning. Just like books. Books will be around. There is a need.
But the next couple of years is going to be very interesting to see on how they evolve to meet the needs of their readers. Will more move to an entirely online format (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)? Do print journalist need to adjust their writing style to expand on the bigger picture rather than the immediate facts?
And the bigger question I suppose is how do all the j-schools out there adjust to the nature of the beast? Does digital journalism play a much bigger role in how journalists are educated?
Whatever the direction, it is interesting to sit back and watch where journalism is headed. Definitely a marriage of traditional ideals vs. future technology.
What can I say? NACADA 2012 treated me well. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the conference except for maybe lunch. It was great making new connections and restoring old ones. Energy renew as stated before.
Something else that needs to be restored? My ability to join my fellow academic advisors for the weekly @AcAdvChat. So until I somehow get my staff meeting moved or the chat time changes or I create a rip in time, I suppose I will get back to regaling you with my after thoughts.
Just this afternoon @AcAdvChat wrapped up an hour devoted to looking back over the past weekend and seeing just what academic advisors do with the bevy of overflowing information in their heads when they return back to their home institution. So if you would allow me my two cents…
MOD: Today’s #AcAdv Chat topic is #NACADA12 Conference Wrap Up & Taking Info Back to Campus.
Q1: Does your office/dept have a set plan for sharing information when advisors go to conferences?
There is nothing set in stone, but there is an expectation that should an advisor run into something that would benefit the whole they should share that with the rest of the office. Read more…
Back in early 2011 a small band of advisors from the University of Utah joined forces to accomplish one thing: present at the state advising conference. Through trials and tribulations, sweat, tears and blood, this brave band accomplished their goals in a little presentation entitled “You’re Not a Professional…or are You?”
As part of that presentation we somehow backdoored our way into a pretty significant research project. We actually collected data in that presentation and didn’t realize until after the fact that we actually had some legs to stand on.
Then over the course of the next year we flushed out our research project, did a few focus groups across the country and applied for some support from NACADA with their research grant award program.
And somewhere in that, my research group, the Utah Advising Research Committee (or UArc) was honored by the awards committee with a grant for the next year to continue with our research. It is pretty humbling to have your work validated by a national organization. I look forward to hanging out in Nashville at the Awards Ceremony and to continuing on with what UArc is doing. Read more…
The first week of class always brings us the rush, the emergencies, the freak outs, the crowds, the curious and the lost. And the second? Well the second is always an unknown.
But this second week? Of this particular fall semester? It brought us iPads. Partly reward for a project we had knocked out over the past six months, but mostly a new tool to enhance who we are as advisors.
So the next question that sits in front of all of us is what to do with them? I am sure we can’t sit around, play games and watch ESPN on them. I think we might actually need to use them for work purposes you know.
It is nice to sit in a position to push technology to enhance our ability as academic advisors. It is also nice not to be late to the game as we seem to be sometimes (I mean we were still using paper files and tracking cards two years ago). We can develop our own uses instead of just trying to plug into someone else’s vision for how an iPad or tablet should be used in advising. I love being an early adopter and will drag the late adopters in the office along with me. Read more…
Imagine. Rolling into campus about 9 am. About a good hour before you start your classes for the semester. You have a couple of basic questions for your advisor and you arrived early to be able to slip into their office during walk ins. You walk into the office to find a waiting room full of bleary eyed students and scribble down your name behind 20 others.
That planned hour rolls by and class time comes. Its the first day of class, you can miss this class, all they give out is the syllabus. Another hour rolls by and your next class is sacrificed. And finally you hear your name called. A bit annoyed at the long wait, you are happy to finally get in. And then? Because of the other 20 students behind you, the advisor hits warp speed on your time in their office. You think you get your questions answered but have a sneaking suspicion you might have left something out. You leave to finish out you shortened day at school.
Half way through your last class of the day you remember what had been nagging at you. On your way out you notice the same somber faces still waiting to see an advisor. You choose to show up early again tomorrow morning and hope the lines are much shorter a day later. Read more…