Skip to Content

Academic Advising

Assessment and Impact Data

Since its creation in 2015 the University Advising Center has made great strides in improving the advising experience for advisors and students.  The "Reports" show the impact that the University Advising Center has had on advisors and students while the "Assessment" graphs highlight the work our individual advising teams are doing.

Excellence and Equity in Academic Advising: 2021 UAC Impact Report

As the Univeristy Advising Center enters its sixth year, much has been done to standardize academic advising efforts across campus. The UAC's 2021 Impact Report, Excellence and Equity in Academic Advising, seeks to highlight the work of all academic advisors and the impact they have on every student, every semester. 

 

Student Feedback

Undergraduate students are surveyed every other year to gage student learning outcomes and satisfaction with academic advising services. View results from the Undergraduate Student Advising Survey [pdf]

Every other year, UofSC participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). One question asks first-year students and seniors to rate the quality of their interactions with academic advisors. In 2015, prior to the establishment of the UAC and the Undergraduate Academic Advising Initiative, first-year students rated their interactions with academic advisors at a 4.8 mean (out of 7.0). In the years following the establishment of the UAC and the hiring and training of UAAs, first-year student perceptions of their interactions with advisors have improved to a mean score of 5.5 in 2017 and 2019 and 5.4 in 2021. Over that same timeframe, seniors’ perceptions of their interactions with advisors has remained relatively constant.  According to the results of the 2021 survey, the University Advising Center’s approach to training UAAs has shown compelling achievement when compared to other southeastern public secondary institutions and institutions in the University’s Carnegie class. 

NSSE - Indicate the quality of your interactions with Academic Advisors at your institution (longitudinal)

NSSE - Indicate the quality of your interactions with Academic Advisors at your institution (statistical comparisons)

Reports

Case Study: Impact of Academic Advising on Graduation & Retention Rates [pdf]

Academic Advisor Survey Results [pdf]

Undergraduate Student Non-Registered Initiative [pdf]


Research

Quick Findings

Research suggests that students are more satisfied with academic advising when their advising sessions last 30 minutes or longer. 

Summary

Decades of research on academic advising has linked high-quality advising to overall student satisfaction with their colleges and universities, retention, and other positive outcomes (Kuh et al., 2005, Pasacrella & Terenzini, 1991, Winston et al., 1984). According to Kerr and King (2005), “academic advising is perhaps the most important way that first-year students interact with a representative of the institution (p. 320).” In fact, Light (2001) suggests that “good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience. Since fall 2014, the University of South Carolina has undertaken several measures to improve the student experience in advising. One consistent standard for advising at UofSC has been to guarantee students at least 30 minute appointments in academic advising.  

Data from the 2019 Academic Advising Student Survey were analyzed to determine the impact of advising session duration on overall student satisfaction with advising. 

The Academic Advising Student Survey is administered to a stratified random sample of students at the University of South Carolina during the spring semester of odd years. In spring 2021, the instrument was sent to 12,000 students and yielded an 11% response rate (n=1,087). In spring 2019, the instrument was sent to 12,000 and yielded an 11% response rate (n=1,087). The dataset was coded to include a variable that indicated if a student’s most recent advising session was less than or greater than 30 minutes. In spring 2019, 907 students indicated their most recent advising session was less than 30 minutes long while 180 students’ most recent advisement lasted longer than 30 minutes. The data was analyzed to find difference in means on overall satisfaction with advising between students whose advisement lasted less than 30 minutes and those whose advisement lasted longer than 30 minutes.  An independent samples T-test yielded significant differences in overall satisfaction with advising for students whose advisement was 30 minutes or longer (M=3.38, SD=0.59) and students whose recent advisement session was shorter than  30 minutes (M=2.82, SD=0.34); t(1085) = -6.908, p =.000. 

Figure 1

Impact of Duration of Advisement Session on Overall Satisfaction with Advising

Quick Findings

Research suggests that students report greater overall satisfaction with academic advising when they discuss beyond-the-classroom and experiential learning opportunities with their academic advisor. 

Summary

In 2005, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) launched Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a national public advocacy and campus action initiative. The LEAP initiative identified “Essential Learning Outcomes” for a modern liberal education. These outcomes include knowledge of diverse cultures and geography, practical skill development, personal and social responsibility, and integrative and applied learning. LEAP further identified ten high-impact practices shown to enhance student learning, engagement, and retention. These ten practices are: first-year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, ePortfolios, service learning, internships, and capstone courses/projects. 

Academic advisors play a key role in connecting students intentionally to high-impact practices both in and beyond the formal curriculum that align with a student’s educational, career, and personal goals. High-quality advisors help students make meaning of their co-curricular activities. In fact, according to Lowenstein (2005) “an excellent advisor does the same for the student’s entire curriculum that the excellent teacher does for one course.” He further suggests, “learning transpires when a student makes sense of his or her curriculum just as it does when a person understands an individual course, and the former is every bit as important as the latter (p. 69).” 

Data from the 2019 Academic Advising Student Survey were analyzed to determine the impact of advisors discussing and recommending beyond-the-classroom activities such as study abroad, internships, peer leader positions, Graduation with Leadership Distinction, etc. on overall student satisfaction with advising. 

The Academic Advising Student Survey is administered to a stratified random sample of students at the University of South Carolina during the spring semester of odd years. In spring 2019, the instrument was sent to 12,000 students and yielded an 11% response rate (n=1,087). The dataset was coded to include a variable that indicated whether advisors had recommended beyond-the-classroom activities to student’s during advisement. In spring 2019, 710 students indicated their advisor had recommended beyond-the-classroom activities while 377 students reported that their advisor had not recommended beyond-the-classroom activities. The data was analyzed to find difference in means on overall satisfaction with advising between students whose advisors had recommended beyond-the-classroom activities and those whose advisors had not.  An independent samples T-test yielded significant differences in overall satisfaction with advising for students who been encouraged to engage in beyond-the-classroom activities (M=3.39, SD=0.03) and students who had not (M=2.04, SD=0.46); t(1,085)=-27.55, p =.000.

Figure 1

Impact of Advisors Discussing Beyond-the-Classroom Activities on Overall Satisfaction with Advising

 

Quick Findings

Research suggests that students report greater overall satisfaction with academic advising when they discuss career opportunities and graduate school with their academic advisor. 

Summary

As the only professional at the University of South Carolina that all students are required to meet with at least once each semester, advisors play a significant role in helping students making meaning of the curriculum and plan for their futures. In fact, academic advisors may be the first and most significant representatives of the university who have an opportunity to engage students in future planning, including both post-college employment and graduate school (Damminger and Rakes, 2017). With a myriad of resources, including the UofSC Career Center at their disposal, do students want to discuss careers and graduate school with their academic advisor?

Data from the 2019 Academic Advising Student Survey were analyzed to determine the impact of advisors discussing career opportunities and graduate school on overall student satisfaction with advising. 

The Academic Advising Student Survey is administered to a stratified random sample of students at the University of South Carolina during the spring semester of odd years. In spring 2019, the instrument was sent to 12,000 students and yielded an 11% response rate (n=1,087). The dataset was coded to include a variable that indicated whether advisors had career opportunities and graduate school during advisement. In spring 2019, 666 students indicated their advisor had discussed careers and graduate school while 421 students reported that their advisor had not discussed career opportunities and graduate school. The data was analyzed to find difference in means on overall satisfaction with advising between students whose advisors had the post-college opportunities and those whose advisors had not.  An independent samples T-test yielded significant differences in overall satisfaction with advising for students who engaged in conversations about careers and graduate school (M=3.43, SD=0.92) and students who had not (M=2.12, SD=0.67); t(1,085)=-27.10, p =.000.

Figure 1

Impact of Advisors Discussing Career Opportunities and Graduate School on Overall Satisfaction with Advising

 

Assessment

Definitions

Academic Coaches meet one-on-one with academically at-risk students to create an academic plan, set goals, and share resources. Each Coaching session is tailored to the students’ needs and focuses on general academic advising, academic planning/success strategies, strengths identification, engagement planning/campus involvement, and navigating campus resources ultimately resulting in skill development, performance improvement, and increased persistence.

Exploratory Advisors meet individually with undergraduate students to explore new major options, evaluate course credit for major change, build a course schedule, and prepare for departmental advisement.

First-Year Advisors (FYAs) are assigned a caseload of approximately 300 undergraduate students within a certain major or set of majors. First-Year Advisors discuss transition to college, build a course schedule, map curricular requirements, track advisee’s progress towards degree; and evaluate transfer, AP, and/or IB credit. FYA’s also conduct multiple levels of outreach and intervention. 

Undergraduate Studies is a non-degree granting major program that provides students in a state of academic exploration or transition with individualized, holistic academic advising. Students may spend up to two semesters in the Undergraduate Studies program while working towards a transition into a degree-granting major program at UofSC.Academic Coaching

 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©