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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Advising Special Populations in the First Year

Author(s): Tomasiewicz, R.

Editor(s): Fox, J. R., & Martin, H. E.

Citation: Tomasiewicz, R. (2017). Advising Special Populations in the First Year. In Fox, J. R., & Martin, H. E., Academic Advising and the First College Year (pp. 127-150). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.



As the landscape of first-year students becomes more diverse, advisors must gain knowledge about barriers to success and advising theory to encourage a sense of belonging in a varied student population. Some of the special populations defined in this chapter include women, various underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, low socioeconomic status students, first-generation students, students with disabilities, and nontraditional students. In many cases, students will hold multiple identities, which requires advisors to avoid prejudgment and oversimplification of a student. Additionally, the chapter defines the importance of developing cultural competencies to increase an advisor’s ability to work effectively with students. By combining existing theories and new literature on special populations, advisors can develop different approaches to helping diverse students succeed.


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