Mission Statement

Our Vision

To be the model and University leader in providing comprehensive advising services at BSU to students in a welcoming and student-centered environment, which result in improved retention rates from first to second year and improved progression through sixty credits.

Our Mission

As the centralized academic advising hub for students with less than 60 credits, we seek to empower freshman and sophomore students with information to make the best decisions for their academic success, and to affirm the role of Academic Advising in retention, persistence, and academic integration at BSU

Academic Advising Center Strategic Goals 2020-2021

Goal #1

To deliver a quality academic advising program that utilizes a highly trained academic advising team that includes professional advisors and a peer advising team, all committed to student development theory and training in different advising strategies to meet the needs of our stakeholders.  (University Goal 2- Student Success)

Goal #2

To deliver academic advising to 100% of students under 60 credits (excluding outlined programs, using both in-person and virtual/digital formats, coupled with an electronic scheduling process.  These systems enable students easily access advisors to schedule appointments electronically and maintains a “permanent” electronic record of the advising experience for students, through digital notes documented and recorded by the academic advisor. (University Goal #3 – Academic Innovation)

Goal #3

To create a seamless process of advising and registration for 100% of new first-time students, and 60% of new transfer students, immediately after admission to the University by ensuring first-time students are placed in major-centered clusters, to enable early social and academic integration into the University through the creation of established study groups for first-year students. (University Goal #2 – Student Success)

Goal #4

To develop and maintain accurate Programs of Study for each major and make them electronically accessible and available to all students on the BSU website. (University Goal #2 -Student Success) (University Goal #3 -Academic Innovation)                                                                                                       

Goal #5

To develop and implement a robust Freshman Seminar program for 100% of all new freshmen to be taken during their first semester at the University.  The Freshman Seminar course, FRSE 101 is a three-credit course designed to acclimate students to the university, while teaching life skills and state mandated information on drug use, domestic violence, and Title IX requirements. (University Goal #1 – Academic Excellence) (University Goal #2 – Student Success)

Goal #6

To access the impact of our programs and services through a clearly articulated assessment plan at the end of each semester that (1) provides feedback from students on delivery of information and services and student learning outcomes; (2) keeps an electronic record of the advisor appointments for advisor accountability and comparison. (University Goal # 2 - Student Success)

Goal #7

To provide a comprehensive program that will ensure 100% of students with reported disabilities have full access to programs and services at Bowie State University. To coordinate services that directly affects students with disabilities. To provide accommodations and services based on the specific needs of individuals according to medical documentation, while eliminating technical and attitudinal barriers that limit opportunities for people with disabilities. (University Goal #4 - Culture of Inclusion).

Foundations of Academic Advising

Bowie State University is a member organization of NACADA is the international educational association for individuals engaged in the work of Academic Advising, which supports and promotes quality advising in higher education

1. The NACADA Concept of Academic Advising

 Lays out three intentional parts of academic advising with Academic Advisors as Educators  

  • The Curriculum - Ideals of higher education, mission, culture, expectations, decision-making, programs, career goals, majors, academic policies, requirements
  • The Pedagogy – AA as a teaching and learning process using methods, strategies, techniques, and the relationship between the Advisor/advisee is fundamental. Ways AA teach the curriculum. Ways Advisors teach the curriculum (pedagogy)
  • Outcomes - Knowledge students learn from the curriculum dictated by the institution (SLOs)

2. The NACADA Statement of Core Values of Academic Advising

NACADA Statement of Core Values provides a framework to guide professional practice and reminds advisors of their responsibilities to students, colleagues, institutions, society, and themselves

  • Advisors are responsible to the individuals they advise
  • Advisors are responsible for involving others, when appropriate, in the advising process
  • Advisors are responsible to their institutions
  • Advisors are responsible to the purpose of higher education
  • Advisors are responsible to their educational community
  • Advisors are responsible for their professional practices and for themselves personally

3. The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education for Academic Advising

The Advising Model Used at BSU

Like 54% of most higher education institutions, BSU uses the Split/Shared Model, which includes:

  • A Centralized Academic Advising Center for undeclared and lower division students
  • Faculty advisors for upper division and major-focused students

Advising Delivery Models We Use

  • Walk- In Advising used for quick questions – not designed for in-depth discussions and decision-making. Exchange of Information
  • Scheduled Appointments – minimum of ½ hour to discuss academics, classes, major, how things are going, course decision-making. Advisor must prepare.
  • Group Advising – goal is to lead a group of students a better understanding of common educational requirements, policies, procedure, and relevant strategies – uses method close to teaching, open communication, non-intimidating, and safety of peers. Allows advisors to set expectations for students in a classroom setting
  • Online Advising – very efficient dissemination of information. Provides distinct advantages although it may not provide the visual and auditory ques. Advisors must be organized and personalize the online advising experience

Advising Strategies and Approaches We Use

Prescriptive Advising

The Advisor does all the work for the student
  • This model of advising holds that the academic advisor tells the student what to do and the student does it
  • Prescriptive advising is linear communication from the advisor to the advisee and places most of the responsibility not on the student, but the advisor
  • The advisor is required to have the answers.

Appreciative Advising

Provides a framework for optimizing student-advisor interactions through the practice of asking generative, open-ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials.

The Six Phases of Appreciative Advising

  1. Disarm: make a positive first impression, allay any fears
  2. Discover: build rapport to learn of student’s strengths, skills & abilities
  3. Dream: uncovering students’ hopes and dreams
  4. Design: co-creating a plan to help them make their dreams come true
  5. Deliver: implementation – where students carry out their plan.The Advisor role is to support them as they encounter barriers and roadblocks
  6. Do not settle: involves challenging students to achieve their full potential

Developmental Advising

Help students do it for themselves, as they partner with the Advisor toward common goals.

  • The developmental advising model holds that the academic advisor and the advisee are partners in educational discovery in which responsibility is shared between the participants.
  • Advising is a developmental process that assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals.
  • It is a decision-making process which assists students in realizing their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is ongoing, multi-faceted, and the responsibility of both student and advisor. The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and program progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus services, as necessary.

Proactive Advising

Formerly known as Intrusive Advising

  • Proactive Advising involves deliberate intervention to enhance student motivation, using strategies to show interest and involvement with students, intensive advising designed to increase the probability of student success, working to educate students on all options, and.
  • Advisor Initiated Outreach
  • Institution-Initiated Outreach and Engagement
  • An effective strategy for enrollment management, student success, retention, and advisor workload management.

Holistic Advising

A developmental process that focuses on the “whole” student                     

  • It requires advisors to effectively communicate with students in assessing their personal and vocational goals by encouraging students to take responsibility for their own progress and success.
  • The word holistic suggests that advisors cannot look at students through a purely academic lens, but must regard them as a whole person. Whatever is happening in their personal lives can weigh just as heavily on their academic success.
  • Builds a relationship that helps to establish trust
  • The most important question we can ask our student advisee: Is there anything I should know about you that would prevent successful completion of the program?” This should be asked every semester during the advising meeting.

Leveraging Technology in Academic Advising at BSU

  • Virtual Walk-In Advising Room using Blackboard Collaborate open 9:00 – 4:00 each day
  • Starfish by EAB used for
  • Early Alert System
  • Advisor Scheduling System w/reminders sent prior to appt
  • Advising Session Notes permanently recorded in student record
  • Post meeting messages sent to students w/meeting notes and action items for student
  • ZOOM Virtual Advising Platform for New Student Advising and Registration Sessions for first-time students and new transfer students, in the summer and in January
  • Advisor Toolkits to assist faculty and advisors using Shared Excel Drive for easy access to new transfer students