Academic Advising at the University of La Verne aspires to become a premiere nationally recognized system of effective academic advising, often cited as a “best practices institution” that sets standards of excellence in academic advising resulting in student learning, academic success, retention, and graduation.
The primary purpose of the Office of Academic Advising at the University of La Verne is to assist traditional undergraduates in the development and implementation of their educational plans. To this end the Office of Academic Advising subscribes to the philosophies of developmental and appreciative advising in support of a robust and effective faculty & professional advising cohort.
Advising at La Verne is a cooperative effort between advisor and student that consists not only of course planning and selection, but also the development of the whole person. This includes the selection of career and life-long goals.
We subscribe to the principle that academic advisors work to strengthen the importance, dignity, potential and unique nature of everyone served within the academic setting. The work of advisors is guided by the beliefs that:
- advising is teaching;
- students can be successful because of their individual goals and efforts;
- students have a desire to learn;
- learning needs vary per individual skills, goals and experiences;
- students hold their own beliefs and opinions;
- students are active participants in the advising process;
- students will think critically about their roles and responsibilities as scholars and as members of the La Verne community; and
- students and advisors assume shared responsibilities in the advising process. However, the ultimate responsibility for decisions about educational, personal, or career goals rest with the individual student.
We are committed to upholding professional and conceptual best practices in academic advising as reflected in our Mission and our association with NACADA (National Academic Advising Association). We are committed to upholding NACADA’s mission to promote and support “quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students” and its commitment to academic advising standards as outlined in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, also known as CAS Standards.
We are recognized as a best practices institution with NACADA’s Clearinghouse for Academic Advising Syllabi. Our advising staff are active in their fields and occasionally present at regional and national conferences.
Our professional goal is to support all academic advisors to become master academic advisors, professionals in the field who are experts in the art of academic advising (Folsom, 2015). Folsom (2015) referred to Webster’s definition of art as the “exceptional skill in conducting any human activity.” Applied to academic advising, Folsom described art to also include an occupation that requires the acquisition of a knowledge and skill set that is attained by study, practice or observation. As such, to become a master advisor, we support and encourage academic advisors to become experts in three foundational skills and competencies that all professional academic advisors are expected to master according to NACADA:
1) foundational knowledge: advising philosophy, theoretical frameworks, and institutional core values,
2) Informational knowledge: the ability to be culturally competent about the students whom they serve, and the key information they need to know to be successful academically, professionally, and personally, and
3) Relational knowledge: the ability to communicate effectively with their audiences, to relate to individuals and groups, and build rapport to help them reach their goals.