Academic advising is an essential part of the higher education experience, providing students with the guidance and support they need to make informed decisions about their academic and professional paths. The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has developed four guiding principles that affirm the role of academic counseling in higher education, helping institutions to meet their mission and anticipate the needs of students in the 21st century. The NACADA board of directors supports four documents that define the educational role of academic counseling in a diverse world. These documents are known as the four pillars of academic advising:
1.Professional DevelopmentAcademic advisors should strive to continuously improve their skills and knowledge in order to provide the best possible service to their students.
Professional development can include attending conferences, taking classes, or even working with Spires online marketing tutors to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in academic advising. NACADA provides a forum for discussion, debate and exchange of ideas related to academic counseling through numerous activities and publications. It also promotes and supports quality academic counseling in higher education institutions, and advocates effective academic counseling by providing a consulting and lecturing service and funding research related to academic counseling.
2.Program EvaluationIn order to ensure that academic advising programs are meeting their goals, it is important to evaluate them regularly. Program evaluation can be used for a variety of purposes, including assessing the effectiveness of an advising program, identifying areas for improvement, and determining whether or not the program is meeting its objectives.
3.Student DevelopmentAt the end of the second quarter, students officially declare their careers and are assigned a permanent teaching mentor by their academic advisor. Academic advisors should use this opportunity to help students develop their skills and knowledge, as well as provide them with guidance on how to make informed decisions about their future.
4.Institutional MissionThe four pillars of academic advising should not be seen as rigid rules or guidelines.
Rather, they should be used as starting points and references for a discussion of academic counseling, providing the framework for a coherent approach to implementing a well-functioning academic counseling program that meets any specific institutional objective.