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Advising Proposal

Southern Polytechnic State University

Academic Affairs

Office of Faculty Support and Development

Faculty Growth and Development Unit


Student Success through Advising for Retention, Progress and Graduation (SSARPG)


Goal: To develop and deliver a program to SPSU faculty (full time and part time) to increase their knowledge and skills in academic advising and to provide easily accessible advising support materials and resources for their use.



Student success is contingent upon retention, progression and graduation. Faculty advising is an ongoing critical component of the process. This proposal is based on the directives of P&P 308.0 - Academic Advising – which includes the following: “The advising activity is viewed as a normal part of the faculty or staff member’s work load…”.


Advising can be divided into two basic components: core advising which may be delivered via faculty and staff and mentoring/coaching advising that best resides with faculty advisors. P&P 308.0 also lists advising goals for SPSU.  As a result of information included in P&P 308.0 and a vision to provide comprehensive academic advising to the diverse student population we serve, faculty expectations for advising include:

  • Advising students on their course of study, including major and course selection,
  • Serving as life coaches to students as they move throughout their academic careers,
  • Guiding students in professional networking (including professional associations, etc.)
  • Supporting students through transitional periods, including moving from undergraduate study to career positions and/or graduate study.
  • Providing career advice, direction, and industry contacts.
  • Mentoring students as they make decisions on career options, course delivery options, etc.


Academic advising is more than signing off on a class schedule each semester or providing core and major advising. The time requirement may be more than a few minutes once a semester. Successful advising may involve partnerships with staff advisors, student service professionals, peer advisors/tutors, and part time faculty. Schools and departments within schools may have different modes of advising that need to be fitted into any advising plans. 


As noted in the MIT/Stanford Tomorrow’s Professor Blog (http://tomprofblog.mit.edu/2007/06/12/806-developing-faculty-for-new-roles-and-changing...) SPSU must…“lay the groundwork for success by paying attention to the structure for academic advising and rewarding faculty and professional staff who provide effective advising.”




SSARPG seeks to:

  • establish a standing committee to focus on academic advising and its role in retention, progression and graduation at SPSU,
  • build upon the work done previously by the SPSU Advising Task Force,
  • expand and improve  the existing advising website, and
  • incorporate best practices,

This proposal seeks to implement a program that provides training and resources to improve academic advising and, as a result, positively affect student success.


To move forward with the SSARPG plan, the following steps are critical:

  • Seek the approval and support of the Dean’s Council on a consensus regarding faculty expectations, revisions to this SSARPG plan and implementation of SSARPG. [This approval occurred on February 3, 2010.]
  • Seek the endorsement of the Faculty Senate for SSARPG implementation.


SSARPG Phases and Timeline

Phase 1: Convene Faculty Advising Planning Committee (February 2010)

  • Develop a draft research plan and investigate resources.
  • Convene a SSARPG Faculty Advising Planning Committee of up to 9 members including a faculty representative from each of the SPSU schools and divisions (5 individuals), one Faculty Growth and Development (FGD) representative, one ATTIC representative, and one Student and Enrollment Services (SES) representative. The committee will also seek the advice of staff advisors and others who can contribute to the discussion and planning.
  • Secure the support of a consultant familiar with successful academic advising in a top tier institution such as MIT, RIT, etc.
  • Planning Committee revises and approves the research plan.

Who: FGD staff, GA, Planning Committee members


Phase 2:  Research, Resource Development and Training Plan (February-March 2010)

  • Review Advising Task Force results and review existing advising website.
  • Implement the literature search.
  • Conduct online search with telephone follow-up of institutions with outstanding advising programs
  • Review advisor training options and materials.
  • Conduct student survey and focus groups to develop baseline data.
  • Compile best practices.
  • Update and expand advising webpage
  • Develop training plan for full time faculty (approximately 6 hours) and part time faculty (approximately 3 hours). Several staff members take on the advising role on campus. Where appropriate, this training and the associated resource materials will also be made available to those individuals identified by the school/division deans.
  • Develop training materials and advising resources.
  • Identify a cadre of Advising Fellows to deliver training for the initial roll out and for future sessions including new faculty orientations.
  • Present results to Dean’s Council.

Who: FGD staff, GA, Planning Committee members, consultants as needed


Phase 3:  Training Pilots and Training Rollout (April - June 2010)

  • Schedule and register for pilot training programs
  • Pilot the full time faculty training
  • Pilot the part time faculty training
  • Evaluate training programs and revise as necessary.
  • Schedule and register for full time and part time faculty training programs.
  • Offer 10 full time training programs (schedule to accommodate faculty schedules)
  • Offer 6 part time training programs
  • Evaluate training programs
  • Select Teaching Fellow for SSARPG in FY 2011.

Who: FGD staff, GA, Planning Committee members, Advising Fellows, all SPSU faculty


Phase 4:   Follow-up and Institutionalization (July 2010 – June 2011)

  • Work with Advising Fellows to continue to improve and deliver SSARPG.
  • Implement Advising Training in all new faculty orientations (part time and full time)
  • Continue to update and improve advising resources and the Advising website
  • Collect, measure, analyze, and report results/improvements.
  • Inform and advise the Dean’s Council semi-annually.

Who: FGD staff, GA, 1 Teaching Fellow (The annual Teaching Fellows format has changed over the years and the cost has ranged between $6,000 and $20,000. For FY 2011 we will be requesting 10 $1,000 stipends. The Teaching Fellow noted above is one of those 10.)  



FY 2010 - Phases 1-3                                                                                    

Staffing: 1 GA for spring 2010 - $2,000; consultant(s) - $4,500;                  $32,650

Advising Fellows stipend - $12,900; Part-time faculty incentives - $11,250*

Materials (paper, DVDs, site license, etc.) purchase                                         $5,500          

Printing/copying, binding, etc.                                                                          $2,250



FY 2011 – Phase 4                                                                                                    

Staffing: GA for year - $5,500; Teaching Fellow - $1,000                              $6,500

Materials purchase                                                                                            $1,500

Printing/copying, binding, etc.                                                                          $1,250



* Ideally all full time faculty will be required to participate and part time faculty can elect to participate and receive a $150 stipend. Why do we want to train part time faculty? For many students the only faculty they come into contact with in any given semester are part timers. Having part time faculty trained means they will be aware of advising recommendations and the resources available. Another option would be to require part time faculty to participate and thereby eliminate the $11,250 expense for stipends.