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Improving academic advising using quality function deployment: a case study.

Almost half of full-time, first-time undergraduate students fail to finish their course of study within four years. To increase retention and graduation rates, a greater emphasis on academic advising is in order. The positive influence of an effective advising program on student success is well documented in the literature; however, there has not before been a systematic method of identifying the key drivers of an effective advising process suitable to a given college. This study applies "Quality Function Deployment," a method widely used in industry to provide high quality goods and services according to the customers' specifications and the producers' limitations, to advising in a business department at a public university. Our methodology can easily be emulated by other colleges to improve the advising of their own students.

Introduction

When students begin college, they likely expect to graduate within four years. Yet the National Center for Education Statistics (2013) indicates that 41% of full-time, first-time students do not complete their degrees within six years, let alone four. Colleges and universities must consider the implications of a longer time to degree, especially in terms of student financial aid. The government, concerned with student outcomes and performance, has proposed linking federal aid to retention and graduation rates (Doubleday, 2013); these measures of student success will be considered in determining government monies available to institutions of higher learning (Shields, 2002). Thus it becomes financially imperative that colleges and universities retain and graduate their students.

One determinant of retention and academic performance is sound academic advising (Kim and Feldman, 2011). This study seeks to identify key drivers in effective academic advising within the business administration department at a public university using the quality technique known as Quality Function Deployment (QFD). A House of Quality (HoQ) will be constructed to execute the QFD technique and produce specific recommendations for improvements in academic advising within the department.

Literature Review

Kim and Feldman (2011) argue that effective academic advising can improve retention and graduation rates. Likewise Drake (2011) has identified competent advisors as one of three factors predicting successful student retention: the others being students' connection to the institution and first-year programming. In terms of defining a good advising program, Crookston (1972) contrasts traditional and developmental approaches. Traditional advising focuses on motivating underachieving students through extrinsic rewards (grades, credit, and future salaries), an approach that views students as needing the close supervision of an advisor. In contrast, developmental advising imagines students as active participants in their own growth. Advisors emphasize intrinsic rewards, such as achievement, in terms of the student's increasing level of maturation and self-direction. Terry O'Banion (2012) advises counselors to work with students to explore their goals through self-reflection. He argues that advising needs to become a system-wide, team effort with faculty members providing expert advice. O'Banion's approach is consistent with the "Engagement Model" advanced by Yarbrough (2002). This model emphasizes the relationship with the advisor in helping students better organize their college experience so as to complete degree requirements on time. His study suggests that a positive perception of academic advising can propel students toward graduation.

The above research helps define a good advising program. Yet an effective program also must consider what is valued by the customer--that is, by the student. Abernathy and Engelland (2001) examine the moderating effects of three situational variables on student advising quality evaluations: advising frequency; advising recency; and student academic prowess. Advising frequency is the total number of advising contacts during the current academic year of study. Advising recency is the amount of time since the last advising contact. Academic prowess is the ability of students to be successful in an academic program. Results suggest that for first-year students, advising frequency and advising recency are positively related to advising quality, while academic prowess and recency positively influence the advising quality ratings for students with more credits. Smith and Allen (2006) identify additional aspects influencing the perception of academic advising, including ethnicity, socio-economic status, enrollment status, age, and credit level. The authors caution that a "one-size-fits-all conceptualization of academic advising is not appropriate" (p 63). Kim and Feldman (2011) have also evaluated the attributes of an effective advising program from the perspective of different student populations: traditional, first-generation, transfer, and international.

Faculty members are also, arguably, customers in academic advising. Harrison (2009), in a study of nursing school instructors, surmises that among the many duties educators are expected to perform, academic advising may not receive as much attention as teaching, research, and service. Harrison contends that academic advising is not usually valued by faculty, nor administrators.

The critical requirements of the customer can be measured by Quality Function Deployment (QFD), developed by Yoji Akao (1972). QFD aims to ensure that the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is effectively addressed by a product or service design (Akao, 1994). Four pieces of information are required (Ross, 1988). First, what is important to the customer (the whats)? Second, how can these "whats" be met by the product or process (the hows)? Third, what is the relationship between the "whats" and the "hows?" Finally, how much do the "hows" matter? That is, how much of the "hows" must be provided to address the "whats." This last emphasis is known as "how much."

QFD has been used successfully in academic settings. Moura e Sa and Saraiva (2001) have used QFD to determine an ideal kindergarten from the stakeholders' view. They collected opinions (VoC) of the customers (parents, children, and teachers) from diverse circumstances, which were then transformed into customer requirements. They then converted those into characteristics of the target product. QFD has been applied to secondary education by Bedi and Sharma (2006). They interviewed randomly selected students about their preferences in effecting better academic procedures at the school. They also applied QFD at the collegiate level in the development of business case studies, identifying student expectations and examining the differences between those expectations and available cases. QFD can also be of benefit in higher education administration. Hafeez & Mazour (2011) defined QFD as "a comprehensive quality governance system" that links customer (student) demands with program and course outcomes, assessments, and evaluations.

Purpose and Research Questions

Given the critical role academic advising plays in student retention, this study aims to prioritize by importance, and subsequently recommend a service design deployment, those academic advising attributes identified as significant in terms of the academic advising process of the business administration department (Dept.). Quality Function Deployment (QFD), a method widely used in industry to provide high quality goods and services, is used to assess customers' specifications and producers' limitations. The following research questions will be addressed:

Question 1: What are the perceived importance of those VoC attributes of academic advising noted as significant in extant literature as perceived by the student respondents from the Dept.? These VoC attributes are "the whats" to be considered as part of the QFD.

Question 2: Flow is the Dept, perceived as performing in terms of the VoC attributes?

Question 3: What technical requirements support the implementation of the VoC attributes? These requirements are "the hows" in the QFD.

Question 4: What are the most advantageous academic advising requirements to be considered by the Dept., and how should they be implemented?

Methodology

This case study employed a mixed-method approach. Quantitative data comprise student responses to Likert-scaled items and the numeric outcomes from the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) tool, while qualitative data consist of faculty focus group responses.

Deploying QFD involves building a House of Quality (HoQ). Deriving its name from its shape, HoQ is a diagram that correlates the requirements of the customer to the features of a process or product. The "whats" are found on the left wall of the diagram, along with the importance of each "what" as rated by the customer; the "hows" form the ceiling. The relationships between the "whats" and the "hows" are the interior of the house. The HoQ may also include a roof, which shows relationships among the "hows." These correlations reveal trade-offs that might exist among the technical requirements (the hows). The "how much" sits as the basement of the house. An additional wing might be the competitor analysis, which compares how well an organization performs, comparatively, with regard to the established customer requirements.

To answer Question 1, a survey (Appendix A) was used. This survey was primarily designed to evaluate the perceived importance of significant academic advising attributes, as found in extant literature (Smith and Allen, 2006 & Harrison 2009). The survey used here nearly replicates that in Smith and Allen (2006). The dimensions of concern as derived from Smith and Allen (2006) are: integration functions; referral functions; information functions; individuation functions; and shared responsibility functions. Recall that the Harrison study (2009) relies on faculty in determining desirable academic advising attributes. Statements are derived to evaluate availability, honesty, empathy, patience, communication, advocacy, authenticity, accountability, approachability, and communication. The dimensions of honesty, empathy, patience, and authenticity are grouped together as a moral virtue category, consistent with Harrison (2009). Authenticity was also included in this group, as it seems essential in an advisor's commitment to student success.

Each survey inquiry was rated using a Likert-scale, with 1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree or disagree; 4 = agree; and 5 = strongly agree, in terms of two aspects. The first was the extent the respondent agreed with the statement; the second was the extent the respondent believed his or her advisor exhibited the behavior addressed by the declarative statement. The first aspect determines the perceived importance of the attribute, while the second aspect measures the perceived performance of the advising process. The median of the Likert-scale responses for each category was then calculated. These medians were considered the importance and performance rating (relevant to Question 2) for each attribute.

The survey was administered via the online tool, Survey Monkey[TM], ensuring confidentiality. The survey administrator was the research team, and this same team was responsible for the data analysis. The link to the survey was emailed via the college's email system to all students in the Dept., during the week immediately following "Advising Week" in the spring 2015 semester. The link was accompanied by an email that explained the purpose of the survey and offered the option not to participate.

To answer Research Question 2, the survey sought to identify the respondents' perception of how well the Dept, is performing in terms of each attribute, again using Likert-scaled responses. The median of the Likert-scale responses for each category in terms of performance was calculated. Here the medians were used as part of the HoQ "competitor analysis" wing. Competitor performance for each of the attributes is unknown; as a result, the wing was used to gauge performance within attributes, which would assist in designing an appropriate academic advising program. For example, if an attribute was not identified as particularly important, then it makes little sense to spend resources on it, even if the department were not performing well in that area. Conversely, if an attribute is particularly important and performance is poor, resource allocation in that regard would be wise.

To answer Research Question 3, faculty from the Dept, independently evaluated each academic advising VoC attribute and translated that attribute into technical requirements. The resultant technical requirements were then collated, and business faculty met and determined by consensus the key technical requirements for each attribute. These technical requirements were designated "the hows" of the QFD.

To answer Research Question 4, a QFD HoQ was constructed using the data from Research Questions 1, 2, and 3 to understand the relationship between the "whats" and the "hows." This relationship was given a Relationship Rating (RR), which represents the consensus of the research team about the strength of the relationship between the needs of the students ("the whats") and the technical requirements proposed by the faculty ("the hows") scaled to values of 1, 3, or 9 (1 = no relationship; 3 = somewhat of a relationship; 9 = strongest relationship). The RR value was multiplied by the importance (I) value of each academic advising VoC attribute to facilitate the identification of priority requirements in terms of student needs. Lastly, a weighted average was calculated for each technical requirement, with the highest weighted averages representing those technical requirements that would address most potential student desires in academic advising.

A roof was added to the HoQ. Here, the technical requirements were evaluated in terms of each other to identify any correlations suggesting synergy between or among the requirements, as well as any contraindications. The resulting key characteristics were then considered in terms of the secondary literature to determine a sound academic advising process design for the Dept.

Target values for each technical requirement were added as a basement to the house. These target values represent values that can be used to assess the Dept.'s advising process.

Results

The survey was administered and resulted in N = 42. The declarative statements for each VoC attribute category (Appendix A) were sorted in terms of the importance of the attribute to the respondents as well as the performance of the current advising process. After sorting, the Likert values of the declarative statements were combined and the medians calculated. For the purposes of Research Question 1, VoC attribute categories found in the extant literature (Smith and Allen, 2006) (Harrison 2009) were considered, including integration, referral, individuation, shared responsibility, accountability, moral virtue, advocacy, availability, approachability, information, and communication. Median values were assigned to each VoC attribute to begin constructing the QFD HoQ, shown in Figure 1 below.

The data shown in Figure 1 suggest the most important attributes to customers are integration, referral, accountability, and information, with each attribute having a median of 5. Least important is the attribute of advocacy, with a median value of 3.

As to Research Question 2, the declarative statements for each VoC attribute category (Appendix A) were sorted in terms of the importance of the attribute to the respondents (Research Question 1) as well as the performance of the current advising process in meeting that attribute. After sorting, the Likert values were combined and the medians calculated. These medians were used as a proxy for the competitor wing typically found on a HoQ, providing a means to gauge performance within attributes and assist in designing an appropriate academic advising program for the Dept. In essence, the competitor wing became the performance with the Likert-scale of performance as its ceiling. The median value of each VoC attribute category performance was identified by pattern formatting of the corresponding cell. This performance wing is illustrated as Figure 2 below.

Performance of the academic advising process in terms of each VoC attribute category demonstrated median Likert values of 5 in integration, referral, and information. Individuation, shared responsibility, accountability, approachability, and communication demonstrated median Likert values of 4. Moral virtue, advocacy, and availability earned median Likert values of 3. Thus in terms of the VoC attributes, the Dept, is performing satisfactorily, with the most improvement to be gained in moral virtue, advocacy, and availability.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

For Research Question 3, faculty from the Dept, produced the following technical requirements (Figure 3).

Integration was translated as necessitating some sort of intake protocol that would clarify the academic, career, and life goals of the student. This protocol, similar to the intake at a physician's office, would be reviewed at each advising meeting. Referral functions were translated as a tangible repository of any and all services a business administration student might need, including, but not limited to, health services, library services, tutoring services, and financial services. Such a repository might be electronic, with links to relevant services.

Individuation was translated as an assessment protocol completed by the student to understand his or her learning preferences. Ideally, those preferences could be matched to courses and professors congruent with the student needs. Approachability was translated to mean implied approachability as indicated by the number of communications a student receives from his or her advisor. For example, a welcoming email at the start of the semester, along with periodic reminders of important dates and deadlines, might be perceived by the student as enhancing the approachability of the advisor.

Information was translated as getting the correct information to the student to ensure timely degree completion. This translation requires the advisor to understand the nuances of degree completions. Thus an advisor who teaches within management seems better suited to advise a student about the management curriculum; also, an advisor whose specialty is management is more likely to understand the career trends relevant to the major. Years of both business experience and university experience might serve as sound indicators of information.

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Communication was translated as clarity. With many professors and students exercising English as second language, the opportunity for miscommunication exists, but miscommunications often occur when a language barrier is not an issue. Clarifying and documenting expectations minimizes the opportunity for misunderstanding. Thus conversations and decisions related to the advising process should be documented. Shared responsibility was translated as agreement between the advisor and the student in terms of requirements and expectations for course selection, major selection, academic responsibilities, minor selection, and similar choices. Such agreement would be best indicated by documentation of concurrence, as might be found with signatures on decision-based documents.

Accountability was translated as the monitoring of the advising process by institutionalized evaluation. Advising would be considered--and evaluated--as part of the advisor's core responsibilities, akin to teaching or service. Indeed, accountability could be expanded to the advising system as a whole, not just a particular advisor, and so determine systematic opportunities for improvement as opposed to assignable issues isolated to one advisor.

Moral virtue was translated as the inherent characteristics that an advisor demonstrates as determined by current or historic experience. Only those advisors who are seen to possess all the key moral virtue attributes (honesty, patience, authenticity, and empathy) would conduct academic advising. Another indicator could be documentation of advising training, which focuses not on just the logistics of advising, but also on the soft skill set in this moral virtue category. This technical requirement could also be supported by tracking the number of student requests for a change of advisor to reveal which advisors are being excluded and which sought out by students.

Advocacy was translated as the extent to which an advisor intervenes on behalf of the student. Such intervention might include contacting other professors to help the student enroll in a closed class, writing letters of recommendation, and creating opportunities for students to interact with others at professional meetings, on tours, or within a speaker series. Availability was translated to mean time for the advisor to meet with students. An indicator that might provide insight into availability is the ratio of advisor to advisees. If that ratio is excessive, with excessive defined as a higher ratio than the median of the university, the time available for each student to interact with his or her advisor may be impacted.

These technical requirement translations are the design requirements of the academic advising process for the Dept, and represent the "how-tos" in the QFD HoQ. As such, they form the ceiling of the HoQ relationship matrix, shown in Figure 4 below.

To address Research Question 4, a QFD HoQ was constructed using the data from Research Questions 1, 2, and 3 to understand the relationship between the "whats" and the "hows." Additionally, targets for each technical requirement were added. The completed HoQ is found as Figure 5 below.

Each VoC attribute was evaluated in terms of its relationship to the technical (design) requirements of the academic advising process in the Dept. This relationship, identified as a Relationship Rating (RR), represented the consensus of the research team about the strength of the relationship between the needs of the students ("the whats") and the technical requirements proposed by the faculty ("the hows") scaled to values of 1, 3, or 9. Each researcher conducted this relationship exercise individually, and the results were compared. Those RR values determined by the researchers as the same were accepted; those that differed were discussed, and a consensus reached. Each RR value was multiplied by the importance (I) value of each academic advising VoC attribute, and these products were summed. This sum was then divided by the total value of the I ratings to calculate a weighted average of each design requirement, ultimately identifying key requirements in terms of student needs.

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

The data suggest that efforts should be directed to the on-going evaluation of the advising process, including monitoring the number of times students change advisors as a means to understand issues that might be emergent in the process. Specifically, institutionalized evaluation resulted in a weighted average of 9.38, while the monitoring of advisor changes at the request of the student resulted in a weighted average of 8.16. Similarly, the advisor to advisee ratio is indicated as an important area of emphasis, also with a weighted average of 8.16.

The documentation of mutual understanding as well as training of advisors had similar weighted averages (6.89 and 6.43, respectively). Frequency of interventions on a student's behalf demonstrated a weighted average of 5.97. Job qualifications (3.99), clarity of expectations (4.37), years of business experience (3.95), the number of outbound communications (4.62), the designation of a services repository (3.48), and a student intake protocol (4.04) were somewhat similar. The lowest priority requirements appear to be student assessment and years of university experience, with weighted averages of 2.98 and 3.11 respectively.

The roof was added to the HoQ to evaluate the technical requirements and identify any correlations suggesting synergy between or among the requirements along with any contraindications. Correlations were determined by the researchers separately, with agreed correlations accepted for the roof and discrepancies discussed to reach consensus. Correlations were identified as strongly positive, positive, negative, or strongly negative. Where there was no correlation, intersections between the requirements were left blank.

A strongly positive relationship was noted between intake protocol and student assessment. These tools could be used in a complementary fashion, or even combined in some way. A strongly positive relationship was also noted between the services repository and years of university experience, suggesting that those advisors with the most experience best know about services provided by the university. Outbound communications and clarity of expectations were strongly positively correlated, suggesting that outbound communications should set out expectations for students in the advising process. The last strongly positive correlation existed between clarity of expectations and documentation of mutual understanding. Thus when a student, along with an advisor, determines a course of action, the student should document the understanding of his or her responsibilities.

A number of positive relationships were noted. The student assessment was positively correlated with the requirement to monitor the number of student requests to change advisors. This correlation suggests that an advisor might have a communication style or personality type at odds with the advisee. Years of business experience was positively related with two other requirements: clarify of expectations as well as the interventions an advisor makes on behalf of the student. These correlations suggest that years of business experience hones the ability of an individual to clearly communicate expectations; additionally, those who spent time in the business arena may be more apt to provide networking opportunities for students. Similarly, years of university experience was positively correlated with two other technical requirements: clarity of expectations as well as the documentation of mutual understanding. These correlations suggest that university experience allows the advisor to clearly articulate the responsibilities of the student to the student. Additionally, the years of experience an advisor has at a university produce a deeper knowledge about what documentation must be maintained. The last positive correlation was identified between the job qualifications of an advisor and training. This correlation suggests that because advising is noted as part of the job responsibilities, there would necessarily be some training for the role.

Strongly negative correlations were mostly associated with the advisor to advisee ratio. These include the requirements of intake protocol, services repository, clarity of expectations, and documented mutual understanding. Additionally, the advisor to advisee ratio demonstrated negative correlations with the frequency of interventions on the students' behalf as well as institutionalized evaluations. These negative correlations suggest that a high advisor to advisee ratio detracts from the time an advisor can spend with any one student, thereby impacting the requirements that might benefit from more time together.

In further evaluating the correlations associated with the advisor to advisee ratio, two technical requirements (institutionalized evaluation and request to change advisors) also exhibited the highest weighted averages. Perhaps managing this ratio would address the most important priorities of the student. These three requirements together (advisor to advisee ratio, institutionalized evaluation, and request to change advisor) all demonstrated medium to strong relationships with the VoC attributes most requiring improvement (performance rating = 3): specifically, moral virtue, advocacy, and availability.

Student requests for a different advisor were negatively correlated with two other requirements: job qualifications and training. The less an applicant is screened for the advising role and the less training the advisor receives, the more likely the student is to seek another advisor, suggesting that the softer skills necessary for advising (such as moral virtue components) play an important role in student satisfaction with advising.

Target values for each technical requirement were added as a basement to the house. These represent the consensus of the research team whereby each researcher determined the value. The values were compared and matched values accepted. Those that did not match were discussed by the research team to reach consensus.

In many cases, the goals of the technical requirements of the advising process are attribute in nature; for example, the goal is to put a tool or action step in place. Such tools include an intake protocol to help advisors understand their students; a service repository that provides a one-stop shop for students to know what the university offers in terms of assistance; an assessment tool that allows the advisor to understand how the student likes to learn and appreciate any barriers to learning that the student might experience; checklists or similar tools that specify the expectations of the student in the advising process as well as academic advancement toward the degree; the institutionalized evaluation of the advising process; explicit job qualifications that define the expectations of advising; and an advising training program.

Conclusion

The design of an effective advising service for the business administration department as depicted by this HoQ is in keeping with the developmental advising model put forth by Crookston (1972). His model of shared advisor-advisee responsibility toward a holistic consideration of student potential matches perfectly with the results of QFD as applied to the advising process in the business administration department. Likewise our results support recent studies by Yarbrough (2002) and O'Banion (2012) wherein the active involvement of both advisees and advisors is deemed the most important factor in a successful advising program.

Despite matching the theoretical underpinnings, our advising design will encounter the same limitations in its application as alluded to by previous empirical studies. Furthermore, our survey did not distinguish between class standing, GPA, socio-economic background, major, part-time/full-time status, and age of students in determining VoC. Yet a student's background plays an important role in deploying the right set of tools for an effective advising outcome. As Abematty and Engelland (2001) cautioned, "one-size-fits all conceptualization of academic advising is not appropriate."

The deployment of the design requirement faces other, practical challenges insofar as academic institutions tend to resist new managerial ideas. In the face of recent public demand for greater accountability, however, as well as the threat of dwindling enrollment, more attention must be paid to the advising process. Many colleges now consider effective academic advising as a criteria for faculty employment, re-appointment, promotion, and salary adjustments. As a result, additional resources are being deployed for faculty training, advising assessment, and advisor availability.

DR. LISA M. WALTERS

Assistant Professor of Operations Management

The State University of New York-Fredonia

MOJTABA SEYEDIAN

Professor of Management

The State University of New York-Fredonia

References

Abernathy, T., Engelland, B. (2001). The effects of frequency, recency, and academic prowess as moderators of service quality evaluations for collegiate academic advising. Marketing Management Journal, Fall, 97-107.

Akao, Yoji (1972). New product development and quality assurance--quality deployment system (in Japanese). Standardization and Quality Control, 25(4), 7-14.

Akao, Yoji (1994). Development history of quality function deployment. The Customer Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment. Minato, Tokyo 107 Japan: Asian Productivity Organization, p. 339.

Bedi, K. & Sharma, J. (2006). Benchmarking the quality of secondary education at the micro level and policy imperatives. Social Science Research Network. 1-16. U21 Global Working Paper No. 013/2006. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1606182.

Bedi, K. & Sharma, J. (2006). Quality Function Deployment in Business Case Studies. Social Science Research Network 1-16. U21 Global Working Paper No. 015/2006. Retrieved from http://ssm.com/abstract=1606302.

Crookston, B. (1972). Journal of College Student Personnel, 13, 12-17. Reprinted in The Global Community for Academic Advising (NACADA) Journal (1994), 14(2), 5-9.

Drake, J. (2011, July-August). The role of academic advising in student retention and persistence. About Campus, July-August, 8-12.

Hafeez, K. & Mazour, A. (2001). Using Quality Function Deployment as a higher education management and governance tool. Business and Law, 6(1), 31-52. doi: 10.5200/1822-9530.2011.02 and http://www.vta.ttvam.eu

Harrison, E. (2009). "I don't get no respect" Academic Advising, 30(4), 229-233.

Kim, J., Feldman, L. (2011). "Managing academic advising services quality: Understanding and meeting needs and expectations of different student segments." Marketing Management Journal, 27(1), 222-238.

Moura e Sa, P., Saraiva, P. (2001). The development of an ideal kindergarten through concept engineering/quality function deployment. Total Quality Management, 12(3), 365-372.

O'Banion, T. (2012). Be advised: Updating the traditional academic advising role for the 21st Century. Community College Journal (2012). Reprint. Junior College Journal, 1972.

Ross, P. J. (1998). The role of Taguchi methods and design of experiments in QFD. Quality Progress. June, 41-47.

Smith, C., Allen, J. (2006). "Essential functions of academic advising: What students want and get." NACADA Journal, 26(1), 56-66.

Yarbrough, D. (2002). The Engagement Model for effective academic advising with undergraduate college students and student organizations. Journal of Humanistic Counseling Education and Development, 41, 61-68.

Appendix A: Survey Questions Evaluated to Identify Key Customer Satisfaction Drivers of Business Administration Academic Advising

For each declarative statement below, respondents were asked to gauge his or her level of agreement using the following Likert-scale:

1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree or disagree; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree

Two dimensions of each declarative statement were evaluated. The first aspect was the extent the respondent agreed with the statement, providing the perceived importance of the attribute; the second aspect was the extent the respondent believed his or her advisor exhibited the behavior addressed by the declarative statement, providing the perceived performance of the advising process in terms of the attribute.

Each survey inquiry was categorized with regard to the specific attribute evaluated. These attributes are noted in parenthesis at the end of each statement.

1. Advising should help connect me to my academic, career, and life goals. (Integration).

2. Advising should help me choose among courses within my major that connect me to my academic, career, and life goals. (Integration).

3. Advising should help me choose among general education courses that connect me to my academic, career, and life goals. (Integration).

4. Advising should help me determine the best major for my career and life goals. (Integration).

5. Advising should assist me with out-of-class activities, such as clubs, internships, part-time work, etc. that will assist me in meeting my academic, career, and life goals. (Integration).

6. If I need it, my advisor should be able to refer me to campus resources that will help me with academic problems. (Referral).

7. If I need it, my advisor should be able to refer to me campus resources to help me with non-academic problems. (Referral).

8. My advisor should be able to help me pick courses taking into account my learning styles, abilities, skills, and interests. (Individuation).

9. My advisor should know me as an individual. (Individuation).

10. My advisor should understand how things work around the college; for example, he or she must know deadlines, policies, procedures, appeals processes, etc. (Information).

11. My advisor should be able to provide me with accurate information about all degree requirements. (Information).

12. My advisor should know all scholarships available to me. (Information).

13. My advisor should encourage me to assume responsibility for my own education by helping me develop an academic plan, problem-solve, and decision-make. (Shared Responsibility).

14. My advisor should not be expected to do all my work for me. He or she should feel confident that I can be an active participant in my own academic career. (Shared Responsibility).

15. My advisor should be held accountable for his or her skill in advising. (Accountability).

16. My advisor should be very sensitive to my concerns and issues. (Empathy/Moral Virtue).

17. My advisor should be very honest about my academic performance and capabilities, even if that assessment is not favorable. (Honesty/Moral Virtue).

18. My advisor should be very patient with me, even if I am not prepared for an advising session. (Patience/Moral Virtue).

19. My advisor should advocate for me when I am having difficulties with professors, courses, etc. by personally contacting professors, administration, etc. (Advocacy).

20. My advisor should be willing to help me whenever I have a problem, regardless of the nature of the problem. (Advocacy).

21. My advisor should respond to my requests whenever I need assistance, regardless of the nature of the request. (Availability).

22. My advisor should be available to me when I need assistance, even if that means I just "pop-in" for help. (Availability).

23. I should feel comfortable approaching my advisor, even without an appointment. (Approachability).

24. My advisor should provide me a high degree of service for advising, such as offering hours for advisement during advising week beyond the 40 hour work week and providing availability during evenings and weekends. (Availability).

25. My advisor should be enthusiastic and pleasant. (Approachability).

26. My advisor should have excellent communication skills. (Communication).

27. My advisor should help me with my coursework, even coursework outside his or her teaching responsibilities. (Authenticity/Moral Virtue).

28. My advisor should be knowledgeable about the discipline I study. (Information).

29. My advisor should be knowledgeable about the career I plan to enter. (Information).

30. My advisor should be visible on campus; for example he or she should participate in extracurricular activities. (Approachability).
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Author:Walters, Lisa M.; Seyedian, Mojtaba
Publication:College Student Journal
Article Type:Case study
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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