Good advising programs do not just happen. They are the result of carefully developed institutional plans and commitments to improving advising service for students.
David S. Crockett, Noel-Levitz
As recommended by Dave Crockett, the Baylor Academic Advising Council (AAC) was appointed as a standing committee in October, 2005, by Dr. Reagan Ramsower and Dr. Randall O’Brien. Faculty and staff represent each academic area and program. The mission of the council is to improve communication, coordination and collaboration between and among academic units.
Ongoing work with sub-groups is to:
1) develop better hand-offs between general academic advising and the academic majors and programs
2) identify clear academic pathways for students from the first semester to graduation
3) provide professional development for all faculty and staff in the advising community
4) plan and project course availability with IRT and the Office of the Provost
Accomplishments of the AAC:
► The first definition of academic advising was developed and published in the undergraduate catalog in 2006 – 2007.
► Advisor of Record was established and identified in BearWeb for students and for advisors in PAWS (now in the UAS.) The advisor of record for each student is the academic advisor designated by the major or programs who guides the student in progress toward requirements for graduation.
► MAPS (Major Academic Planners) are available for most majors to show the recommended four-year sequence of degree and major requirements.
► A partnership with departments offering key first-year courses and the Director of Academic Advisement allowed better access for advisors to register students in appropriate schedules during Orientation.
► An advising evaluation was piloted and made available through Institutional Research and Testing. The form is modifiable for department use and available to all advising areas at Baylor.
► Professional development for the advising community has grown exponentially. The ADVISE (Advisors Discussing Various Issues and Sharing Experiences) program and also the new SOAPS (Spotlight on Academic Programs Series) program are offered several times each semester and offer POD credit. Presentations by knowledgeable speakers, discussion groups and webinars are examples of programs that give advisors and support staff an opportunity to improve knowledge and skills needed to assist students throughout their Baylor experience.
► A reception with the theme, Planting Seeds of Success, was held in April 2007 to recognize best practices and reward all campus advisors.
► Each year the AAC supports a faculty member to attend NACADA, the National Academic Advising Association annual conference.
► The first annual Day of the Advisor, Taking Time to Smell the Roses, on May 2, 2008, was a great success with three morning sessions of a look at the past, present, and future of advising at Baylor.
Dr. Wes Habley, Principal Associate for ACT Educational Services in Iowa City, Iowa, gave the keynote presentation, Academic Advising and Student Success. The AAC continues to sponsor the Day of the Advisor each spring in an effort to bring together the entire Baylor advising community.