Assessing Student Learning in Academic Advising



 In 2012, representatives from Texas A&M advising community reviewed and revised the student learning outcomes for academic advising developed in 2007 by a team of advisors working with NACADA staff.  The learning outcomes have also been associated with Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) established in 2010.

Student Learning Outcomes for academic advising are “an articulation of the knowledge and skills expected of students as well as the values they should appreciate as a result of their involvement in the academic advising experience” (NACADA, 2010).  These learning outcomes answer the question, “What do we want students to learn as a result of participating in academic advising?” (NACADA, 2010).  Assessment of student learning should be a part of every advising program.
 
It’s important to distinguish student learning through advising from student satisfaction with advising.  Every academic advisor is familiar with situations where students may not have been satisfied with the outcome of an advising experience but she or he certainly learned something through the experience.  This is not to say that advising processes and delivery and student (and other stakeholder) satisfaction is not important.  Advising programs should also be assessed and members of the Texas A&M advising community have developed materials for this purpose.  Materials related to assessment of advising processes can be found at weaveONLINE Template for Assessment of Academic Advising.
 
Student Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising at Texas A&M
  1. Campus Resources (Undergraduate SLOs: 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6)
    1. Students can recognize high impact educational experiences, such as internship, externship, study abroad opportunities, field experience, etc.
    2. Students are able to identify participative opportunities in student and professional organizations on campus.
    3. Students distinguish resources for assistance, such as the academic and career support, counseling services, and transfer course equivalency guides.
  2. Problem Solving (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)
    1. Students are able to identify opportunities that support their ambitions and aspirations.
    2. Students are able to appraise their academic performance and its contribution to their educational and personal goals.
    3. Students employ critical and creative thinking to make informed decisions regarding their educational and personal goals
  3. Degree Requirements (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6)
    1. Students are able to recall their degree requirements.
    2. Students are able to identify the courses required for their degree plan.
    3. Students are able to generate and interpret a degree evaluation.
    4. Students are able to propose courses in degree planner that satisfy degree requirements and evaluate a degree evaluation for completion.
  4. Policy (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 4, & 7)
    1. Students recognize and understand the academic rules of the university, college, and department.
    2. Students are able to evaluate individual actions in correlation to student rules.
 
Student Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising were developed to be measurable at the program, department, college and university level and can be used by individual advisors or advising units.  Standard assessment processes should be used and can be found at (add link).  In addition, the Texas A&M Office of Institutional Assessment and the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies can provide training and resources for assessment projects.