Inaugural Academic Advising Conference Cultivates Collaboration
UC Davis held its first ever campuswide Academic Advising Conference on May 26, 2015. Themed “Cultivation Collaboration: Seeds for Sustainable Success,” the conference was dedicated to fostering collaborations among those who advise students on campus to create and share new ways to support student success. Breakout sessions addressed critical issues from advising special student groups, such as international students and student-athletes, to responding to distressed students, and working with peer advisors and advising with a social justice perspective.
Keynote speaker Charlie Nutt, Executive Director the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), identified a framework for dynamism in advising, and emphasized the need to provide quality academic advising to achieve greater levels of student success. He described the collaborative approach needed to unite in efforts to guide students in an intentional way, noting that “while technology and predictive analytics aid in our day-to-day work, above all, we must connect with and help our students.” Finally, he noted that “As advisors, we need to define our own roles. We are the professionals who know the field intimately.”
Reaffirming Commitment to the Advising Community
Vice Provost and Dean Carolyn Thomas described campus efforts to build one community of practice in advising. Revisiting the principles she laid out at the 2014 systemwide UCAAC, she spoke to the year’s many accomplishments advancing advising, and asserted that progress will continue in the improvement of tools and technology, the investment in relevant resources, the enhancement of powerful partnerships, and the development of a platform where every advisor on campus has the ability to hone expertise and share best practices. “Through these efforts, we have reaffirmed our commitment to create ‘one advising community’ to support our professional advisors and benefit all UC Davis students.”
2016 Conference in Planning
The conference was sponsored by Undergraduate Education and received significant support from the Eleanor and Harry Walker Award Fund. Conference co-chairs, advisors Erika Hendrick, Kathryn Jackson, and Kelli Sholer led the efforts of the Marketing, Logistics, Programming, and Hospitality committees to coordinate the conference. With registration reaching maximum capacity within the first day of going live, it is clear that the UC Davis advising community is engaged and thriving!
The success of the inaugural 2015 Academic Advising Conference sparks excitement for next year’s event, scheduled for March 17, 2016. Save the date!