by Ancy Skaria, HEO Assistant
ASAP Academic Advisor
On Friday November 4, 2016, the inaugural Semi-Annual Advisement Summit launched, bringing together full-time academic advisement staff from Student Development, Academic Affairs, and Continuing Education. For many, the Advisement Summit fostered transparency and communication and provided a clear picture of institutional advisement goals and plans for how we will reach those goals together. For me, as an Academic Advisor in ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associates Program), the Advisement Summit brought much needed cross- communication which can easily be lost in the larger context of the college.
The Summit started with an introduction to each office’s role which provided an overview of the types of advisement offered at Hostos, this introduction to advisement at Hostos was followed by a discussion about student demographics. The overview of the roles of each of the advisement offices, coupled with data on our student population, provided deeper insight into how the college can come together to serve our students. From there, participants learned about how the two self-studies (Middle States and Foundations of Excellence) which were initiated in 2010, aided in the creation of the Strategic Plan. The findings of the two self-studies showed that academic advisement heavily impacts first-year and transfer students. Based on these findings, goals related to the development of academic advisement were created and are going to be achieved through various initiatives such as the Cross-Divisional Advisement Committee and the Appreciative Advisement training.
The summit provided me and my colleagues an opportunity to learn about the various projects being created across the college to increase the success of academic advisement for students at HCC. As an advisor, I have seen the successful implementations of new initiatives in my daily work, but through my experience at the Summit I was able to understand what our specific goals are as a college community, what has been created thus far, and what is being worked on for the future.
The Summit also included an overview of Appreciative Advisement, a developmental, student centered, and strengths-based advisement model which has been proven to increase student persistence and retention rates. I, along with thirteen colleagues from various offices across the campus, participated in a workshop this summer to become Appreciative Advisement trainers to assist with the campus-wide implementation of the model. Under the leadership of Dr. Johana Rivera, Associate Dean of Student Development), training on this model will begin in the spring in an effort to standardize the student advisement experience as we work towards increasing retention, persistence, and graduation rates. Through the Advisement Summit, a great sense of community was created and I hope to see the improved communication and collaborative work continue in the coming semesters.