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The nature of American academic advising in the 21st century.

Baron, Kenneth Craig. (1999) The nature of American academic advising in the 21st century. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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This case study grounded in the tradition of practitioner-research (Jarvis, 1999) was carried out from 1994 to 1999 at a major land-grant university in the United States. Specifically, the study aimed to explore the nature of American academic advising in the 21st century using qualitative research techniques. A review of the traditional literature from the academic advising profession, as well as the literature from the more encompassing field of student affairs (Davis and Liddell, 1997; Gordon and Grites, 1998), suggested that much of the research conducted in these areas has been quantitative and insular in nature. Thus, in response to an apparent need for more naturalistic and broadly-based inquiries in these areas (academic advising and student affairs), this study employed a variety of different qualitative research approaches in an attempt to investigate and contextualize the practice of academic advising within the forces shaping contemporary society. The first part of the thesis engaged the researcher in a comprehensive review of literature from a wide variety of disciplines including economics, history, political science, sociology and education that aided in the construction of a prospective model of society. As a result of this exercise, two research questions emerged that were later posed to 36 participants, representing the following classifications within the model of society: students, academic advisors, career services professionals, faculty, university hierarchy, and employers (6 in each classification). The research questions were: what is the nature of American academic advising in the 21st century in light of the forces of information technology and globalized capitalism, and how were these forces of change resisted? Using the general interview guide approach (Patton, 1990) and "qualitatively-based," content analysis interpretation techniques (Holsti, 1969; Krippendorff, 1980; Patton, 1990) these questions were explored and analyzed and the results compiled into a series of reports based on findings. These uniform reports were subsequently turned into separate chapters based on a comprehensive analysis of each of the 6 participant group "perceptions" of the nature of future academic advising practice. In particular, the inquiry aimed to illuminate participants' awareness of the forces shaping contemporary society, how they perceived the practice would change in the 21st century, how the participants thought the practice should be operated, their perceptions of the major causes of change, and how they perceived the forces of change being resisted in the future. Findings suggested that participant's perceived the future of the practice of academic advising to be influenced greatly by information technology, requiring stakeholders, at all levels throughout the academic advising process to humanistically assess to what degree and in what capacities will information technology be utilized within each, unique practice setting. Other findings suggested that participants both perceived and endorsed a more collaborative mode of practice in the future - consolidating other student services together with academic advising. Recommendations to the profession included the adoption of a new core value that would engage the profession, and its members, in more "outwardly" directed practices reaching beyond institutional barriers. Additionally, there is a recommendation that the profession become more politically and strategically-oriented in the next century, employing "relevance-grounded" public relations efforts to secure stability. Future comparative institutional studies, studies using additional participant groups and the development of quantitative national, and possibly international, surveys using this study as a model and its findings for reference, replication, or further illumination are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Baron, Kenneth Craig.
Date : 1999
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:10
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2018 19:57

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