Date of Award

6-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Evaluation

First Advisor

Dr. Tabitha Mingus

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Coryn

Third Advisor

Dr. Marcia K. Fetters

Abstract

Academic advising is at a point in its maturation as a field of study where anecdotal evidence is no longer sufficient to inform the measure of effectiveness. As the area becomes more research-based, advising’s measurable impact should be based on an evaluative framework; no such structure currently exists. In this study, three methods were used to investigate this problem and ultimately to create a model and checklist. Firstly, a descriptive study was used to examine if there is an understanding of what evaluation is within the advising community, one where assessment has been the dominant practice. Secondly, a quasi-experimental design was utilized to determine if the practice of advising has any effect on student progression and retention. Thirdly, using results from the first two studies, a Delphi study was used to create a checklist for evaluating academic advising. Results indicated that academic advisors tended to associate the idea of evaluation with assessment. Additionally, there was an indication that academic advising affected student success when viewed through the lens of progression toward degree completion. Finally, a preliminary model and evaluative checklist were constructed.

In summation, academic advising is very much at its infancy as a field of study. If evaluative standards are to be accepted within the community, acceptable measures and methods must be employed when judging the practice. This research provides the advising population with a basic framework to evaluate their programs or units using language and criteria derived from the three studies.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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