Boosting Retention Through a Foundation of Academic Advising

Boosting Retention Through a Foundation of Academic Advising

Sean Nemeth (Brandman University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2998-9.ch010
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Abstract

While there is no direct causal link between academic advising and increased student persistence, the role of the academic advisor can be key to an institution's success. This chapter examines one university's approach to redesigning the academic advising model from the ground up and committing to a philosophy of continuous improvement in academic advising, retention and student success. A decade in the making, the tools and approaches created through this process now play an important part in the institution's success and can be a road-map for other institutions to follow as they aspire to revise and improve their academic advising models and to improve student success.
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Background

Brandman University (BU) is a private, non-profit institution. It is a part of the Chapman University System and was established in 1958 at El Toro Marine Base in California. The university’s roots were originally established by serving military students and over time program offerings expanded to locations on several military bases. Though BU continues to serve military students, the university has expanded to include additional campuses located in civilian areas. These military and civilian campuses serve working adult student populations who wish to pursue a college degree or certificate or to complete a degree program or course of study that was previously interrupted or put on hold. This expansion has produced a distributed university that has 26 physical campuses, throughout California and Washington, as well as fully online programs. The central office, located in Irvine, coordinates strategic efforts for the university while faculty and administrative staff at each location deliver course material and support the day-to-day operations of each local campus. The student body at BU is non-traditional and diverse. The average student age is over 30 years old and the ethnic background of students qualifies the university as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Nationally, adult learners and Hispanic students have traditionally retained and graduated at rates below the average student. This makes the success at Brandman worthwhile to examine at a deeper level.

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