Utilizing a Virtual Environment for Academic Advising

Utilizing a Virtual Environment for Academic Advising

Pamela M. Golubski (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-791-3.ch005
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Students, regardless of age, need access to an assigned academic advisor with which they can develop a long term, mutual relationship during their college tenure. An academic advisor assists students with the difficult transition into college, and ensures that each advisee has the opportunity to gain the professional, personal, interpersonal, career, and/or academic skills necessary for college success. In the past, academic advising was viewed as a prescriptive, non developmental service; today academic advisors are making every effort to support students’ holistic growth. The development approach of advising will require an advisor to have a greater presence in the student’s life, thus meaning an increased time commitment, availability, and interaction with advisees. While traditional, face-to-face methods have been effectively used since the 1900’s to advise students, in a virtual world, more advisors are utilizing virtual and Web 2.0 technologies in an effort to educate, empower, interact, and inform students. These technologies include: Facebook, Instant Message (IM), Skype, chat sessions, electronic mailing lists, blogs, Twitter, online testing, and training.
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Academic Advising Overview

Academic advising began in the 19th century as a way for faculty members to assist students in making appropriate academic choices (Frost, 2000). Early advising involved a faculty member supervising a student’s academic studies, living environment, and religious worship as opposed to student development (Frost, 2000). Advising was viewed as a form of parenting and referred to as in loco parenti, which is Latin for “in place of a parent” (Frost, 1991).

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