Hear From Dr. Donna Velliaris

Survivor HE: Traversing the Tertiary Landscape

By Donna Velliaris on Jun 18, 2020
Dr. Donna Velliaris  headshotDr. Donna Velliaris

With personal experience and research insight, Dr. Donna Velliaris—editor of six IGI Global books and author of 30+ chapters—shares her interest in and regard for academic language and learning (ALL) support services in higher education (HE). The primary aim of ALL is to enable students’ full participation in the teaching and learning to appropriate academic literacy and study skills support leading to successful completion of programs. Dr. Velliaris shares her research explored within her recent publication Academic Language and Learning Support Services In Higher Education in the IGI Global interview below:

Tell us about your publication.

My publication is titled Academic Language and Learning Support Services In Higher Education. Registering for courses, securing financial aid, developing strong study skills, and mastering difficult course material are just a few of the obstacles that tertiary students must overcome on their path to graduation. Selected chapters endeavor to broaden pedagogical expertise through connecting, informing, and leading empirically-based and rigorous research activities associated with ALL at the HE-level. Contributors focus on how enriching existing courses/programs or creating new ones, aligns with best practices, and better enables students to ‘survive and thrive’ the HE landscape.

What inspired you to pursue research activities in your field?

As the first in my family to complete high school, I was then a first-generation university student—naïve, clueless, slow reader, poor writer, and with little to no professional mentoring. I often felt that others had access to and knowledge about how things worked that I did not have. Tackling my degree alone meant that I needed to be persistent and proactively seek help every step of the way.

With first-hand experience, I came to understand how successful transition into a new educational environment requires adaptation to the ALL culture of the institution. Intensifying and embedding ALL support persons, programs, and resources etc., helps advance HE students’ ability to assimilate and ameliorates issues that may lead to academic anxiety or worse, withdrawal.

In practice, ALL support encompasses a broad array of educational strategies, including orientation presentations, bridging or foundation skill development classes, specialized tutorial sessions, summer learning experiences, supplemental seminars, volunteer mentors, as well as accessible e-learning guides and other self-paced online offerings on research and referencing skills, etc. Such support may be via personalized consultations, delivered to specific student populations e.g., non-native English speakers, or open to all students on campus. It is through such inclusive practices that students can better embrace university life and come to connect with the academic literacies of their chosen discipline.

What will readers learn from your publication?

HE student demographics have seen greater numbers, nations, and ability levels in their student enrollment. With appropriately integrated ALL support, students can work ‘smarter not harder’, thus strengthening their discipline-specific discourse and professional communication competencies.

What are some of the benefits of your research to the academic community?

Today’s HE environment is dynamic and complex, and to promote student learning in the long-term, there is evidence that academic skills need to be ‘enduring’. ALL support is one element of a HE student’s tertiary journey that can be further developed to aid them in reaching their educational and career goals. It is about building relationships with HE students, locating places where they may become disconnected, and championing their reconnection.

This publication is an essential scholarly resource that examines the quality, organization, and administration of academic advisement and academic support systems for college and university students, which better connects them to their community of scholars. Featuring a wide range of topics such as enrollment services, professional development, and service learning, this text is ideal for academic advisers, academicians, administrators, counsellors, curriculum designers, graduate students, mentors, policymakers, and HE researchers.

What has your experience publishing with IGI Global been like?

This is my fifth edited book with IGI Global, in order: (I) Handbook of Research on Study Abroad Programs and Outbound Mobility (2016); (II) Handbook of Research on Academic Misconduct in Higher Education (2016); (III) Study Abroad Contexts for Enhanced Foreign Language Learning (2017); (IV) Prevention and Detection of Academic Misconduct in Higher Education(2019); and (V) Academic Mobility Programs and Engagement: Emerging Research and Opportunities (2019).

Since my first publication with IGI Global, a chapter titled ‘Getting Personal: An Autoethnographic Study of the Professional Identit(ies) of Lecturers in an Australian Pathway Institution‘, in the publication Cases on Teacher Identity, Diversity, and Cognition in Higher Education (2014), I have found that working with IGI Global has been a positive experience. I feel extremely fortunate.

IGI Global would like to thank Dr. Donna Velliaris for sharing her research. For more information about this research, view the publication here.

Available in print and electronic format, Academic Language and Learning Support Services In Higher Education can be ordered with an automatic 50% discount* off the list price of the electronic format when purchasing the publication directly through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore. Additionally, this publication is available across preferred providers such as GOBI Library Solutions, EBSCOHost, Oasis, and Ebook Central (discounts may vary), as well as IGI Global’s InfoSci-Books (5,900+ e-books) database.

Visit the publication’s webpage to order, or contact Customer Service at cust@igi-global.com or 717-533-8845 ext. 100 with questions. For researchers, be sure to recommend this publication or the InfoSci-Books database to your library to have access to this critical content.

About Dr. Donna M. Velliaris: Dr. Donna M. Velliaris holds two Graduate Certificates: (1) Australian Studies; and (2) Religious Education, two Graduate Diplomas: (1) Secondary Education; and (2) Language and Literacy Education, as well as three Master’s degrees: (1) Educational Sociology; (2) Studies of Asia; and (3) Special Education. In 2010, Dr Velliaris graduated with a PhD in Education focused on the social/educational ecological development of school-aged transnational students in Tokyo, Japan. Her primary research interests include: human ecology; Third Culture Kids (TCKs); schools as cultural systems; and study abroad. With publication of over 30 book chapters, her titles comprise: Academic reflections: Disciplinary acculturation and the first-year pathway experience in Australia [Garnet]; Conceptualizing four ecological influences on contemporary ‘Third Culture Kids’ [Palgrave Macmillan]; Culturally responsive pathway pedagogues: Respecting the intricacies of student diversity in the classroom [IGI Global]; The other side of the student story: Listening to the voice of the parent [Sense]; and Metaphors for transnational students: A moving experience [Cambridge Scholars].

For your reference, find below a sample of related titles, which are also featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci-Books database and are available for purchase in print and electronic format. Be sure to recommend these titles to your librarian, to ensure your institution can acquire the most emerging research.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.

About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing processes. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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*The 50% discount is offered for all e-books and e-journals purchased on IGI Global’s Online Bookstore. E-books and e-journals are hosted on IGI Global’s InfoSci® platform and available for PDF and/or ePUB download on a perpetual or subscription basis. This discount cannot be combined with any other discount or promotional offer. Offer expires July 31, 2020.
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