Optimizing Academic Advising at Community Colleges

Guiding Students through College to Completion

Topics: Community College, Advising, Academic Affairs, Academic Support Programs, Student Experience, Student Affairs, Student Retention and Success, Degree Progress

Executive Summary

Community colleges have always served students with diverse and acute support needs: working students, developmental students, commuters, and first-generation college attendees. But regardless of their backgrounds, it's critical for students to set academic plans that align with their goals and fit with their lives.

To achieve personalized guidance at scale, progressive community colleges have thought strategically about the organization of advising services and trained professional and faculty advisors to connect students with the right support.

This white paper presents strategies to identify at-risk behavior, motivate students to take advantage of available academic resources, and evaluate the effectiveness of advising on campus.

Download the White Paper

  • Main Takeaways


    1. Assign students to professional and faculty advisors based on academic goals and program interests.

    2. Early alert software systems facilitate seamless identification of and communication about students whose behaviors suggest risk of academic failure.

    3. Conduct formal trainings for new professional advisors to learn college procedures and program offerings; faculty advisors should undergo annual trainings led by professional advisors.

    4. Define student learning outcomes for advising sessions to evaluate advising programs; evaluations may also include aggregated metrics, student surveys, and individual performance reviews.

    • Next: Expanding Corporate Training Programs

      As the economy recovers and employers reinvest in staff training & development, progressive community colleges have found an expanding source of revenue in corporate training programs. Read the white paper.