Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today, UAAC's Appreciative Advising Subcommittee presented at the 2016 NACADA Region X Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

If you want to see our presentation, check it out here.
or type this link in your browser:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


In case you missed getting your UAAC Appreciative Advising Challenge Cards at our monthly UAAC Meetings, here's THE LINK 
or copy the following link in your preferred browser

Every phase has its own stage.

The back explains a little about the phase

Download, Print and Display them
It's a good idea!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


As a new advisor, I am still figuring out how to help students define their personal edge. 

I recently decided to use the white board in my office as an advising tool. 
After attending Phil Gardner’s presentation, I came back to the office and wrote the six skills companies are looking for in an employee: passion, initiative, team work, etc. During advising appointments I would look for opportunities to talk to students about those skills and ask them if their current studies are helping them to find their passion or build team work skills or how does what you’re learning right now inspire creativity. 

My hope is that instead of viewing higher education as a means to an end, students will think about their personal growth through learning versus job prospects.

Taking this approach helped one student who had only declared in economics because his dad “made him” see things a little differently. He is more interested in a degree in construction management, and did not see how his economics classes would articulate to a job managing projects and accounts with a construction firm. After discussing his path thus far, and his options in the future, he was able to see what he needed to work on to reach his goals within the Economics Department.

Submitted by Nicole O’Shea, Economics Academic Advisor

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


What do you do to celebrate students’ accomplishments?

My approach to celebrating students’ accomplishments varies according to students’ personalities.
  •  I always say something to highlight that they are, in fact, accomplishments to be proud of – whether they are small step accomplishments like successfully meeting with a potential mentor or large landmark accomplishments like getting published.
  •  If I learn about the accomplishment in person, I ask for more details – which mentor, when are they going to follow-up about the project, which journal, co-authored or solo authored, etc.
  •  If a student seems timid about recognizing that they have accomplished something, I stress that what they did took hard work, speaks to their diligence as a student, and that I am proud of them even if they don’t feel like it’s a big deal.  (Hopefully by the end of the interaction they at least start to feel the impact of having achieved something.)
  •   I have also high-fived a few students when that fits with their general mannerisms. 
  • I make notes about accomplishments that are impending and try to follow-up with students when I see them in person near when those accomplishments will come to fruition.
  • And I try to tell other people as relevant when that student is present so that they can see the widespread and shared joy in their own accomplishments.  Finally, when these accomplishments are accompanied by news articles, I post them to our webpage so that the students get appropriate exposure for their achievements and have more visual and permanent reinforcement that what they do matters and is awesome. 

How do you help students define their personal edges?

I try to weave this idea into every step of my advising.  This is perhaps easier for me to do as a program advisor than it is for departmental advisors since our programs are optional.
  • We discuss what good mentorship looks like for them – what they need in order to do well (interests, communication and learning styles, etc.) and what personal and professional goals they have (grad school, med school, published articles, etc.)
  • I plant seeds for further engagement – multiple types of presentation for one project, seeking additional funding/perspectives on their project (e.g. community engaged learning or entrepreneurship), and leadership opportunities
  • We discuss pros and cons of each type of further engagement – realistically how much time will it take them to do each of my suggestions, do they facilitate the students’ goals or are they just extra stuff to do, etc.
  • I state very clearly that none of our programs take precedence over other parts of their lives and that they decide how much they want to do.
  •  And when students discover that the level on engagement they are trying to have is just too much, we talk about healthy prioritization and how to jump back in if/when they decide they have time in the future.  I acknowledge that decreasing one’s level of engagement sometimes feels like a failure, but isn’t – not to me, not to our office, not for them in the long-term.

Submitted by Stephanie Shiver, Undergraduate Research Advisor

Thursday, September 17, 2015


1) I create Outlook reminders to check in with the student.
For example, I met with a transfer student in the summer to discuss scholarships available and the application process. I made a reminder in September to email the student and check on her progress.

2) In my notes, I have begun adding a “follow-up suggestion” at the end of my notes, so I will know to return to a topic/check-on/or congratulate a student on a goal they’ve met when we meet again.

3) When I am prepping for my appointments with students trying to meet a certain GPA or receive certain grades for that past semester, I will note any successes or achievements from their DARS and start off the meeting by congratulating them on making their goal that semester.

4) International & Area Studies completes a short survey for every declared student. This way, during a students’ first declared semester, we are able to easily retrieve their contact information and send them a check-in email on how they are feeling with the major/core classes/language study, if they have found any extracurricular activities on campus, etc., and encourage the student to meet with an advisor in the coming semester.

--making follow-ups feel personalized

Submitted by:
Ashley Glenn
International and Area Studies

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


If i know that students prefer Facebook messaging I will send them a message through that. A lot of the time it works better for me than email, but I also use it to direct or remind students that I have sent them an email and to check it. I also call students directly if I haven't heard from them in a long time and they have not responded to email or Facebook 

Submitted by:
Maria C-Baldwin

Monday, September 14, 2015


  • What are some ways you follow up with students outside of a structured appointment? 
I have a regular practice of sending a follow-up email the day I first meet with a student.  I send them a re-cap of our discussion that day and individualized reminders, encouragements, and resources as warranted.  I also make a note of their individual research/academic interests (we have a pretty amazing database that we built for keeping track of this sort of thing) and follow-up again later with information about opportunities in line with their interests as those arise (if they arise).  Before the student leaves the meeting, I state and re-state several times that they will have my email address and can email or call me anytime with questions about any step in the research process.  I emphasize that I want to know about progress – good or bad – and that they can give me updates at any point.  I have several students who take this to heart and I get to celebrate their successes with them as they go.  Many other students only come to me when they encounter an obstacle or may never come back to see me at all.  As my program is completely optional and can be navigated without my advising, all of these outcomes are acceptable.  (Although I prefer to know how things are going for students.)  Additionally, we require students in UROP to attend a few events of each semester of funding and I try to follow-up with students who have expressed concerns, difficulties, etc. in person at the events that they attend.
  • What are the challenges you face with following up and how do you address them?
The non-madatory advising for my programs means that there is a limit to how much follow-up is appropriate from me with students after an initial meeting, if they have not chosen to reach out to me.  This is my biggest challenge with following-up.  In the interim between an initial meeting with a student and the student’s application to our programs, I have no way of knowing how they are doing unless they reach out to me.  I have no way of knowing if they even intend to pursue a research project at all.  And since engaging in  research and, more specifically, engaging in research via the programs in my office are optional, increasing my follow-up may seem unwelcoming and pushy.  Many students need time between an initial meeting with me and an application to our programs and this can be for a variety of reasons that do not warrant additional prompts from me (e.g. the student came to see me very early on and did not intend to pursue research yet, but wanted to get on the right path to do so later or the student needs some time to process their interests and when a paid research position can fit into their life).  It is a fine line between supporting students when they need it or it would be helpful and when it is too forceful and will scare them away, especially in an optional program.

Submitted by:
Stephanie Shiver