Solution Focused Academic Advising

Solution Focused Academic Advising: A Tool to Promote Retention
Date: To be announced
Framingham State University

Academic advising has been identified as a key factor in student retention. Advising is often mandated to obtain permission to register for courses and/or progress through an academic major. The nature of the advising is multifaceted; advisors often serve as counselors to students who need guidance for majors and career decision- making and support to facilitate problem solving. The charge to develop rapport and an understanding of the student’s work-life balance in one session (15-20 minutes) can be daunting for both advisor and student. The advising role is especially significant when students face academic failure, inability to progress or a loss of status and identity relative to a major.

Given these challenges, a solution-focused approach to advising may be of benefit to the advisor and advisee. The solution-focused approach is a way of having a conversation that emphasizes strengths and what is going well , and provides an opportunity for the advisee and the advisor to visualize a positive outcome. It is designed to construct a sense of competence and confidence. This approach may be particularly beneficial with struggling and anxious students given its emphasis on increasing academic self-efficacy and self-regulated learning which can enhance executive functioning and foster grit.

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the solution-focused approach and how to apply it in academic advising. Participants will be asked to share their advising dilemmas and role-play using solution-focused tools. Handouts will provide suggested solution-focused approaches salient to advising. The workshop is designed so participants will be able to immediately apply the solution-focused strategies learned.