Effective Advising for Postsecondary Students

At its most effective, advising is a collaborative process between a student and an advisor designed to help the student realize their educational potential. Most postsecondary institutions have historically used advisors to help students select and register for courses, but postsecondary institutions are increasingly asking advisors to play an instrumental role in helping students progress through college. This expanded advising role often involves ensuring students are connected to both academic supports and non-academic supports that  enable students to overcome barriers to persistence and completion.

The Effective Advising for Postsecondary Students practice guide (WWC 2022003), developed by the What Works Clearinghouse in conjunction with an expert panel, draws upon studies of effective postsecondary student advising systems and practices. After reviewing 168 studies of effective practices and based on their professional judgment, the expert panel believes the impacts of advising are magnified when advising is integrated within a broader structure of holistic student support. That is, support that meets students where they are developmentally, addresses their individual needs, leverages their strengths, and focuses on student learning and development.

Recommendations in this practice guide:

  1. Intentionally design and deliver comprehensive, integrated advising that incorporates academic and non-academic supports to empower students to reach their educational goals. – Moderate Level of Evidence
  2. Transform advising to focus on the development of sustained, personalized relationships with individual students throughout their college career. – Strong Level of Evidence
  3. Use mentoring and coaching to enhance comprehensive, integrated advising in ways that support students’ achievement and progression. – Strong Level of Evidence
  4. Embed positive incentives in intentionally designed advising structures to encourage student participation and continued engagement. – Strong Level of Evidence

For more, see: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide/28