Implementing Academic Advising Across an Institution - The Hallam Way

Melissa Jacobi (Sheffield Hallam University)
Amy Musgrove (Sheffield Hallam University)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

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Session Outline

Sheffield Hallam University introduced an Academic Advising Framework in April 2018 which required all students to be allocated a named academic adviser, receive a minimum of three contact points during each academic year and receive guidance on their academic progression, personal development and professional development. The Framework was followed by the introduction of the Academic Director for Academic Advising role in October 2018 with the remit to develop academic advising practice across the institution, and a formal Academic Advising Policy in 2019.

This presentation will provide an overview of how academic advising has been developed and implemented across courses in the institutions four faculties. It will include an overview of the wider university support mechanism for students, the Student Support Triangle: made up of the academic adviser, student support adviser and employability adviser. It will consider how after a restructuring we are trying to ensure we have the best possible working relationships between the three advisers in the triangle as well as the systems being developed to support this work.

We will provide an overview of the different models of academic advising that have been developed across the Faculties, including a discussion of the pros and cons of these approaches, and identification of the support and community enhancement initiatives that have been implemented to help ensure academic advisers are fully supported. Including the integration of Department based Academic Advising Leads who help co-ordinate academic advising activities in their areas.

Courses have been encouraged to develop their own academic advising models around the minimum requirements set out in the academic advising policy, rather than being given prescribed models to implement which means there are a range of practices being implemented. One of the areas of variation is whether students retain their academic adviser for the duration of their studies, or whether the adviser changes each year. It is hoped that we can provide initial findings of research evaluating student experiences of both retaining and changing their academic adviser which links to the supporting personalised learning.

Objectives of the session:

  • Provide an overview of how academic advising has been developed across Sheffield Hallam UniversityIdentify challenges and opportunities arising from the implementation of the 'Student Support Triangle'.Share models of academic advising currently implemented at Sheffield Hallam University. Provide an overview of early findings from research into whether students prefer to retain their academic adviser for the duration of their studies or change adviser each year.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies
R7 - Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students