Developing inclusive practice at the start of academic advising relationships

Mary Davis (Oxford Brookes University)

Monday, April 4, 2022 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

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Session Outline

This workshop aims to develop delegates’ awareness of and approaches to inclusive practice in academic advising at the first stages of the relationship. Research has demonstrated that students need to feel welcomed by staff who express interest in them as individuals, to help them thrive at university (Felten, 2019). By building positive academic advising relationships from an early stage, staff can help students feel they belong at university, whatever their backgrounds, circumstances or other identity factors.

The workshop facilitator will start by presenting her recent research which examined two interventions designed to make the first stages of academic advising more inclusive: 1) adaptations to academic advisor communications through changes to welcome messages (pre-induction); 2) the application of inclusive principles to initial academic advising meetings (induction and post-induction through to mid-semester), using the core values advocated by Lochtie et al. (2018). The researcher will propose a list of ten inclusive academic advising principles, using emerging themes from academic advisor research participants’ comments gathered from a group debrief meeting after trialling these interventions. Then, delegates will be invited to join break out rooms to discuss these inclusive principles and to evaluate the usefulness of them for their own context, as well as suggesting their own principles.

Finally, delegates will evaluate principles in a poll and discuss observations in a final short plenary session. The take away for delegates is in the form of suggested inclusive practice principles for the start of the academic advising relationship.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C1 - Core values of academic advising and tutoring
C2 - Theory relevant to academic advising and tutoring
C3 - Academic advising and tutoring approaches and strategies