Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Prescriptive vs developmental academic advising : an examination of advising style experienced by community college students Public Deposited

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  • Academic advising on American college and university campuses has evolved into a professional activity supported by a growing body of theory and research. Developmental psychology provided the foundation for an approach to advising that emphasizes an holistic view of the student by supplementing traditional advising functions with career and personal counseling, decision-making strategies, and a personal relationship between the student and advisor. The majority of advising literature assumes that developmental advising can meet the needs of most students in every postsecondary setting. The purpose of this study was to discover whether this is the case for community college students. Subjects in two Pacific Northwest community colleges were surveyed using an instrument derived from Winston and Sandor's (1984c) Academic Advising Inventory. The instrument discriminated between prescriptive and developmental advising and measured the degree of satisfaction expressed by students in a variety of demographic categories. The study found that most students who received advising indicated that it was essentially developmental in nature and that they were generally satisfied. No significant differences were found in the style of advising (prescriptive or developmental) or in the level of satisfaction expressed by students in a variety of demographic variables. Significant differences were found both in the style of advising and in satisfaction based on the format or settings in which the advising took place. The highest level of satisfaction was associated with an assigned advisor in an advising center. Students who were advised by peers experienced the most developmental service, but they were a very small proportion (N=5) of the overall sample, causing the results on this dimension to be inconclusive. These results suggest that for community college students, the format of advising may be as important as the developmental or prescriptive style of advising. The finding that 29% of the study subjects received no advising underscores the issue of access and perceived need for advising. Of this group, minorities and students who were enrolled for less than six credits were not being advised at higher rates than other student groups.
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