General Education Faculty Advising
At Winston-Salem State University we believe that quality academic advising is ultimately the responsibility of the faculty. The mission of advising is to engage students in active and exploratory learning processes that facilitate the creation of academic pathways through courses, educational experiences, and curricula that adequately reflect aspirations, lead to timely graduation, and result in lifelong learning.
The university provides each new student with a trained faculty advisor who assists the student with curriculum planning in the freshman and sophomore years. The initial assignment of the advisors is made in the months prior to enrollment. During the first three semesters of enrollment (through 45 earned hours) students may be advised by faculty outside of the intended major department; however, all general education advisors have access to the pre-requisites and major requirements for all major programs at the university. Before entering the junior year, each student will be assigned a faculty advisor in the department of their academic major and formally transitioned to an academic department. Professional advisors through the university’s Advising Center are also available to assist faculty advisors and students.
Advising Model for General Education
A desired outcome of the advising process at Winston-Salem State University is to contribute to the critical thinking (decision making) skills of students. To support this we have chosen to build general education advising on a model called Appreciative Advising developed by Jennifer Bloom. “Appreciative Advising is the intentional collaborative practice of asking positive, open-ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials” (Bloom, J. L., Hutson, B. L., & He, Y. (2008). The Appreciative Advising Revolution. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing). This model has six phases.
- Disarm – Recognizing the importance of first impressions, create a safe, welcoming environment for students.
- Discover - Utilize positive open-ended questions to draw out what they enjoy doing, their strengths, and their passions. Listen to each answer carefully before asking the next positive question.
- Dream - Help students formulate a vision of what they might become, and then assist them in developing their life and career goals.
- Design – Help students devise concrete, incremental, and achievable goals
- Deliver – The students follows through on their plans. The advisor is there for them when they stumble, believing in them every step of the way and helping them continue to update and refine their dreams as they go.
- Don’t Settle – The advisor challenges the student to proactively raise the student’s internal bar of self- expectations.