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Winners Announced in First University-Wide Academic Advising Awards Program

Old Dominion has announced four winners in the first university-wide academic advising awards program. All are graduates of ODU's new Master Advisor Certificate program, which was launched in spring 2010.

The winners are:

• New Advisor (less than three years) - Morgan Morrison, University College Success advisor to the College of Arts and Letters

• Advisor - Primary Role - Marena Hill-Bartos, site director, Richmond, Distance Learning

• Faculty Advisor - Jennifer Younkin, chief departmental advisor and lecturer in psychology, College of Sciences

• Advising Administrator - Kim Herbert, director, Advising Center, College of Sciences.

Each of the winners will be nominated for the Region 2 National Academic Advising Association's (NACADA) award program and awards programs at the national level in fall 2011. The award winners, as well as others who earned certificates in the summer and fall, will be recognized at a reception on campus Dec. 21.

ODU's academic advising awards program was developed under the leadership of the Office of Advising and Transfer Programs in University College and with the input from faculty advisors representing the academic colleges. The program is offered every semester and taught in an online format by Sandra Waters, assistant dean for advising and transfer programs in University College.

"The goal of any good academic advising program is to teach students how their interests, skills and values translate into establishing and achieving solid academic and career goals," said Waters. "We have a number of dedicated faculty and professional academic advisors who realize how instrumental all of this is to each student's success. These awards allow us to recognize their efforts."

Only those who successfully complete the Master Advisor Certificate program are eligible for nomination to the annual ODU Academic Advisor of the Year awards. To date, 40 faculty members, professional advisors, distance learning site directors, residence hall directors and graduate students have earned the certificate. A spring 2011 cohort will be offered, with the mostly online program running parallel to the academic calendar.

The eligibility criteria for the ODU awards program follow those of the regional and national NACADA awards, and include the following:

• Strong interpersonal skills

• Availability to advisees, faculty or staff

• Frequency of contact with advisees

• Appropriate referral activity

• Use and dissemination of appropriate information sources

• Evidence of student success rate, by advisor or department

• Caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, faculty and staff

• Meeting advisees in informal settings

• Participation in and support of appreciative advising to build strong relationships with advisees

• Monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals

• Mastery of institutional regulations, policies and procedures

• Ability to engage in, promote and support developmental advising

• Evidence that the advising program reflects the standards of good practice in the CAS Standards for Academic Advising

• Evidence of administering an academic advising program that supports NACADA's core values.

"Providing our students with a more holistic and caring approach through academic advising is our mission," Waters said.

The 2009-2014 ODU Strategic Plan calls for improvements in academic advising, Waters points out, and specifically identifies training as a mechanism for attaining measurable improvements. "By continuously improving our advising program across the institution through professional development opportunities such as the Master Advisor Certificate program and the newly formed Old Dominion Advising Network, we will continue to contribute to student success," she said.

The ODU Strategic Plan targets 100 percent participation by advisors in at least one training event annually by 2012-13.

For more information and to register for the Master Advisor Certificate program for spring 2011, visit the advising website at http://uc.odu.edu/advising/ or call Waters at 683-6485.

This article was posted on: December 9, 2010

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Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.