Mandatory Advising

Advising of students presents the best opportunity outside of the classroom to teach students how to begin, navigate, and succeed in college. Advising places the student on a track with direct and clear goals of completion and success, all within reach. We view advising as teaching students but outside instead of inside the classroom. McLennan has chosen to make advising mandatory. This requires more of the McLennan community than in the past, setting the expectation higher for the college. In this, we role-model a higher bar for our students. Mandatory advising means that advisors engage with new students on a regular basis and that the process becomes relational, not an imposition. McLennan’s commitment to mandatory advising, beginning in the ’15-’16 academic year, has resulted in the students embracing the new system with few complaints. Even prior to aligning policy to require advising for all students, the actual number of students who voluntarily showed up for advising exceeded our expectations and alleviated some concerns that students would view advising as a barrier to success.  With the practice and policy in place, new incoming students should view mandatory advising as part of the culture of success at McLennan, and we have no reason to expect a negative impact. Advising has become the relationship to introduce and develop expectations and appropriate academic plans for McLennan.

Data from 2014 and 2015 cohorts show that Fall to Fall retention went from 56% to 64% of all students.  While we cannot absolutely attribute this increase in retention to mandatory advising, we feel it safe to assume that this change kept students on their academic pathways and played a great part in retaining them.

ID 16501

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