Spring break is over, and priority registration has begun! For many of us, this means student walk-ins, as well as appointments, and a focus on the near-term academic and personal goals of students.
At such a time, I find it useful to take a step back from the hectic pace and reflect on what advising is, and what it is for. Researchers and writers have argued for decades now about the definition of academic advising. Is it teaching? Applied student development? What metaphor best captures the essence of what advising is, and what it is supposed to do?
As Josh Smith, current NACADA President, suggested at last year’s NACADA Annual Conference in Nashville, advising has arrived. It’s time to rethink advising as advising. This suggests research – and NACADA has sponsored research grants on the impact of advising, as well as its context, for a number of years. If advising is advising, then, how do we define it?
Exploring NACADA’s research-related website is a great place to start: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Research-Related.aspx
. In addition to the NACADA Journal, the organization hosts a blog on research, as well as the aforementioned grant program, research symposia, and a listserv. You can even view details of previous grant recipients.
I am very much looking forward to the answers to that question. NACADA’s grant opportunities are a great way to contribute to the scholarship in academic advising. Recently I submitted a grant for consideration. Here are some tips I picked up along the way:
Start early! The NACADA grant process prefers those with IRB approval, so if your work involves human subjects, start that work well ahead of time.
- Keep track of page numbers – there are strict limitations on the space available for each area in a grant proposal. Better to know them early and be able to craft an effective, short proposal.
- Know your audience. Reviewers are the research committee; questions can be addressed to Dr. Wendy Troxel at Illinois State University. Reach out to her if you are stuck.
- Tie the proposal to the NACADA research agenda : http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/NACADA-research-agenda.aspx. Research should address one or more of these key areas.
NACADA President Josh Smith has thrown down the challenge. I am more than confident that the talent we have on the IUPUI and IUPUC campuses is more than enough to make solid contributions to our profession.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on how we can strengthen JACADA and move advising forward at IUPUI. Contact me any time at email@example.com