How Can Intrusive Advising Help Adult Education?

In a survey of over 6,000 LARAEC students (spring 2022), 16% of our students reported that they met with a school counselor that year to discuss their goals and 14% said that they had received an education plan.  A 2018 National Report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement, outlines the importance and value of student advising in helping students set and attain goals, feel part of the campus community, and stay the course.
Quality advising programs can help with:
  • Raising aspirations and setting goals – Helping students make a plan for the future and showing them pathways they might not have considered.
  • Developing academic plans and registering for courses – Developing academic plans that work for student’s unique circumstances and helping them keep on track each semester.
  • Helping students help themselves – Connecting students with needed services and opportunities that will help them be successful.
  • Focusing on the big picture – Using information obtained from working with students to create school programs that help students persist and achieve outcomes.
The report suggests that advising needs to be more intrusive, equitable and holistic. Advisors need to:
  • Have in-depth conversations with students
  • Be intentional about avoiding bias by addressing each student’s challenges
Schools should consider if additional training and new processes need to be developed to allow for expanded advising. This report recognizes that it is challenging to find the time to conduct these types of meetings and that advisors often have large caseloads, but the benefits of holistic advising impact enrollment, persistence, completion, and transition rates. This report provides evidence of the connection between higher engagement and participation in advising.
The full report offers examples of advising programs utilized in many community colleges. Although this study focuses on the community college population, there are many elements that can support counseling programs in adult education settings. Both venues serve a growing number of non-traditional students that need more support to be successful.
Content condensed from:
Center for Community College Student Engagement (2018). Show me the Way: The Power of Advising in Community Colleges 2018 National Report. University of Texas at Austin, College of Education.
To read the full report click here

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