Date of Award
Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Education
Center for the Advancement of Education
The purposes of this project were to identify the procedures and processes that affect the advising relationship and retention at West Coast Christian College, to discover what is being done to enhance academic advising in other postsecondary institutions that have similar organizational features to West Coast Christian College, and to devise directives to improve academic advising and enhance retention at West Coast Christian College. Answers were sought through five research questions to provide information about strengths and weaknesses of the existing advising program at West Coast Christian College: the student and advisor perception of academic advising at the College, the factors that influence the choice of academic advising delivery services in private colleges with similar organizational features to West Coast Christian College, the interpersonal and informational skills that the advisor can use to improve academic advising and enhance retention, and the successful advising strategies used in other colleges that can be useful to West Coast Christian College. The procedures utilized for this project included a review of relevant literature to ascertain strategies for improving academic advising and enhancing student retention. Complementary data were gathered from the use of the Academic Advising Survey mailed to presidents of thirty private colleges to ascertain their delivery of advising services. Data were also obtained from the use of the Student Perception of Academic Advising survey administered to eighty students in attendance at a chapel assembly at West Coast Christian College, the Advisor Survey Perception Inventory administered to fourteen faculty members responsible for academic advising at the College, and the Nonreturning Student Perception of Academic Advising Survey mailed to ninety-two nonreturning students who attended the College for the period of the Spring 1988 semester through the Spring 1990 semester. Additional information was obtained from meetings attended at the 1S90 ACT Summer Institute on Academic Advising. Since the investigation of this project reveals that West Coast Christian College needs to improve the delivery of academic advising and to enhance student retention, it was concluded that advisor training is essential. It was also concluded that academic advising, properly delivered, can be a powerful educational influence for improving the ability of education experienced by students. As a result of the findings of the MARP, an adviser development program was created for devising directives to improve academic advising and to enhance retention at West Coast Christian College. Recommendations were made to supplement the present advising delivery system with other delivery systems, to establish a reward system for advisors, to develop an advising manual, and to provide helpful resources for advising minority and international students. It was further recommended that in order to enhance student retention the College should consider the following: (1) creating maximum opportunities for students to interact with advisors, (2) regularly addressing the social, personal, and spiritual needs of students, (3) involving students more frequently in cultural, social, and recreational programs, (4) providing students with opportunities to develop academic skills and career planning assistance, and (5) involving students in work-study related with other forms of financial aid.