Advising Symposium

Register now for the 2021 Advising Symposium
January 21, 2021

9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

2nd Annual Shippensburg University Advising Symposium

Developmental Advising: Navigating Obstacles and Building Resiliency

The Advising Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, January 21st and will be held virtually this year from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register Here!



9:30 a.m. Welcome and Academic Advising Update

10:00 a.m. Keynote Address

  • Leveraging Advising to Build Student Resilience Dr. Michael Levinstein, Shippensburg University
    • Now more than ever, those in advising roles are charged with addressing student needs running the gamut from academic success to personal success, from college readiness to career readiness, and from mental health referrals to physical health referrals. One additional charge on the shoulders of advisors that aids in mitigating many of the challenges 21st century students face is catalyzing the building of resilience. This presentation aims to answer the following questions: What is resilience? How can resilience help students find success both academically and personally? And how can advising be leveraged as a tool to build resilience? and provides time for participants to discuss and wrestle with some of the strategies shared.

10:50 a.m. Concurrent Session One

  • Advising and Retention: The Relationship Between Academic Advising and Student Motivation on the Persistence of Freshman Exploratory Studies Students. Dr. Marlene Fares, Kutztown University
    • Academic advising is associated with increased student retention and academic success. I will present a mixed-methods study I conducted a year ago in the Spring semester of 2019 which investigated the student-advisor relationship and locus of control as a students’ success along with the influence of the advising relationship with Exploratory Studies (Undeclared) students and their locus of control as it impacts their overall retention and persistence. The research was guided by the theoretical framework of Tinto's (1975) model of student departure and Astin's (1985) theory of student involvement. The results of the study suggested that both the academic advising experience with relationship to Exploratory Studies students’ motivation, impacts their persistence beyond their first year in college. The students' experiences and involvement, specifically in their first year of college, influence their persistence or departure as a reflection of their success or failure. Student engagement is a variable in student retention and therefore student's interaction with their academic advisor results in the probability of first-year persistence for Exploratory Studies students. I will share the instruments used and well as the data collection and analysis of the study.

  • Respecting the Past, Living in the Present, and Planning for the Future  Drs. Dorlisa Minnick and Sam Benbow, Shippensburg University Department Social Work and Gerontology
    • The relationship between the college student and their academic advisor is one that requires an intentional, long-term developmental process over an extended period when possible. This session will discuss the Focused-Five Essential Academic Advising Activities (5) which are supported by the studies of DeLa Rosby (2015), Thomas & McFarlane (2018), and Zhang, Gossett, Simpson, and Davis (2019). These activities include but not limited to (1) clearly defining the purpose of the working relationship (2) co-developing realistic educational and personal goals (3) developing a course load that aligns to the student’s academic and personal goals (4) communicating throughout the semester, extending beyond course selection, and (5) starting with the end goal of graduation in mind. This workshop will share case examples of using the Focused-Five Essential Academic Advising Activities in a manner that when implemented effectively meet the student’s academic and personal goals. In this session, participants will apply the Focused-Five Essential Academic Advising Activities through the use of breakout rooms. Participants will also use university student engagement tools for this session, which include the advising checklist, goal planning worksheet, Degree Audit, and the Student Success Collaborative. Then, presenters will facilitate a large group discussion on common themes discussed in the breakout rooms.

11:40 a.m. Concurrent Session Two

  • The ABCs of SSC: SSC Navigate as a Tool for Advising. Dr. Michael Levinstein, Shippensburg University
    • SSC Navigate is a student success platform with many, many features. So many features that it can be overwhelming and sometimes counter-intuitive. Which are the best tools for advising and how do we use them? In this session we'll learn how to navigate the student profile pages to view enrollment records, generate lists of students to better understand our caseloads, leverage analytics to identify advising need, create appointment campaigns, and more all to transition from a position of reactive advising to proactive advising.   

  • Advising for Growth From Failure Dr. Lynn Baynum, Shippensburg University
    • We expect that when students arrive on campus they are "college ready" and capable of achieving academic and personal success within weeks. The expectation that students will earn top grades, let alone pass high-stakes assessments by the time they meet with their faculty advisor to plan for the subsequent semester isn't necessarily in line with how people naturally learn, according to research (Josh Eyler, How Humans Learn, 2018). In this session, participants will explore these research findings and collaborate to identify “opportunities for failure” and leverage these failures to maximize learning through one-on-one advising.

1:00 p.m.     Concurrent Session Three

  • How Career Can Help Close the Loop in Advising Victoria Kerr, Tracy Montoro, and Alix Rouby, Shippensburg University
    • Integrating career and academic advising, is a great way for advisors to help better assist students in becoming "career ready." Let’s  understand the similarities and differences between academic and career advising as well as learn/obtain additional resources to support students in the career planning process. Participants  will explore strategies for how they can tailor students' academic journeys to potential career outcomes, while also gaining tips on how to begin developing relationships with industry employers and internship providers.

  • Advising: How Do You Measure Success? Dr. Chad Bennett and Dr. Rebecca Harris, Shippensburg University
    • Academic advisors play a critical role in supporting students and their success. The information they provide aids students to successfully navigate the institution. The encouragement they provide assists students to feel cared for and connected to the institution. Their ability to engage in problem-solving and the removal of barriers can positively impact a student’s decision to stay at the university, and can play an instrumental role in a student’s pathway to/through a program of study. Advisors must possess the requisite knowledge and skills to positively impact their students. However, trying to quantify the value of advisors through measuring the number of students assisted or the rate at which freshman are retained will not adequately reflect advisor performance. Accountability can be assessed qualitatively by evaluating the quality of advising sessions and the value that each advisor brings to the institution. By reviewing student-advisor correspondence, observing advising sessions, assessing the advisor’s knowledge-base, and considering student and peer feedback, we can more successfully assess advisor performance and set standards to which advisors can be held accountable, and reap the benefits for promoting an effective advising process. The presentation will address various ways in which to measure successful advising and how to document and evaluate quality advising.  Participants should leave the session with new strategies to enhance the level of assessing advising performance.

1:50 p.m.     Concurrent Session Four

  • Advising for Financial Aid Success Kara Connors, Shippensburg University
    • Securing and maintaining Federal and University financial aid is a critical aspect to a student's academic success and continued enrollment. Oftentimes what appears to be an effective advising strategy, whether course repeats, taking summer courses, or a low credit load to accommodate a work schedule, could negatively impact the student's aid package. In this session, participants will learn the basic information that advisors need to know, strategies to keep students eligible or prevent ineligibility, where on the website/MyShip to find forms or more information, various aid deadlines, and several trends the financial aid office is seeing that better advising can mitigate.

  • Narrow It Down!: A Flipped Advising Approach to Finding a Major  Dr. Courtney Lloyd, West Chester University
    • The Exploratory Studies Advising Center (EXPS) at West Chester University empowers undecided/uncleared students to learn more about their interest and to carefully evaluate their options when making decisions about a major. It is important for first-year students to begin narrowing down their majors of interest by taking the time to research and explore what they think they will enjoy learning. EXPS created five online modules to help students in this process by asking students to learn more about their interest, values, personality, and skills, and begin to learn how it relates to majors and career options. From there, students learn how to navigate the course catalog to begin comparing course requirements for majors. The last module requires students to indicate the one to three majors they are interested in exploring, as well as the major related and general education courses they think are appropriate to complete in the next semester. This tool not only helps students learn how to interpret an advising guide, but it also helps the advisor be able to steer the advising conversation around the students’ majors of interest.  The completed online modules allows the advisor to have information about the advisees before the advising meeting begins, and now the advisor is able to ask probing questions about why the student chose those majors to explore. 

2:40 p.m.    Wrapping it All Up Chat and Q&A


For more information, please contact Dr. Michael Levinstein at


Register Here!