Advising and Recruitment…in 140 characters?! #tweetchat

There are a few of us on campus who are in advising roles but also serve as our academic unit’s recruitment contact.  You’ll see us running back and forth between our advising appointments and the SAS building for Admissions Update meetings or loading into 12 passenger vans with bags of swag and (for some of us) high heeled shoes that we rarely wear in our offices but bought because they look super cute with our scarlet and grey spirit gear that we don for the admitted student dessert receptions in Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

advisorrecruitment1 advisorrecruitment2

Kia McKinnie always provides some outtakes during the down time at these events. 

Most advisors, even if not officially recruiters for Ohio State or our Academic Units, also have the pleasure of appointments with prospective students and their families as they weigh their option to come to Ohio State vs. our in state and out of state competitors.  We answer questions about our programs, the different types of classes that a student might take and talk lots about the various curricular opportunities the student will have the privilege of experiencing in our majors.  We discuss the outcomes that our majors can provide in terms of graduate or professional school preparation and job marketability and we know our rankings inside and out.  We act as the navigator or connection between the strength of the academic programs and the opportunities at Ohio State and the hopes and dreams of those prospectives and their families. We help make the jumble of acronyms, the size of the institution and the ‘bigness’ of our degrees suddenly seem understandable, doable and even something to really be excited about starting.  This contact with our advising staff is often, I think, a key piece in getting the student to hit submit on that application.  Advisors are an important role in the recruitment process.

We don’t often talk about that though, do we?  In that 30-60 minute prospective student appointment we’re spending the whole time answering questions about our programs and talking about how awesome the opportunities at Ohio State are for each individual student that enrolls but we rarely talk about our role in helping the student actually put it all together.  We are a humble bunch right?  But we should talk about what we do and about what our role is. We should help the student understand that we are the constant that they’ll have throughout their four years here. No matter what population they fall into they will have an assigned academic advisor who is their link to the University. We should explain that we are the only staff that has direct responsibility for their academic life at the University. We should help them understand that we are not just course planners and schedulers or button pushers but that we are Outcomes Managers.  We are directly invested, wholeheartedly, in their academic success from the point that they push the apply button to when they toss their graduation cap into the air (that’s still allowed right?)  Isn’t that a selling point for Ohio State? That we have this team of dedicated professionals who chose a career in helping students find success no matter how bumpy the road? That we help create the web that helps prevent individual students from academically slipping through the cracks at a large institution?

I think it’s really starting to be.  Those few of us who have the dual roles have gotten to participate in more recruitment events specifically speaking about our roles in student success. Chris Adams, Jen Belisle, Dan DeMay, Whitney Weber and I did a break out session on “Who Is Your Advisor and What Do They Do” (Kindergarten Cop voice) at the last two Academic Open House visit days and were later asked to repeat the presentation for members of the University Communication Team.  Most recently, Chris and I got to participate in one of Undergraduate Admissions’ “TwitterChats”  Tweetchat? I am unsure of the verb tense appropriate for Twittering.

Undergraduate Admissions advertised:

A Live Twitter Chat with #OhioState Academic Advisors answering questions about what they do to help students navigate the Ohio State curriculum and become successful alumni.

And then on November 13th Chris and I spent a couple of hours trying to capture Advising’s Awesomeness and put it into 140 characters per tweet.  It was a great opportunity to talk about who advisors are and how we help students at Ohio State.   It was also stressful! Technology is not my friend but we survived with only slightly cramped thumbs from the tweeting.  You can read the transcript of the twitter chat at https://storify.com/futurebuckeyes/ohiostatechat  if you would like.  My favorite part of the experience was getting to answer question 11.  They sent us the questions in advance so we would have time to think a bit about our answers and how to encapsulate them in 140 characters and I realized there was no way that I could do justice to “What Does a Degree Mean” from the perspective of all advisors on campus so we made a video instead and used it as a way to introduce some of our outstanding advisors.   Make sure you check it out at go.osu.edu/WhatAnOSUDegreeMeans

I encourage you, the next time you have the opportunity with a prospective student and their family to take a minute to talk about what we do and what our part in the student’s life is.   Advising is important. Advisors are important.

~Danielle

A special thanks to Sarah Howard at the Newark Campus for the twitter advice! If you are looking into harnessing the power of Twitter in your advising role, she’s a great resource!!

 

 

NACADA REGION 5 and MORE!

Hello all! The NACADA Region 5 conference is just a short drive away in Indianapolis, Indiana! They are now accepting proposals for the conference and will be accepting them through January 2, 2015!  You can find more information at http://ilacada.org/?wysija-page=1&controller=email&action=view&email_id=98&wysijap=subscriptions&user_id=1545.  

Additionally the ACT.ORG Enrollment Planners conference is in Chicago this year and is also accepting proposals! They will be accepting proposals through December 19th, 2014.  You can find more information at http://www.act.org/epc/

Jen Belisle has a handy dandy rotating calendar of upcoming events so if you’re ever curious about what is “the haps” in advising you can find out at http://u.osu.edu/advisortraining/event-calendar/

 NACADA Region 5 has quite a few grants and scholarships that you can apply for for conference travel. Information is located at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Events-Programs/Events/Region-Conferences/Region-5.aspx

 

*Adding hyperlinks is not working for me for some reason today! I apologize for making you cut and paste!

 

Danielle

The New Kid In Town

We all work with a lot of students as they navigate their freshman year and try to deal with being the newbie on campus. For many of us, these are easy conversations to have with students because we have been there ourselves and can empathize with the struggles they face as they navigate a new campus and are experiencing things they haven’t been exposed to previously. I have found myself in the unique position as an advisor who works with mostly freshmen, while simultaneously experiencing many “firsts” of my own because this is also my freshman year at Ohio State.

Having been an advisor at another school for the last seven years, I’m not used to being the new guy on campus. Because I worked at the school I also attended as an undergrad, I started that job with a network of familiar faces on campus, knowledge of the school’s traditions and folklore, and a working knowledge of the undergrad curriculum I had just graduated from a few years prior. While I am excited about becoming a Buckeye, the ongoing process is an adjustment for somebody who was so invested somewhere else for so long.

So, for my other Buckeye advising newbies who may be out there, here are a few tips based on my own experience that have helped me thus far:

  • If coming from another school, resist the urge to start off a lot of sentences with “When I worked at [insert school here]…” This one took me a while to shake off, and I still catch myself once in a while wandering down Previous Policy Memory Lane. Things will operate differently here from where you have worked before. Our job as newbies is to take what we learned from previous experiences and learn how to adapt our transferrable skills to what we do at Ohio State. Be open to new ways of doing things, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how well a different approach works!
  • Get to know people outside of your office! I work in a great office. And I would still say that even if I didn’t think my coworkers were reading this. But Ohio State is a big place, and we all will work with other departments in some way or another. Through my coworkers, I got involved in ACADAOS, and have already met a lot of great people in different departments around campus. Getting to know other people and what they do is a great way to make a big campus feel a lot smaller.
  • Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Particularly if you’ve been in the advising game for a while, it may seem awkward to have to ask someone in your office about every little thing, especially if you are used to being the one giving advice. I’m learning that while universities carry out largely the same goals, they do so in very different ways. But just like you can’t walk into a gym for the first time and bench 300 pounds, it takes time to build the Ohio State advising muscles that will make all of this seem like second nature pretty quickly.
  • Learn about football. Because it’s everything here. I come from a basketball school, so this ritual in which people gather outdoors on the weekend to watch guys on a grass field is a foreign concept to me, but I’m learning!

Welcome to the NEW and IMPROVED ACADAOS!

Hello!

This is our very first ACADAOS blog post! We hope that you will use this website and the new Professional Development Incentive Plan as a way to connect to colleagues and find avenues to develop as professionals.  Our goal with the blog section of the website is that it will give those who have an interest in writing or publishing an outlet to be creative and share their research and thoughts.  If you are interested in being a guest writer, please submit your articles to Jackie von Spiegel (von-spiegel.2@osu.edu) or Jamie Paulson (paulson.38@osu.edu) for review and they will post them on the site.   For now I will leave you with my “top 10 reasons to be involved with ACADAOS”.

10.  Annual Dime-A-Dog night outing at the Columbus Clippers game!

9.  Being a part of ACADAOS means being a part of a community of advisors who want to advance our profession and the Ohio State Advising Community!

8.  Access to professional development funds and access to funding for student outreach initiatives!

7. Access to write for this blog!

6. Ability to have input on what kinds of professional development opportunities we offer every year!

5. Chance to be on the executive board or to be a committee member and help plan events and initiatives for colleagues!

4. Being “in the know” about what’s going on in advising on campus!

3. The new Professional Development Incentive program!

2. Seeing other advisors at ACADAOS events brings our advising community to life.  It gets us out of our silos and working collaboratively to create a better student experience!

and my #1 reason to join ACADAOS….

It can make your job more fun! We work together to fix the ‘lows’ and come together to celebrate the ‘highs’!  It is a great morale booster and positive experience!

 

To join ACADAOS please visit this link http://u.osu.edu/acadaos/join-acadaos/