Transforming the Community College Student Experience Through Comprehensive, Technology-mediated Advising

Journal Article: 

Navigating college is complicated. As Scott-Clayton (2011) points out, incoming community college students must choose whether to attend college full time or part time; consider an array of potential programs, majors, and transfer options; and choose from a long menu of courses. Qualitative evidence from community colleges suggests that the complexity of academic decision making results in student mistakes, such as graduating with “excess credits” or earning credits that do not transfer to a student’s chosen 4-year destination (Bailey, Jaggars, & Jenkins, 2015).

To help guide students through the landscape of program and course options, all colleges provide academic advising services; unfortunately, most community colleges can fund only one advisor for every 800 to 1,200 students (Karp, 2013). To provide the sustained, extensive, and personalized support that is necessary (Karp & Stacey, 2013), colleges would need to substantially increase their number of academic advisors. Given increasing enrollments and decreasing public allocations, community colleges need more cost-effective solutions.

In this chapter, we examine strategies to help transform academic advising to provide sustained, personalized support within the resource constraints faced by community colleges.