When a student, with knowledgeable assistance, creates a road map — one that shows where he or she is headed, what academic path to follow, and how long it will take to reach the end goal— that student has a critical tool for staying on track. Students are more likely to persist if they not only are advised about what courses to take, but also are helped to set academic goals and to create a plan for achieving them.
The following five items constitute this benchmark:
Thinking about your experiences from the time of your decision to attend this college through the end of the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter, respond to each item (using a five-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree):
- I was able to meet with an academic advisor at times convenient for me (18d)
- An advisor helped me to select a course of study, program, or major (18e)
- An advisor helped me to set academic goals and to create a plan for achieving them (18f)
- An advisor helped me to identify the courses I needed to take during my first semester/quarter (18g)
- A college staff member talked with me about my commitments outside of school (work, children, dependents, etc.) to help me figure out how many courses to take (18h)
Key Findings: Clear Academic Plan and Pathway
The majority of entering students report that they had contact with an advisor, but a smaller percentage say they had help setting academic goals and developing plans.
- Close to two-thirds (65%) of entering student respondents agree or strongly agree that they were able to meet with an academic advisor at times convenient for them.
- Seven in 10 (74%) agree or strongly agree that an advisor helped them identify the courses they needed to take during their first semester/quarter.
- Six in 10 (64%) agree or strongly agree that an advisor helped them select a course of study, program, or major.
- Twenty-six percent disagree or strongly disagree that an advisor helped them set academic goals and create a plan for achieving them.
- Almost half (42%) disagree or strongly disagree that a college staff member talked with them about their commitments outside of school to help them figure out how many courses to take.