Professional Development/Scholarly Contributions
Professional development is an investment in your
career that can hone your skills, prevent burn-out, enrich your
work, and make your job more interesting while increasing your value
to your institution. Try it – you’ll like it – and you’ll like it
even more if you do it with a friend or colleague!
Scholarly contributions are “passing forward” the expertise you have gained from your professional development. Even if you are new to advising, you can help others by sharing your experience and what you have observed/learned, by creating helpful advising materials, or by pointing out new ways to connect to students. Ideally, professional development leads to scholarly contributions that provide professional development, in a continual cycle of enriching our work with students.
Professional Organizations: Membership
Pros: Membership is good; active membership is better. Membership offers connections to
- current information, trends, ideas, and best practices;
- professional resources and materials;
- subscription to a journal;
- opportunities for networking and collaboration;
- opportunities to publish; and
- opportunities for service.
Cons: Membership typically costs at least a nominal fee and active membership requires time.
--National Academic Advising Association, or NACADA, is the premier professional organization for advisors and offers numerous resources – check out their website!
--A national association in your area of specialization (Business, Social Work, Student Services/Affairs, Health Professions, First Year Experience, Student Athletes, etc.)
Workshops, Webcasts, Colloquia, and Other Informational Sessions
Pros: Workshops offer information on specific topics such as assessment, transfer students, advising syllabi, etc. Investment in time and money is usually minimal, and they are offered by a great variety of organizations on a great variety of topics. Workshops are a fast, easy way to pick up specialized information.
Cons: You have to be diligent or “in the loop” to hear about them.
Look for these:
--Center for Instructional Support workshops
--NACADA Advising Webcasts (series of 6-7 sessions offered between September and May)
Courses, Certificates, Degrees
Pros: Formal education offers high value.
Cons: These options take considerable investment of time and money.
--Kansas State University’s Certificate in Academic Advising (see NACADA website)
Professional Organizations: Conferences
Pros: Attending conferences is good; presenting at conferences is better. Conferences offer everything membership does, plus:
- opportunities to present; and
- even more opportunities for service.
Cons: Local conferences are inexpensive and require little investment; regional and national conferences typically require a significant investment of both time and money.
Try some of these:
--UHM’s Council of Academic Advisors, or CAA (Summer Conference)
--UH’s System Academic Advising and Transfer Network, or AATN (Fall Conference)
--National Academic Advising Association, or NACADA (Fall Conference plus Summer and Winter Institutes)
--NACADA Region 9 (Spring Conference)
--A national association in your area of specialization
Pros: Because publishing requires a lot of time and effort, it is highly valued and considered a significant contribution.
Cons: Publishing takes a lot of time, and the larger the project, the more time it takes – share the joy by collaborating!
To get started, consider:
--NACADA Book Reviews
--NACADA Clearinghouse articles
--Creating and maintaining a website
--Summarizing a conference presentation
--Compiling a bibliography of resources
--Conducting and then summarizing a survey
--Summarizing, assessing, and evaluating a project or departmental initiative
--Researching and then summarizing an area of interest
last updated 6/22/11