ILACADA 2015: Concurrent Session III – 1:30 – 2:30 PM

“I Remember That From Summer Orientation!”: Improving Retention of Information Through Active Engagement
Brad Mehrtens, Tonya Swink, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

When students are inundated with information during summer orientation and registration, how much do they retain? Probably not as much as we hope they do. As educational practices and individual advising transition towards more active experiences, summer orientation can follow. This presentation, appropriate for any institution with face-to-face orientation sessions, will demonstrate various active learning techniques used during daily discipline-specific summer orientation meetings. Audience members will participate in activity simulations and leave with practical ideas ready for immediate implementation in their own summer orientation sessions, workshops, or other types of events where engagement and recollection are desired outcomes.

Transferology – An Innovative Resource for Transfer Advising
Dena Lawrence, Chad Cross, MyCreditsTransfer

MyCreditsTransfer is a statewide initiative designed to facilitate transfer within Illinois using the nationally available tool, Transferology®. Transferology is an innovative resource available to all advisors and students to help make college transfer easier. Transferology offers a one-stop source for transfer articulation information in Illinois and beyond, along with information on degree programs available at participating institutions. Recent upgrades to Transferology have added valuable enhancements. The session will provide an excellent overview & demonstration of Transferology with a Q/A session.

The Identity Wheel: Dimensions of Diversity
Blane Harding, Keynote Speaker

This will be a two part presentation – The demographics of society are rapidly changing and multiculturalism and social justice are central to these changes. When we as individuals and institutions discuss these changes we tend to emphasize the external identities of others. These identities may include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientations, gender, and a wide range of other socially constructed concepts. This workshop will allow participants to not only look at their social identity but even more critical is their internal concepts of their personal identity. The objective is to move from being culturally aware to culturally competent so we begin to understand the role our individual identities play in building relationships with others. There will be a series of activities that will allow each individual to gauge their own cultural competency.

Sharing Your Innovation!
Stuart Robinson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Advisors are often experts in ways they don’t fully appreciate. As benchmarking against the policies and procedures at other institutions becomes increasingly necessary in providing effective student services, it is important that advisors be willing to share their expertise. This presentation will demystify elements of a typical conference proposal, and encourage advisors to consider information, policies, and procedures they can share with other institutions. This session will offer time for groups of advisors to network and brainstorm possible presentation topics, and briefly address ways in which presenting at a conference can be instrumental in one’s own professional development.

Writing Letters of Recommendation
David Schug, Richelle Bernazzoli, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

As advisors, we are constantly investing in students to help them get to the next step in their academic and career goals. One of the more tangible ways we are asked to do this is in writing letters of recommendation. Yet, there is little guidance or training offered to academic advisors to assist in this important area. Writing is not easy. We will discuss various strategies to use when thinking about, compiling, and writing recommendation letters. As advisors, we are asked to summarize a candidate’s credentials, add some value to the rest of their application packet, and place them in the context of our institution, their academic studies, and their background. In our presentation, we plan to share both holistic and practical pieces of advice on crafting letters of recommendation. Then, we will break the session into small groups to review and discuss real (redacted) letters of recommendation. We hope to incite critical discussions regarding positives and negatives of each sample letter, things to avoid, and ideas to emulate. We also seek to foster a small group atmosphere where participants share their own strategies and broader philosophies regarding writing on behalf of students.

Revolutionizing How Advising is Done: A One Stop Advising Shop
Kenya Truman, Mychele Martin, Chamberlain College of Nursing

Wouldn’t the advising world be a better place if advisors could advise students holistically? At Chamberlain College of Nursing our Student Service Advisors (SSAs) advise students on academics and financial aid. We eliminate “the shuffle” between departments by having one advisor responsible for both advising functions. With limited resources and an increased focus on retention, an integrated model may be a great concept to consider. During this session, we will discuss how the SSA Model works, the organizational and student benefits and how focusing on “care-centered service” will assist you with reaching your institutional retention goals. Attendees will discover an integrated approach that is effective, efficient and successful!