A Case Study Analysis of Academic Advisors’ Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Intrusive Advising
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Background. This study examines how and why intrusive advising programs function from the perspective of academic advisors who utilize the intrusive style of advising with community college students entering into college for the first time. Purpose. Specifically, this study seeks to better understand benefits and challenges of intrusive advising as reported by academic advisors and build a more cohesive understanding of academic advisor perceptions and attitudes towards intrusive advising. Methods. Using qualitative inquiry (Carspecken, 1996) within a case study structure (Yin, 2009), a thematic analysis was conducted through interviews with twelve academic advisors at a community college in Texas. Like responses were grouped into low level codes, which were then further grouped into high level codes, followed by the establishment of specific themes which broadly define the findings from the interview analysis. Findings. Three key themes emerged from the thematic analysis: a discussion on the beneficial aspects of the IAP, programmatic challenges reported by advisors within the IAP, and challenges student face as it relates to the IAP. The beneficial aspects of intrusive advising programs were identified as requiring student participation in academic advising, building rapport through assigned advisors, constructing a comprehensive academic plan, delivering individualized support, and employing group advising sessions. Programmatically, challenges include managing caseload size of academic advisors, constructing adequate professional development opportunities, and maintaining consistent engagement with academic planning resources. Student-related challenges were identified as engaging with technology, a need for enhanced advising during the enrollment period, overcoming the negative connotation of mandatory advising, and managing the advisor/advisee mismatch. Conclusion. Overall, the results of this study suggest that employing an intrusive advising program that is designed for first-time-in-college students within a community college setting is beneficial towards supporting students with successfully orienting to the college environment.