Friday, February 4, 2011

Guiding new professionals

I had the opportunity to chat with Lisa, Morgan and Cat about their upcoming pre-conference and conference session Looking Forward: From Graduate Student to First-Year Advisor. After learning more about the conference-long experience they have planned, I have to say, I’m pretty excited about what they hope graduate students will gain from the experience.

If I tweeted you, “I see you’re doing a session at #nacadaR2. Cool! What’s it about?” how would you reply via Twitter?
Advising 4 newbies! A crash course in theory, roles, caseloads, skills & more! Discussions, case studies & action plans to help guide thru the conference & beyond!
Why did you decide to do a presentation on this topic?
Two of us (Cat & Morgan) attended several NACADA conferences as graduate students and felt there was a need for sessions on preparing graduate students for a career in advising and how to make the most of the conference experience. We hope this presentation will provide graduate students with more structure during the conference leading to a better overall conference experience. We presented a similar session at the NACADA annual conference in Orlando and received a lot of positive feedback. Also, we think it fits in with Region 2’s mentoring program . Our region is committed to the success of emerging professionals and graduate students and desires to have more graduate students participate in the conference and NACADA in general. We hope this will help with that.
Why do you think your topic is important to Region 2?
When you look at how many institutions of higher education we have in the region, there is a lot of potential growth for new advising professionals. And as we said earlier, this session directly supports the mission of the Region 2 mentoring program and to actually have a training session at a conference is pretty cool, we think.
What’s the most important idea you hope attendees leave your session with?
We hope they [the attendees] can walk away with an action plan, a big semester-by-semester plan on what their next steps should be. We’d love it if they came back from the conference and talked about it with their peers like they do the NASPA and ACPA conferences.
What are you most looking forward to about the conference?
Networking and meeting more people in our region. At the annual conference in Orlando, we tried to get away from our own region’s programming to see what the rest of the country was up to so we’re looking forward to learning more about what’s going on in our region.

Session Title: Looking Forward: From Graduate Student to First-Year Advisor
Day & Time: Wednesday, April 6, 1:00 to 5:00 PM (PC4)
Abstract: How can graduate students prepare for their first advising position? In this group discussion-heavy program, topics will include advising opportunities in graduate school, the many specialties of advising and making the most of your first year as a professional advisor. Ideal for graduate students or brand new advisors, this three part series will begin with a pre-conference workshop and will follow with two concurrent sessions during Thursday and Friday. The pre-conference workshop will familiarize individuals with advising, discuss utilizing graduate school to prepare for a successful first year advising, and create a plan to use the NACADA conference as a professional development experience. Two follow-up sessions during the conference will provide a conference-long opportunity for discussion and reflection, guiding participants in developing action plans for future professional growth.
A promotional flyer is available to share with any graduate students who may be interested.

Lisa Hall is the Coordinator for Transfer Advising and Articulation in University College at Old Dominion University. She’s been an active member of the advising community for almost 10 years. You can reach her at

Morgan Morrison is a Student Success Advisor for the College of Arts & Letters at Old Dominion University. She’s been an active member of the advising community for 3 years. You can reach her at

Catherine Butler is a College Advisor for Health Science Advising Center at Old Dominion University. She’s been an active member of the advising community for almost 1 year. You can reach her at

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