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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

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Advising Success Network

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is pleased to be a core partner in the Advising Success Network (ASN), a grant-funded initiative aimed to elevate advising as a priority, improve advising practice, and ensure success for all students, particularly low-income students and students of color.

Advising Success Network

The Advising Success Network is a dynamic network of five organizations who are partnering to support educational change and improved student outcomes through a holistic approach to addressing operational, programmatic, technological, and research needs of colleges and universities in direct support of a more equitable student experience.

Learn more about the Advising Success Network


A Call for Submissions: Career Advising as a Tool for Student Success and Educational Equity

As a part of our thought leadership on this grant, The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition invites you to share high-impact advising initiatives designed for equity. The Network defines equity as centering the lived experiences, talents, and aspirations of students from low-income backgrounds, as well as Black, Latinx, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander students. The pursuit of equity is fundamental to the Advising Success Network’s mission and through this call, we aim to provide examples to the field at large to help institutions better understand and support their students from a wide range of backgrounds and identities through career advising. 

The advisor-advisee relationship traditionally supports students as they identify and attain their academic, career, and personal goals. At the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, we expand the consideration of advising to include advising as a student-centered process which assists students in making intentional connections, creating coherence out of the disparate parts of the curriculum, reflecting on the similarities and differences among ways of knowing and how they complement each other. Effective advisors build trusting relationships with advisees to help them recognize and accept responsibility as active participants in their educational and professional journeys (Fox & Martin, 2017).

As tuition continues to rise and public funding for higher education diminishes, the value and cost of attending college have been placed under a microscope. Career opportunity after graduation remains one of the top concerns of today’s college students (Lynch & Lungrin, 2018). Therefore, it is important that institutions have a defined set of student learning outcomes for career advising that go beyond just looking at graduation statistics. Robbins and Zarges (2011) suggest that assessment be connected to the values and vision of the institution as well as to the mission of advising at the institution. Not to mention, clearly defining measures of success. Career readiness is defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as “the attainment and demonstration of competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace” (n.d., para 3). Because employment opportunities remain a primary objective for students attending college, addressing career readiness needs to become a goal of campus advising units (Lynch & Lungrin, 2018). 

Furthermore, graduation and job placement rates at institutions of higher education are often reported yet ‘in the shadows’ due to varying degrees of institutional success and inequities. According to Acker (2006), inequity regimes are invisible systems and structures compromising practice, beliefs, and values that reward ways of being that exist. Equity starts from within an institution or organization, as much as it creates outcomes to seek equitable career-based advising practices (Bates, 2020). Some argue the data will show the needle has not moved at most Predominantly White Institutions (PWI) or corporate organizations. While they put forth statements, form committees, and hire staff, most organizations may look diverse in appearance but are intrinsically homogenous (Bates, 2020). Organizations hire the same profile of people, based on one’s pedigree, background, or the old saying, “it’s who you know”. To start dismantling fit requires asking questions such as, how do we as an organization define diversity? How do we as an organization define inclusion? And how do we as an organization define equity? O’Banion (1994) states for real change to occur in educational institutions - change that will expand and increase opportunities for students - systematic change is required. Advisors have an important role in supporting and facilitating students’ career and academic planning and development given their position to contribute to students’ making courageous choices, both academic and career choices (Hughey, 2009).

The scope of career advising extends from helping students access career information to the teaching of a career-planning course for academic credit, mentorship, and beyond. Several areas on campus may be involved in providing a comprehensive career-counseling and information service to students such as advising and counseling services, the career-planning and placement centers on campus, or the library system. Therefore, integrating academic and career information is an important part of the advisement process. This volume on Career Advising as a Tool for Student Success and Educational Equity is the second of a three-part series of case studies concerned with demonstrating innovation, institutional transformation, and advising initiatives focused on advancing equity. Cases are sought from a variety of institutions (e.g., public and private; two-year and four-year; liberal arts, HBCU, Tribal, HSI) and representing a range of advising structures. Preference will be given to cases supported by high-quality assessment. Both pilot programs and established programs on the campus will be useful in the expansion of resources and promising practices for the field. Other considerations in selecting cases for publication include evidence of cross-functional collaboration in the design and delivery of advising and of innovative approaches to student support which position equity at the center.

Submissions will be accepted via the Career Advising Case Studies project site no later than May 28, 2021. Only complete submissions, adhering to the guidelines, will be considered for publication. If you have questions about the publication, the guidelines, or the appropriateness of your initiative, please do not hesitate to contact Chelsea Fountain, Program Coordinator for the Advising Success Network at (803) 777-8773 or

Case studies featuring academic advising initiatives should be approximately 2,000 words, excluding tables and figures, and follow the suggested template:

  1. Description of career advising initiative and its connection to institutional objectives for equity (approximately 850 words)
  2. Institutional Profile (approximately 150 words)
  3. Assessment Methods & Design (approximately 250 words)
  4. Assessment Findings (approximately 500 words)
  5. Implications for Practice (approximately 250 words)

Details on what should be included in each section follow.

I. Institutional Profile (approximately 150 words)
In this section, please include a narrative containing the following information:

  • Full name of institution and city/state where it is located
  • Institution type (two-year/four-year)
  • Institution control (public/private/proprietary)
  • Percentage of commuter students and/or live on-campus
  • Number of FTE undergraduate students
  • Institutional graduation rate
  • Institutional job/career placement rate
  • Undergraduate student demographic information including gender balance, % of students over age 25, racial/ethnic makeup (please be sure to provide details about % of each race/ethnicity) and the % of students who are first-generation (please be sure to include how you define first-generation students) as well as the percentage of Pell grant-receiving students.

II. Description of career advising initiative and its connection to institutional objectives for equity (approximately 850 words)
In this section please include:

  • Title of program
  • Length of time offered at your institution
  • Connection of the program/initiative to larger institutional objectives for equity and/or low-income, first-gen, and/or students of color
  • Major goals/objectives of the program (e.g. is it targeted at specific populations or directed at specific transition points or a holistic student support approach)
  • Administrative home and descriptions of cross-functional or interdepartmental partnerships
  • Program specifics (e.g., what are the program elements)

III. Assessment Methods/Design (approximately 250 words)
We encourage submissions of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method assessment. In this section, please include a concise description of the:

  • Assessment objective(s)/question(s)
  • Assessment design (e.g., sample selection, data collection method(s), type(s) of analysis)

IV. Assessment Findings (approximately 500 words)
In this section, please include:

  • Outcomes (e.g., retention, academic skills, engagement, use of services, student/faculty interaction, social integration, GPA, satisfaction with institution)
  • If research is quantitative, highlight statistical data with significant findings. A limited number of tables and figures can be included to illustrate findings.
  • If research is qualitative, describe major themes illustrated by selected quotes, document excerpts, observational records, and/or other relevant data.

V. Implications for Practice (approximately 250 words)
In this section, describe how the program builds on the institutional objectives for increased equity and the advancement of career advising.

Case study proposals can be submitted online via the Career Advising Case Studies project site by no later than May 28, 2021.

Submissions are reviewed by members of the National Resource Center staff and external reviewers. Submission review will be completed no later than June 7, 2021. The National Resource Center requests that any work submitted for consideration not be submitted to another publisher while it is being reviewed.

Upon acceptance of the case study, the National Resource Center will enter a publication agreement with the author(s). Anticipated publication date for this volume is November 30, 2021.

Unless specifically designated by a grant or contract, the University of South Carolina holds the copyright for all publications produced by the National Resource Center, including those produced with federal funds.

For more information, please contact:
Chelsea Fountain
Program Coordinator of the Advising Success Network
National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
Phone: 803-777-8773

Brown, S. D. (2014). Career development and counseling: putting theory and research to work. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Gordon, V. N. (2007). The Undecided College Student: An Academic and Career Advising Challenge: Vol. 3rd ed. Charles C Thomas.

Hughey, K. F. (2009). The handbook of career advising. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ledwith, K. E. (2014). Academic Advising and Career Services: A Collaborative Approach. New Directions for Student Services, 2014(148), 49–63. doi: 10.1002/ss.20108

Lynch, J., & Lungrin, T. (2018). Integrating Academic and Career Advising toward Student Success. New Directions for Higher Education, 2018(184), 69–79. doi: 10.1002/he.20304

O'Banion, T. (1994).  An academic advising model. NACADA Journal, 14(2), 10-16.

Robbins, R., & Zarges, K. (2011). Assessment of academic advising. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from

Strange, C., & Gordon, V. N. (1986). The Undecided College Student: An Academic and Career Advising Challenge. The Journal of Higher Education, 57(1), 113. doi: 10.2307/1981472 2020 “Dismantling fit” article by Dr. Tierney Bates @ UNC:


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