This repeat business client once again gained another job interview in the Tertiary sector in Victoria; this time it was for the role of Student Development Advisor. A total of seven criteria needed to be addressed for this application; following are full excerpts of two of the criteria.
Knowledge of current theory and practice of, and experience in applying a developmental approach to student advising.
The practice and profession of student advising adopts and uses a number of theories from education and the social sciences, which includes student development, cognitive development, career development, learning, decision-making, multiculturalism, retention, personality, moral development, and adult development; as well as incorporating sociological, organisational, psychosocial, and person-environment interaction theories. In order to cater to an ever-changing, expanding and diverse student population, good practice in advising would benefit from understanding and applying identity development-related theories associated with race, class, gender, sexuality, and special populations. Other more contemporary theoretical models to student advising include the learning-centred paradigm which places the teaching aspect of academic advising at the forefront; and a model called strength-based advising which researchers believe is beneficial in meeting the needs of today’s diverse range of students over traditional advising methods.
When I deal with ‘at-risk’ students I use the ‘intrusive advising’ model which is an action-oriented model, motivating students to seek help when needed. Since many are under-prepared first-year students who are unlikely to seek academic and personal assistance of their own volition, I have found this model to be highly effective in helping these students to succeed. As the first point of contact for these students – very often requiring a direct response to identified academic crisis – I utilise the qualities of prescriptive advising (expertise, awareness of student needs, structured programs) and developmental advising (relationship to a student’s total needs). Overall, I have played an important role in helping at-risk students to attain academic success, largely attributable to applying the most appropriate evidence-based theoretical model factoring in students’ specific circumstances.
Negotiation and advocacy skills with a demonstrable understanding of the academic and personal issues facing students.
In my current role at XYC College, I provide advocacy and support (academic and personal) to students with individual concerns and grievances, which also involves conferring with academic and administrative staff throughout the process. I prepare students for their academic hearing with the Academic Progress Committee (APC) in relation to academic discipline, appeals and exclusion. On a daily basis, I coordinate and manage each case to its most appropriate outcome. I advocate on behalf of students facing formal academic and personal issues and ensure they have access to effective and appropriate means of resolution.
I am presently managing concurrent cases involving 12 APC students who are considered ‘at risk’. I liaise and negotiate on their behalf with individual tutors, unit leaders and academic managers to protect their rights and conditions, and gain viable outcomes in line with their needs. For example, one of my APC students did not submit her assignment on time for one unit and her tutor emailed me regarding her low attendance. I immediately contacted the student and organised a face-to-face meeting. Through this consultation, she was comfortable in disclosing her personal circumstances/issues which were impacting on her studies. I advised her to seek professional help and commenced the process of submitting her for special consideration with assignment work. Thereafter, I consulted with her teachers and administrative staff and was successful in gaining an extension for her next assignment; she was very relieved and her anxiety lessened.
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