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Advisors Present on Student Readmission, Retention at National Conference

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By Kristal Walker

The college's Undergraduate Student Services advising staff recently represented UCF at the 2015 conference of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising).

More than 4,200 advisors from around the world attended the conference, held Oct. 4-7 in Las Vegas. The theme was "What Happens In Advising Stays With Students." 

The USS advisors tag-teamed to make two presentations focused on retention programs. USS Director Mary Rente and Assistant Director Layla Archer presented "Readmission Readiness and the Successful Return Following Dismissal: Can You Plan for It? Can You Assess It?" This session equipped advisors with the tools needed to develop and evaluate a strategic, results-driven readmission process for students attempting to return after dismissal. Rente and Archer shed light on effective readmission processes, and they challenged administrators to think about best practices and to take a holistic approach when determining students' readiness to return. They also invited discussion and participation among the attendees.  

USS Academic Advisors Gail Raymond, Sonia Gonzalez Smith and Amber Flowers presented "Best Bet for Student Retention: Faculty/Advisor Collaborations." They described the college's multifaceted approach to retaining students. The approach includes an "At Risk" program, based on Bandura's Self-Efficacy Theory, that helps students maintain control over their academic performance. Students are empowered with skills for academic recovery, connected with appropriate academic resources, and encouraged to develop relationships with faculty members and advisors. Those who collaborate with faculty members and advisors better understand the link between career goals and current academic performance. The overall approach gives students an active role in their academic recovery and has proven successful at improving academic performance.

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