ONT-Advise, Summer 2010
A Newsletter About Post-secondary Academic Advising in Ontario
Late Summer, 2010
As we all begin a new academic year, best wishes are sent to all advisors and the students that they advise. Here’s hoping that you manage to find your way through September without too many bumps in your respective roads!
Rewards for Sharing Best Practices
Do you have something that works particularly well for advisors or students at your institution? Have you developed a new advising program that you’d like to share? Do you use technology in a unique way to reach more students? Send your tidbits of advising wisdom to email@example.com. If any are included in future issues of ONT-Advise, you will receive a gift from the steering committee
Ontario Conference – June, 2010
Tracey Szarka, an academic advisor at UOIT, recently led a team of fellow advisors at UOIT, Durham College, and Trent University (Oshawa) to plan a wonderful conference for Ontario academic advisors. Two days of discussions and networking were brought together with a dynamic keynote address, and entertainment at both the Polish Hall and in the “Advisors’ Lounge” at the residence where many were staying. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our best practices and learn from one another.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director of the National ACademic ADvising Association (NACADA) was the keynote speaker of the day. Charlie focussed on NACADA’s recent move to a more international focus in the organization. He also stressed the need to professionalize academic advising in our institutions.
Entertainment at the “Advisors’ Lounge” was provided by Tracey Szarka, UOIT (vocals), Craig Cameron, Trent University (guitar, drum and vocals), and Marty Lowman, University of Windsor (guitar and vocals). Marty also sang his song entitled “All in a Day’s Work” that he wrote about an experience that he had with a student that he advised. Marty will lead the NACADA Choir in his song at the NACADA National Conference in Walt Disney World this fall.
Here are a few interesting statistics about the 2010 conference for you:
· 122 registered delegates
· 22 presenters for 14 concurrent sessions
· 31 institutions represented
· 19 universities, 13 colleges and 2 professional/industry
· 54 delegates from universities, 59 from colleges and 2 from professional/industry
· Top attendance from institution: Algonquin – 13 delegates
A good day was had by all who were able to make it. A tentative site for next year’s conference is Sudbury, Ontario. Further details, including the date for the 2011 conference will be announced soon.
Ad Hoc Steering Committee
At the conference at UOIT, the ad hoc steering committee that helps to guide professional development for academic advising professionals in Ontario was able to meet. (Shari Dorr, Marty Lowman, Jo Stewart, and Tracey Szarka met, with regrets sent by David Marasco, Annette Rondeau, and Jill Johnson). At that time, we reviewed a draft of our Terms of Reference. These provide a mission statement and some guiding principles. Over the last year, a sub-committee of advisors from the steering committee (Jill Johnson and Tracey Szarka) used feedback and information from the entire group to develop these Terms of Reference that will serve to guide the steering committee, and the group of Ontario academic advisors as a whole. At our meeting in June, we reviewed and refined the draft that appears below. You are invited to send feedback about these Terms of Reference to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jo will forward all feedback to the steering committee for consideration.
Ontario Academic Advising Professionals
Draft Terms of Reference
The Ontario Academic Advising Professionals (OAAP) is an organization of professional staff and faculty who have responsibility for or participate in academic advising in their respective post secondary institution. This group depends on individuals to self identify with this work.
OAAP will positively impact the educational experience of post secondary students in Ontario through the research, development, and promotion of quality professional development and networking opportunities for (academic) advising professionals.
OAAP is governed by the Steering Committee. The committee is responsible to the members to ensure that the terms of reference are met. Guidelines for operation of this committee are included in the Appendix of this document.Membership
General MemberIndividual members are responsible to self identify and to inform the Steering Committee of up-to-date contact information.
All members are encouraged to participate in the activities of the organization as appropriate for their individual needs, and as supported by their institution.
Contributions such as, but not limited to conference sponsorship, conference and workshop presentations, newsletters, website management, and any other activities that the organization supports are welcomed and encouraged from all academic advising professionals in the province.
Contact information collected by the organization will be used by the Steering Committee to contact members regarding business of the organization and professional development activities. If members wish to communicate with all members of the organization must do this via organization approved communication media (e.g., website and/or newsletter).
Steering Committee Membership
Members will act in accordance of the OAAP mission statement. They will act, to their best abilities, to understand and to review critically any and all proposals presented to the committee in order to act as a responsible representative on behalf of OAAP. In particular, members will provide the accountability of the organization to the membership as noted in the guidelines’ purpose and major responsibilities, outlined in the Appendix.
Guidelines for OAAP Steering Committee
To act as an advisory group to the OAAP members and to provide accountability to the OAAP membership in terms of professionalism, continuity, and monies held in trust. The steering group will assist the organization as a whole to maintain current and on going network of those involved in academic advising in Ontario.
To maintain a professional level of activities including all communications, events, and actions.To provide accountability to the general membership of OAAP with regards to monies held in trust of the organization.
To keep membership information in a professional and responsible manner with particular attention to the respect of privacy of all individuals.
Roles and Responsibilities of Steering Committee and Its Members
Steering Committee MembersMembers of the Steering Committee will engage in:
· Seeking out and guiding professional development activities for Ontario advising professionals;
· Maintaining the Ontario Advising website with up-to-date information;
· Preparing ONT-Advise (newsletter) at least twice a year (more often if newsworthy items are available);
· Maintaining a list of current advising professionals;
· Liaising with other provincial, national and international academic advising organization;
· Supporting an annual provincial advising conference.
Steering Committee Chair
Annually, members of the Steering Committee will need to appoint a Chair. This person would be responsible for organizing and facilitating an annual general meeting, and regularly scheduled Steering Committee meetings, involving but not limited to:
· Preparing a schedule of Steering Committee meetings;
· Collecting agenda items;
· Producing the agenda;
· Ensuring records of the meetings are taken and available.
The Chair’s role could also act as a contact person on behalf of the organization as a whole unless a communications officer is appointed.
Annual Ontario Academic Advising Conference
Annual provincial conference committees will be accountable to the organization’s Steering Committee if registration fees are charged for conference. Any budget reports from conference committee will be posted to the Ontario Advising website. This will ensure an open and transparent system to monitor the appropriate use of funds charged to advising professionals.
Decision Making Process
Members will work toward a consensus model for decision making, if this is not possible a simple majority vote will be held. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Voting Members appointed to the Committee.Record of Meetings
Simple notes from each meeting shall be taken and distributed to all members of the Steering Committee. These notes will be maintained, archived and may be requested by any OAAP member.
Frequency of Meetings
Members of the OAAP steering committee will organize and participate in at least six meetings per year. These meetings may be held in person, electronically and/or by conference call. Determination of timing will be mutually agreed upon by the members of committee.
Committee size and composition
The Committee will normally be comprised of five to seven persons involved in advising. Every consideration will be made such that the Committee membership will be representative of the Ontario post secondary institutions – including language of instruction, Ontario geography and institution type. With this in mind, at least two members will be from Northern institutions, representatives will also be sought from universities and colleges alike. If at all possible, a representative from a francophone institution will be included. Each member should represent a distinct institution.
A call for new members will be invited in the fall of the year, with a hope that volunteers will come forward. If too many volunteers are found, then a simple compromise will be sought (for example, three new members may be acceptable or one or more volunteers may join at a later date) or a voting structure will be developed.
Term of Service
A member’s term will be for three years, with two new members joining as two members retire from the committee. The “year” will be the calendar year – January to December. Members will not normally be considered for a second three year term unless they can bring a new perspective to the Steering Committee.
In the instance where a member does not attend two regularly scheduled meetings, the committee chair will make an effort to contact the person to determine if she/he wishes to remain a member. If the person wishes to be removed from the roster, the committee will endeavour to fill the seat in the usual way.
NACADA Allied Membership
During our meeting in June, the steering committee decided to apply for Allied Membership with NACADA. There is a small annual cost for this ($55US) that we will pay out of the fees that are collected by the conference committee. Having Allied Membership will allow us to access some NACADA resources. Application was made to NACADA in July. If the application is successful, further details will follow in a future newsletter about all of the benefits for each of our members.
Reaching All Academic Advisors
After a recent review of the list of academic advisors who receive this newsletter and other information about professional development, it was determined that some institutions are very underrepresented on that list. We have mainly relied on a “word of mouth” approach to pull together this list of Ontario Academic Advising Professionals, so please help by sharing this newsletter with others at your institution who may not be receiving it. If anyone does receive ONT-Advise from another advisor and wishes to go on the mailing list, please contact Jo at email@example.com.
Ontario Advising Website
Did you know that we have our own website for Ontario academic advising professionals? (www.ontarioadvising.webs.com) Information and links on that site may interest you in your role as an academic advisor. If you have any feedback, or would like to post any resources for your colleagues, please send ideas, articles, and links for posting (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note from the Editor
This newsletter is prepared by Jo Stewart a few times each year, but it depends on you, colleagues from around the province (and across the country – some who receive this are from other provinces). If you have an interesting idea for an article, a question that will spark some dialogue amongst your colleagues, or any feedback about the newsletter, please contact Jo at email@example.com.
 Academic Advising is to be understood in its broadest sense and may include those involved in providing academic advice, career advice, counseling, liaison services, and/or learning skills opportunities in order to promote student success and retention.
 Post secondary institutions include colleges, universities and professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. They also include teacher-training schools, community colleges, and institutes of technology. At the end of a prescribed course of study, a degree, diploma, or certificate is awarded.
 Northern Ontario is the part of the province of Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron (including Georgian Bay), the French River and Lake Nipissing