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Academic Advising and College Stressors in a large, urban university

O'Connor, Rubab (2017) Academic Advising and College Stressors in a large, urban university. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this research study was to understand college stressors among undergraduate business students and to propose recommendations for an innovative academic advising program to help students deal with college stressors associated with their academic, extra-curricular, social, career, and personal lives. Guiding questions for the study included (a) How do academic advisors describe the college stressors in undergraduates’ daily lives? (b) To what extent do academic advisors feel equipped with advising strategies to help students deal with college stressors? and (c) What kinds of training and other resources do advisors suggest for improving their capacity to address students’ stressors? To collect data, the study relied on the qualitative method of one-on-one interviews with six academic advisors of a business school in a large urban university located in the Northeast. The study was guided by Crookston’s (1971) notion of ‘developmental advising’.
The major findings of the study were that (a) College stressors (grades, major selection, careers, competitive nature of students, peer pressure, freshmen transition, time management, homesickness and parental pressures) and students struggle with those, (b) Academic advisors are uniquely positioned and well-equipped with skills to help students to deal with stressors, and (c) The advising model put in place by the Executive Director of the business school at the university of study does not allow advisors to help students deal with stressors. Using these findings, the researcher formulated a set of recommendations to improve academic advising. These included (a) Make developmental advising an organizational priority, (b) Restructure the organization to reflect the commitment to developmental advising, (c) Introduce programs and activities that can help students develop as whole persons and excel personally, professionally and academically, and (d) Implement Five C’s of academic advising in recruitment of academic advisors.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
O'Connor, Rubabruj8@pitt.eduruj8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWeidman, Johnweidman@pitt.eduweidman
Committee MemberCofield,
Committee MemberLovorn, Michaelmlovorn@pitt.edumlovorn
Date: 18 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 March 2017
Approval Date: 18 August 2017
Submission Date: 27 June 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 90
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: College Stressors Academic Advising Higher Education and College Stressors Higher Education and Academic Advising
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 18:05
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 18:05


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