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Using Needs Assessment to Create an Integrated Academic Advising Assessment Plan

Conway, Kathleen (2020) Using Needs Assessment to Create an Integrated Academic Advising Assessment Plan. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study used a multi-methods needs assessment with directed content analysis to learn how academic advising assessment could be used to understand the effectiveness of the advising system at a private research institution and to design an assessment plan that met the needs and allowed the institution to evaluate the academic advising system. Data were collected through an artifact analysis of advising professional organizations, qualitative interviews with assessment coordinators at six external institutions, an artifact analysis of the institution’s internal advising documents, a survey of the institution’s advisors, and a group interview with institutional administrators. The data were used to build a pilot assessment plan for implementation at the institution.
Key findings from the study indicate that while not formalized into a campus-wide plan, assessment work may already be happening at the institution, and this work could be united into an intentional assessment plan that provides useful and actionable feedback for continual improvement. Regularly reviewed advising assessment plans grounded in literature and informed by the institutional needs of advisors and administrators can help institutions understand advising effectiveness and implement evidence-based changes to support student success. Practical and theoretical implications resulting from the study are that a taskforce with a designated chair to spearhead the advising assessment work was the best fit model for the institution’s context; the institution should focus on advisor workload when implementing an assessment plan; the institution should use advising assessment work to help support the institution’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion by using the data collected to understand how the advising system impacts students based on identities and group memberships; and that the institution should increase the presence of advising and assessment on the university’s website.
This study fills gaps in the literature by adding to the understanding of advising assessment by highlighting the challenges institutions face when developing assessment plans and providing a framework for using best practices recommendations to build an assessment plan within a specific institutional context.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Conway, KathleenKJC94@pitt.eduKJC94
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchuster,
Committee MemberMayowski,
Committee MemberGilbride-Brown,
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 July 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 19 July 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 156
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: Academic Advising Academic Advising Assessment Advising Administration Higher Education Administration
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 14:49
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 14:49


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