As a profession of college student educators, we in the area of academic support are faced with a set of issues that are not unique in higher education, but are addressed from a different perspective. The current topics in the field are:

  • Academic Advising – In the past, the time line to Bachelor’s degree attainment for full-time students was slipping to 5+ years. With a push from federal, state and local governments, institutions of higher education are putting more focus on the need to monitor student progress to help shorten the length of time to degree attainment. Many institutions have instituted full-time positions known as “academic advisors” whose primary job function is to monitor student success and progress. These positions can fall under Student or Academic Affairs.
  • Why this topic is important in ACPA:
    1. Governmental push to graduate students on time.
    2. Obama administration’s push for everyone to pursue additional education.
    3. ACPA can provide a general, holistic, professional development approach to academic advising via the various Commissions and programming that other associations cannot
    4. ACPA can provide a place for publications and professional development while bridging between Student and Academic Affairs. Academic Support Services
  • Possible options to increase the graduation rate discussed above are:
    1. lower the academic standards, or
    2. provide support services outside the academic classroom that enable students to succeed.
    3. While option (a) is not a good choice, it has crept into some institutions. Texts such as Academically Adrift discuss the state of education and a media hot topic has been the quality / expense of online education. Many schools across the nation have taken approaches to provide academic support in the residence halls and living-learning communities; schools have implemented campus evening tutoring programs and support classes both on / off campus. Tutoring services can reach into all areas of higher education.
  • Why this is important to ACPA:
    1. As higher education professionals, we need to support struggling students if we what to increase graduation rates while also maintaining the integrity of the academic experience.
    2. ACPA’s Commission on Academic Support in Higher Education supports professionals who have years of experience and can help produce literature and publish best practices in this area. Help for Functional Areas
  • Unique to the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education, we are in the process of developing a program that will allow professionals from different functional areas an opportunity to learn about the academic support profession. The participants will develop a better understanding of academic support services and be able to carry a new set of skills to their functional area on their own campus. Watch for opportunities this year to be involved in this new program and expand your skill set through ACPA.