Perceptions of Academic Advising at Birmingham-Southern College
Grinage, Leslie N.
Purcell, Christopher J.
Birmingham-Southern College, a small, private, liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Alabama, asked for an evaluation of their academic advising program. Anecdotal evidence, as well as the findings from a Vanderbilt Capstone Project from 2015-16, suggests that the academic advising services at the college may not be evenly delivered and are sometimes ineffective in targeting and supporting students. Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) believes that academic advising not only plays a central role in retaining students, but also assisting them in identifying and pursuing their passions. BSC views a successful academic advising program as central to student success and has sought in recent years to improve its advising services. Using a mixed methods approach, a team of doctoral students from Vanderbilt University created a study to answer the following three questions: 1) To what extent does the current advising program meet the personal and academic needs of BSC students? 2) Are there any identifiable groups of students whose needs are not being met from the current academic advising program? 3) To what extent do faculty and administration perceive resources are being effectively utilized to deliver academic advising services to students?