A trusting and respectful rapport with an advisor is essential for new students adjusting to and navigating a complex institution and for seniors looking to maximize opportunities within their major. Among the primary traits possessed by advisors who develop positive relationships with students are active listening, empathy, and cultural sensitivity.
The Advising LRC Scale: Listening, Respecting, and Caring
Thinking about academic advising, how much have people and resources at your institution done the following? (Response options: Very much, Quite a bit, Some, Very little, Not applicable)
- Actively listened to your concerns
- Respected your identity and culture
- Cared about your overall well-being
In the spring of 2020, 42,287 first-year students and 50,957 seniors from 201 bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities in the US completed the Academic Advising module. Results for most student’s show that advisors actively listen, respect identity and culture, and care about students’ well-being (Figure 1). For example, about four in five students had advisors who respect their identity and culture “very much” or “quite a bit” (first-year = 82%, senior = 78%), and three in five students had advisors who actively listened to their concerns “very much” or “quite a bit” (first-year = 62%, senior = 58%).
Results indicating that a healthy proportion of students experience listening, respect and care in advising are affirming of the attention placed on assuring core advising practices. Yet, because the experience is not universal, it is vital to explore what may be inhibiting these practices, and which students are not reporting these positive outcomes. We encourage participating institutions to look within their results to examine variation in students’ advising experience as we do in the other advising story features.