Taking a Proactive Approach to Advising for At-Risk Students
From Academic Impressions, featuring Joe Murray, Miami University
In this first of several articles, Academic Impressions is interviewing leading experts on proactive approaches to academic advising. Over the course of the series, we will look at interventions early on the academic calendar and innovations in course scheduling that support intervention with at-risk students.
“By the time a student realizes they’re in trouble and asks an academic advisor for help, it’s usually too late for anything other than a conversation about dropping. The more you can front-load outreach into pre-term or start-of-term communications, the more options the advising office has to offer students.” – Joe Murray, Miami University
Joe Murray, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University, is acutely aware of the issue; his institution is open-enrollment, with many adult learners, first-generation students, and academically underprepared students. With a large number of students who could be designated “at risk,” Murray recognizes the critical importance of taking a proactive approach. Murray advocates an “intrusive advising” approach. Based on the research of Robert Glennen, intrusive advising focuses on early outreach and mandatory advising for at-risk students.
When we interviewed Murray this week, his primary suggestion was that a one-on-one, personal connection early on the academic calendar will make the most significant difference. We asked him to share a few tips about when and how to reach out to students “intrusively” or proactively at critical points on the academic calendar, based on his experience and success at Miami University. Here is his advice.