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College Advising

  • By: Sylvia L. M. Martinez & Brett Fugate
  • In: Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: James Ainsworth
  • Subject:Sociology of Education (general), Sociology of Education, Education Policy

Advising, like other educational activities, is concerned with student development and learning. Advisors promote these basic tenets by supporting students in creating and fulfilling educational and life goals. The construction of these goals is shaped by opportunity, potential, and environment. Advising has a short formal history in American higher education, but is now a complex profession with varied models and frameworks underpinning service delivery.

Today, college advisors must be attuned to academic needs, as well as social and environmental factors, to make college graduation a reality as they assist students in degree attainment. Formal academic advising began at Johns Hopkins University in 1889, and by the late 1930s, most colleges offered such services. The impetus for this change was the increased specialization of coursework, majors, and ...

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