Academic Advising

Data Handling and Student Academic Advising are the buzzy phrases in the higher education sector recently. A collaborative University Capacity Development Grant has been awarded to the several higher education institutions to drive a conceptualised understanding of advising as a holistic developmental practice to promote professional practice, and to allow institutions to work collaboratively in advancing research and development in advising within South Africa. The potential of academic advising has been recognised as a key contributor to students’ development and success.

What is academic advising and why it matters?

“Academic advising is an ongoing and intentional teaching and learning practice that empowers students in their learning and development process in order for them to explore and align their personal, academic and career goals. As a shared responsibility between the advisor and advisee, advising aims to maximise the students’ potential by facilitating a conceptual understanding, sharing relevant information and developing a relationship focused on promoting academic success. The envisaged result is that students have a meaningful academic experience while in higher education and feel a sense of belonging to the institution”. Siyaphumelela Advising Work stream, 2017.

The main purpose of these positions will be to:

  • To provide support to students especially those at risk of failing, within the faculty, in order for such students to succeed.
  • Help students define and develop realistic educational career plans through schedule planning for each semester.

The national project on Student Academic Advising is working towards achieving the following deliverables:

  • Expansion of dedicated institutional Academic Advising capacity;
  • Baseline investigation of institutional Academic Advising practices;
  • Training and Development of advisors (professional and peers);
  • Enabling collaboration between Academic Advisors and Institutional Researchers;
  • Pilot and share of Academic Advising practices;
  • Reporting on monitoring and evaluation of practices; and
  • National sharing through an Academic Advising Seminar.