Monday, Aug 19, 2019

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NACADA group

Jenny Boom (left) with Joy Cobb (center) and Melissa Toretch (right) pose with another Appreciative Advising faculty member, Rob Freidhoff from the University of Michigan, at the NACADA presentation

Photo courtesy of: Patton College of Education

Joy Cobb

Joy Cobb

Photo courtesy of: Patton College of Education

Melissa Toretch

Melissa Toretch

Photo courtesy of: Patton College of Education

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Patton College advisors recognized as leaders in appreciative advising

The Patton College of Education has been ahead of the teaching and learning curve for many years, incorporating the latest trends and technologies to optimize the student experience. While our professors have done an excellent job educating students in the classroom, however, our professional academic advisors have played an indispensable role in getting them there. 

Indeed, through Appreciative Advising, a forward-thinking approach to relationship building, The Patton College advisors are recruiting and retaining students with great success. 

“Our academic advisors are involved in the recruiting process,” said Melissa Toretch, professional academic advisor. “I don’t think that happens any place else on campus, let alone across the country, though there are several other departments on campus that are incorporating Appreciative Advising into their advising practices here at Ohio University.”

“Recruitment and retention efforts are of the upmost importance to The Patton College of Education,” said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Academic Advising 

Maureen Coon. “So we are pleased to have very accomplished individuals engaging with prospective students from the start. The role of Appreciative Advising, not only in recruiting, but in academic advising with current students, has proven to be an effective way to develop relationships and get to know students on a personal level to help them achieve success.”

As such, Appreciative Advising is an intentional approach to working with students. It allows professional academic advisors to establish relationships with students before they enroll at Ohio University and to learn about their goals and motivations to create a personal and meaningful experience for them during their time on campus.

“We want to keep the Appreciative framework at the forefront of every student interaction,” said Joy Cobb, student success advisor. “Utilizing Appreciative Advising in recruiting shows students that we are committed to their interests, goals, and development, and learning about these during recruitment allows us to highlight opportunities for engagement and growth for them here at Ohio University.”

If Cobb and Toretch seem like experts on this topic, well, that’s because they are. In fact, they’ve delivered multiple presentations on the subject, most recently at the Virginia Tech Advising Matters Conference in March. They also presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) National Conference in Las Vegas in October 2015.

Afterward, Dr. Jenny Bloom, associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and one of the co-founders of Appreciative Advising, asked Cobb and Toretch to facilitate a webinar based on their NACADA presentation. They happily obliged and will host the webinar, “Appreciative Recruitment: The Advisor’s Role in Increasing Yield Numbers” on May 19 at 1 p.m. ET.

“Without sounding cliché, being asked to create the webinar was a dream come true,” said Cobb. “I stumbled across Appreciative Advising at the beginning of my higher education career while searching for professional development opportunities. I was drawn to it because there was a very natural connection to the activities I was already incorporating into my advising practice. Being able to offer insights for others on a model that has been so important in my work with students feels like coming full circle.”

The webinar, which is intended for enrollment professionals, admissions professionals, academic advisors, and student affairs professionals, will outline the steps and strategies involved in a successful recruiting campaign. 

Cobb and Toretch will discuss, among other topics, The Patton College’s “Green Carpet” approach, which is an individually designed one-day experience for prospective students and their families. It includes a meeting with a professional academic advisor, a meeting with a faculty member, a meeting with a student leader, lunch at a university dining venue, and a campus tour, which includes buildings related to the student’s desired major. Quantitative and qualitative data suggest that the “Green Carpet” experience has been an effective recruiting tool for The Patton College. 

“Academic advising is as important with prospective students as it is with current students,” said Toretch. “By including an individual advising session during a prospective student’s visit, the student and family are introduced to the Appreciative Advising mindset. This interaction provides an opportunity for the student and family to learn more about the academic program, the institution, to ask specific questions, and it offers an introduction to our college’s advising philosophy.”

In addition to the “Green Carpet” experience, the webinar will discuss the “Disarm and Discover” phase and its influence on prospective students, as well as strategies for creating a sense of belonging on campus.

Cobb and Toretch anticipate a large audience. 

“We’re hopeful that the response will be high,” said Cobb. “We’ve had promising attendance during our conference presentations and hope that the webinar attendance reflects that as well.”

Ultimately, Cobb and Toretch hope the webinar helps as many students as possible and changes how people perceive professional academic advisors. 

“The goal of Appreciative Advising is to show students that academic advisors are more than once-a-semester gatekeepers of course offerings,” said Cobb. “We work to create safe spaces for students to dream out loud and to discuss their academic, career, and life goals. We hope that by providing that space for students that we can work together to develop action steps to move them closer to bringing their dreams to attainment.”

To register for the webinar, go to https://www.audiosolutionz.com/education/appreciative-advising-for-student-recruitment.html. Use code JCMT30 to get $30 off.