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Registration open for new university-wide academic advisor training

November 17, 2020

Working hard to ensure student retention and success, academic advisors across campus will begin a new virtual training program this December.

Advisors always have undergone individual training through their various colleges, departments and programs, but the upcoming Master Advisor Training program represents NIU’s first university-wide instruction. The training is required of all academic advisors.

“It’s really to help the advisors think about their roles, who they are and what they do,” said Michelle Pickett, director of the Academic Advising Center. “Whether they’re new or seasoned, they’ll understand how their work connects to the overall mission of the university.”

The first part of the online training involves five 90-minute sessions offered at various times, with advisors asked to complete all sessions at times most convenient for their schedules.

Along with discussing NIU’s mission and values and their role in retention and student success, advisors will explore topics such as culturally competent practice in advising and the benefits, challenges and opportunities of developmental advising.

Advisors also will be introduced to the National Academic Advising Association, or NACADA, and the association’s core competencies.

Along with learning about relevant technology for their roles, they’ll also gain self-knowledge, Pickett said.

“We wanted to make sure it’s something that’s interactive and a good experience for those who participate,” she said. “It’s going to be fun.”

In the works for a couple years, the training grew out of input provided from the academic advisors themselves, as well as representatives of colleges, departments and programs throughout campus, such as the Diversity and Cultural Resource Centers, CHANCE, Student Athlete Academic Support Services, Career Services and more.

An assessment, with participants asked to provide feedback, will follow the first part of the training and be used to provide any needed enhancements or updates for the second part of the training, Pickett said.

Advisors are asked to use the following link to register: Master Advisor Training Registration-Fall 2020. The registration deadline is Nov. 23.

For questions, contact Michelle Pickett at [email protected] with the subject line “Master Advisor Training.”