ERIC Number: ED214481
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Academic Advisors: The Boundary Spanners.
Fitzgerald, Laurine E.
Perspectives on the roles of academic advisors are considered. It is suggested that academic advisors are often "boundary spanners," those who participate in two or more aspects of the activities of the institution. Academic advisors' functions cut across multidisciplinary lines, affecting curricular decisions and curriculum development, career planning and placement, serving orientation and retention programs, and articulating campus-wide and sometimes community referrals. Historically in postsecondary education in the United States, centralized or focused advising has been closely allied with professional schools and with single-purpose curricular offerings. The emergence of liberal arts, general education, or individualized study leads to decentralized advising, usually by an individual faculty member. As greater focus is directed to the relationship of education and employment, with specialized or preprofessional or professional education considered important to students and their parents, centralized advising has been rapidly developing. Catastrophe theory, which describes situations in which continuous changes in one variable may produce discontinuous changes in another vector, may be useful. It is suggested that academic advisors could be influential within the institution in the acceptance of professional skills and services, or in the development of a professional body of skills for implementation. Academic advisors have insight into the level of preparation of students, student life styles, and their aspiration and inspiration levels, and can instruct campus managers and faculty about the living and learning nature of students. By utilizing the concept of catastrophe theory, uncommon results can be anticipated or described. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catastrophe Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Academic Advising Association (Indianapolis, IN, October 1981).