We are excited to open this issue with a piece from Belmont University's Claire Wiley and Jenny Mills, faculty librarians with over 34 years of combined experience in higher education. For prospective and emerging NACADA authors, Wiley and Mills' work represents an ideal process for publishing in the Journal. In 2020, they obtained a NACADA Research Grant, and after completion of their study, presented their findings at the 2021 NACADA Annual Conference. Incorporating feedback and ideas from the conference, Wiley and Mills finalized and submitted their manuscript to the NACADA Journal in April 2022.
In an interview with coeditor Kari Mottarella, Wiley and Mills discussed their publication journey. Wiley described applying for the NACADA Research Grant as “a straightforward process, clearly outlined on the website. The required sections in the project proposal narrative helped us to flesh out details for our project that we also used to garner initial support for the project at our institution.” Mills also noted, “It helped us to clarify our research question, methods, timeline, and funding needs.” Wiley further explained, “Our grant money was used for quantitative analysis software and interview participation incentive. Without these tools, this project would not have been possible.” Wiley also recounted their presentation at the 2021 NACADA Annual Conference as
a first pass at telling the full story of our project, from background to rationale to findings and takeaways. Positive feedback following the presentation was encouraging and affirming as we looked to the next step of sharing results in a publication. This presentation was ultimately translated into the manuscript we submitted to the Journal.
Wiley and Mills noted that the Journal's peer review process further enhanced their work. Mills explained, “We received feedback on several aspects of our manuscript, from how best to display data, to improvements in the writing, to suggestions for making stronger connections to the existing literature, to our use of examples.” We commend Wiley and Mills and open this issue with their study, “Librarian Advisors for Undeclared Students: Understanding the Advisee Experience.”
Notably, the second piece in this issue, by Soria, was also supported by a NACADA Research Grant. Drawing upon data from a multi-institutional survey of 31,575 students across 69 institutions of higher education, this study examined student access to academic advising resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, and found that several at-risk groups exhibited a significantly higher lack of access to academic advising. These groups included students who identified as transgender, gender non-conforming, or bisexual; low income, first-generation students; and students with disabilities. The piece discussed implications for academic advisors and use of trauma-informed approaches.
The issue continues with another study which explored the impact of COVID-19 on academic advisors. Survase and Johnson's exploratory study, rooted in Street-Level Bureaucracy Theory, investigated ways advisors at a four-year public university coped by either moving towards or away from students with the increased demands of the pandemic. They found that more often advisors moved toward students and sacrificed personal time to meet student advising needs. Coping by moving away from students, such as rationing time and attention devoted to them, occurred less often and related to fewer resources and less supervisor support. These two pieces reveal how the pandemic impacted academic advising and suggest helpful recommendations for the future.
The final two articles in this issue discuss advising as a profession and advising across the globe, respectively. Hapes and Dooley used the Delphi-study method to identify advisor leadership competencies necessary for leaders such as chairs of NACADA Advising Communities. Gallo and McGill's multiple case study described academic advising practices at four Ontario institutions of higher education. The NACADA Journal is pleased to end this issue with such a meaningful piece which provides a snapshot of the role, purpose, and foundations of academic advising in Ontario, and thereby continues to extend our body of knowledge in this area beyond the United States.
Karen Mottarella & Lisa M. Rubin