As co-editors of the new online, global journal of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, we welcome you to the inaugural issue of the NACADA Review: Academic Advising Praxis and Perspectives. The NACADA Review is a peer-reviewed, online academic journal that connects the practice of academic advising to theory from related, relevant fields spanning education, humanities, and social sciences. In other words, the NACADA Review focuses on praxis and defines what that means for the profession. Praxis, then, is “understood as the intentional process that moves us from theory to practice, from thought to action” (B. Lamons, personal communication, November 6, 2018). As does the NACADA Journal, the NACADA Review subscribes to the interpretation of scholarship as suggested by Boyer (1990), in which the creation and integration of new knowledge go hand in hand with a commitment to its application and dissemination. We believe Boyer's model of integrated scholarship is foundational for thinking about advising because, for the profession to grow and develop, the practice of advising and the way in which it develops need to be based on systematic and continuous reflection on the theories, models, and assumptions that support it.
Over the last decade and a half, the focus on the evolving profession of academic advising, defining scholarship in advising, and identifying scholarly approaches to academic advising has increased. The focus on Boyer's model of integrated scholarship and its relationship to the praxis of academic advising was first elucidated by NACADA Journal editors Terry Kuhn and Gary Paddock in 2003 and then further explored in various NACADA publications. During the 2016–2017 academic year, the NACADA Publications Advisory Board debated how the association could best address the need to support scholarly inquiry in ways that are necessary for the continued evolution of NACADA as an association and academic advising as a profession. The idea of creating a second scholarly journal that would focus on how advisors use research and literature to influence practice gained momentum and received broad support from the leadership. In 2017, Research Center Director Wendy Troxel suggested that an online journal that would expand upon the research, theory, and practice focus of NACADA scholarly publications would provide this venue for the profession and, in fact, span higher education. The proposed journal would support advising scholarship across the globe by focusing on why and how advisors do what they do: the praxis of academic advising. During the NACADA Annual Conference in October of 2017, we agreed to serve as co-editors of this new venue, and almost two years later, we are happy and proud to present its first issue.
We aspire to reach those interested in student success and academic advising as well as how research and theory connect to practice across institutional and international contexts. Research is broadly defined by NACADA as “scholarly inquiry into all aspects of the advising interaction, the role of advising in higher education, and the effects that advising can have on students” (NACADA Task Force on the Infusion of Research, 2008). The NACADA Review and the NACADA Journal both support this view of scholarly inquiry. That said, a few distinct differences exist between these publication venues. The NACADA Journal seeks manuscript submissions that are based on institutional review board approval (all research in U.S. institutions involving human subjects requires such approval) and use qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research methodology, or are discussions of theory. As the NACADA Review editorial team, we put theory-based application on center stage. The dynamic relationship between theory and theory-based models, known as praxis, is the process that moves scholar-practitioners in advising from theory to practice, from reflective thought to action. Manuscript submissions contribute to praxis by presenting how practice can be understood in terms of theory and how theory can inform practice. Similar to the NACADA Journal, faculty members, graduate students, administrators, and advising practitioners are encouraged as prospective authors for the NACADA Review. We invite prospective authors from diverse populations, disciplines, and fields of study to submit manuscripts, and we aim to be inclusive in every sense of the word—we envision a stimulating exchange of ideas from across the global community of academic advising.
Writing for the Review
Many perspectives on teaching, learning, and student development meet in the praxis of advising, and theories and models may originate from a range of disciplines spanning education, humanities, and social sciences. In these ways, we believe the NACADA Review supports and enhances the collaborative dialogue between global practitioners in the fields of academic advising, student guidance, and personal tutoring. The NACADA Review provides the advising profession with a platform for articles that address the transferability of theories and models from one institutional, national, or sociocultural context to another. As co-editors, we are seeking manuscript submissions for the NACADA Review that approach advising praxis in the following ways:
Manuscripts that begin with advising practice (describing and modeling local practice), connect practice to an identified theory or model, and address how shared ideas can also be applied to contexts other than your own (see Figure 1).
Manuscripts that identify and explain a theory or model, discuss how the theory or model applies to advising, and address how shared ideas can be applied to diverse advising contexts (see Figure 2).
Manuscripts that explore the process, conditions, and relevance of praxis as it relates to advising as a scholarly profession that spans institutions, the advising profession, or higher education in general (see Figure 3).
We adhere to a developmental model in our work with authors, understanding that, for some, submitting a manuscript to the NACADA Review is their first effort to write a scholarly article. The NACADA website is an excellent resource for those interested in writing for the NACADA Review. The visuals shown above are posted on the site which also provides additional information on writing about praxis. Also posted is information for authors that includes the manuscript guidelines, submission process, and blind review process, as well as the related links. We encourage all authors to fully use the NACADA Review rubric in their writing and throughout the review and revision process. The rubric provides guidance for authors as they compose and write a manuscript, while presenting the criteria used by editorial board members in the manuscript review process. In fact, the rubric allows authors to be their own first reviewer.
NACADA Review Articles
In this inaugural edition of the NACADA Review, the authors approach their exploration of praxis in ways that reflect the discussion in the previous paragraphs. Van den Wijngaard's article, “Academic Advising: A Discipline of Praxis,” is a good departure point for readers to engage in an exploration of praxis and the scholarship of advising. Connecting the various dots in what has been written about the theory, research, and growth of the profession, Van den Wijngaard shows how academic advising is very much a discipline of praxis that thrives on the constant reflection on the relationship between theory and practice. Van den Wijngaard's article is representative of the third approach described in the preceding paragraph, an exploration of the relevance of praxis as it relates to advising as a scholarly profession.
In a similar manner, Hagen's article, “The Interpretive Turn: It's Our Turn,” is an exploration of the process, conditions, and relevance of praxis as it relates to scholarly academic advising and the profession. The article is the text of the keynote address given by Hagen at the 2018 NACADA Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Hagen discusses two main epistemologies in academic advising research and practice, and argues that both positivist epistemologies and constructivist epistemologies should be available to practitioners and researchers.
Streufert approaches praxis by first identifying and explaining a model, and then discussing how the model applies to a specific advising issue and how these ideas can be applied to diverse advising contexts (the second approach to writing for the NACADA Review). Her article, “Advising Alternatives: A Case Study,” focuses on advising those students for whom “Plan B” has become a necessity and reality because they can no longer pursue their original academic goals. The article integrates alternative advising research, which advisors can use to frame their curriculum, pedagogy, and learning outcomes.
In Smith's article, “Advising the Law: Academic Advising in Law-Generating Institutions of Higher Education,” the concept of colleges and universities as law-generating institutions is examined along with a set of ethical standards that can help academic advisors better navigate the complexities of curricula and academic policies when rules and policies are in conflict with practice. Smith provides examples of how advisors can use the standards while advocating for students and maintaining the integrity of institutional rules and guidelines. He approaches praxis by first defining a model and then showing how it can be applied to advising practice (the second approach to writing for the NACADA Review).
This first issue also includes the first article of a series the NACADA Review will publish under the title “Perspectives: Key Articles on the Praxis of Advising.” Articles in this series will present one article selected from the literature not only on academic advising but on all the adjacent and relevant fields in higher education research, and discuss its relevance and applicability to the practice of academic advising. The first article in the series is written by the director of the NACADA Research Center, Wendy Troxel. Her discussion of Collier and Morgan's (2008) “Is That Paper Really Due Today?” shows how research on differences regarding roles and role perception between first-generation and continuing-generation students helps inform the practice of faculty members and full-time advisors.
We express our deep gratitude to Bob Hurt, former chair of the Publications Advisory Board, Wendy Troxel, director of the NACADA Research Center, and Charlie Nutt, NACADA executive director, for their visionary association leadership in advocating for a second NACADA scholarly journal that promotes academic advising as a discipline of praxis and gives voice to the “how” of why we do what we do. We are indebted to Emerita Assistant Director/Managing Editor Marsha Miller for her wisdom, leadership, advising expertise, and kind counsel as we progressed through the complexities of bringing a new, online journal to fruition, and we look forward to our continued work with Assistant Director/Managing Editor Ashley Thomas. The director of New Prairie Press and Kansas State University's director of electronic publishing, Char Simser, provided expertise and guidance, for which we are very grateful. As co-editors, we appreciate the willingness of our editorial board members to participate in the review process and provide valuable feedback as the NACADA Review evolves. We have greatly benefited from and appreciate the collegial friendship of NACADA Journal co-editors Susan Campbell and Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski. Finally, moving forward, we hope our shared leadership will be beneficial to the NACADA Review, its readers, and its authors and colleagues from across the globe as we explore praxis—“the rationale behind the how of what advisors do” (Van den Wijngaard, 2019).