Although Virginia Gordon framed an effective model for career advising, student respondents in national surveys continue to report unmet needs. Several national organizations have called for further integration of academic and career advising. Previous scholars, however, have not fully acknowledged environmental constraints or provided a recent comprehensive overview of culturally engaged career advising. After updating Gordon's framework with inclusive and institutional design practices, the authors provide examples of culturally engaged strategies they deployed. Practitioners can use this framework and institutional examples to advance and expand advising on their campuses.
During the last 40 years, scholars have asserted that decision making and goal setting are fundamental aspects of academic advising (Habley, 1984; NACADA, 2006; O'Banion, 1972), with choice of major and post-graduation plans as central components of the discussion between students and advisors. Many students, for example, enroll in college with a goal to obtain a better job (Strada & Gallup, 2018). Low-income students often wonder if college is worth the rising costs (Perna & Ruiz, 2016). Students who value collectivism or reciprocity want to understand the extent to which their degree can advance the vitality of their families or communities (Anderson et al., 2012). Students whose advisors fail to address career needs or goals may not persist to graduation.
Unfortunately, higher education has failed to provide adequate career advising. In one national survey, only 39% of respondents reported that their advisors assisted in the exploration of majors and only 28% reported advisors who assisted them with post-graduation career plans (Strada & Gallup, 2017). Similarly, in the National Survey of Student Engagement, a mere 37% of first-year student respondents reported career-focused conversations with faculty members (Center for Postsecondary Research, 2018).
Research revealed academic advisors identified the same gaps as students. Only 26.7% of survey respondents reported frequent inclusion of career topics during advising appointments (Troxel & Kyei-Blankson, 2020). Given the pervasive omission of career topics in advising sessions, institutions may overlook need gaps and perpetuate the status quo when they compare students' responses to other schools in national benchmarks such as those published by the National Survey of Student Engagement (Center for Postsecondary Research, 2018).
In response to deficiencies in the current design and delivery of career advising, many individuals have called for systemic change. Several national associations jointly launched a national campaign focused on early career exploration (Complete College America, 2018). Others called for campus-wide institutional integration of career initiatives to prevent the perception that vocational engagement is optional (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2021; Chan & Derry, 2013).
Although higher education officials emphasized early major selection and often used the word choice to describe career exploration, students do not have as much freedom to choose as suggested (Dougherty, 2018) due to restraints such as stereotypes, anticipated discrimination, financial resources, loss of transfer credits, and time constraints (Ardoin, 2020; Fink & Jenkins, 2021; Fouad & Kantamneni, 2020; Quadlin, 2017). Often, student access to experiential learning is limited because it requires financial resources (e.g., for unpaid internships or study away expenses), time (both to locate and participate in such activities), and information about ways to locate opportunities (Strayhorn, 2015).
Previous scholars have not fully accounted for environmental constraints or provided a recent comprehensive overview of equitable career advising (Carlstrom et al., 2009; Gordon, 2019). An updated examination of culturally engaged career advising is important because racially marginalized students persist, graduate, and secure employment at lower rates than White students (de Brey et al., 2019), and similar degree completion rates exist among low-income students (Gelbgiser, 2021). Continued reflexivity of culturally engaged career advising enables practitioners to embody NACADA's core values (2017). Without a current sociological or systems perspective, individuals may minimize the prevalence of inequities, overlook individual differences, or ignore the impact of social context (Strayhorn, 2015).
To advance the comprehensive conceptualization of equity-based career advising, we situate academic advisors' work in the current context of socially just and culturally engaging pedagogical practices. Although social justice increases students' awareness of and ability to change their social context, culturally engaged career advising pedagogy aspires to increase students' learning by disrupting dominant teaching practices often entrenched in advising. After a review of Virginia Gordan's (2006) career advising framework, we describe culturally engaged and socially just practices career advisors must administer individually and institutionally. Aligned with previous scholars' use of culturally relevant theories to address gaps in the literature (Evans & Sejuit, 2021), we apply Museus' (2021) culturally engaged advising model to expand upon Gordon's (2006) perspectives. Career advisors can use this information to audit practices, transform campus career programs, and conduct future research.
Definition of Career Advising
Educational and vocational planning are intertwined in the decisions students make during academic advising. Although others described integrated career and academic advising (Habley, 1984; O'Banion, 1972), Virginia Gordon (2006) amplified this integration through specification of the definition of career advising, noting that advisors “help students make academic decisions that incorporate knowledge of academic/career relationships and possibilities” (p. 13). Others also acknowledged the need for integrated planning given the intersection between occupational qualifications and educational requirements (Burton Nelson, 2015; Zunker, 2002), adding that “academic advising without career advising builds a bridge to nowhere, and academic advisors know it” (Shaffer & Zalewski, 2011, p. 75). Some have observed that career service offices focused on locating employment, while academic advisors enabled students to engage in educational and vocational decisions (Moore, 2020; Schutt & Schwallie-Giddis, 2008). Others, however, argued that career advisors can advance students' job search and may not exclusively focus on major selection (Mahoney, 2009). The federal government (National Center for O*NET Development, 2021; Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment, 2021) continues to apply Gordon's (2006) perspective, noting that career advisors distinctly help students choose majors or discover which jobs align with their educational training. Career coaches, however, assist individuals who are already working but aspire to change positions (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment, 2021).
Many writers have acknowledged that career advising and career counseling exist on a continuum (Bullock et al., 2007; Burton Nelson, 2015; Hughey & Hughey, 2009), and differences exist between career counseling and career planning or guidance (National Career Development Association, 2015; Tang, 2019). Career advisors address developmental concerns, such as “academically related career planning” (Gordon, 2006, p. 8) or the use of external career information, while career counselors respond to career distress or difficulty in decision making (Bullock et al., 2007; Gore & Metz, 2008; Hiebert & Neault, 2014). Academic advisors refer students to career counselors or exploratory academic advisors depending on the complexity of students' concerns, readiness to participate in the process, and the practitioners' training (Sampson et al., 2004). Career counseling is also more therapeutic and a certified regulated field in some countries (Hiebert & Neault, 2014; National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2017).
Regardless of job titles and institutional structures, cross-campus collaboration is possible if roles and responsibilities are defined (Ledwith, 2014). Faculty advisors must enable students to explore the range of careers within their chosen fields and outline common avenues for experiential learning specific to their program of study. If they teach in professional programs, faculty advisors can describe and relay their own experiences and dispel common field misconceptions. Some students may also need assistance choosing a specialty within their discipline or choosing a second major or minor. Undeclared academic advisors with advanced vocational training can serve as generalists who interpret standardized assessments, support students coping with indecision, teach career courses, and share knowledge about diverse degree programs across the institution. Exploration of primary-role advisors' broad understanding of degrees permits uncertain or undeclared students to gather information immediately, comprehensively, and holistically (Burton Nelson, 2015).
Culturally Engaged Career Advising
Career advising does not consist of a one-size-fits-all model (Kitchen et al., 2021; Ledwith, 2014). To suggest a single advising framework exists minimizes the complexity of student identities and the unique context of campus environments (Gordon, 2006; Hooley et al., 2019). Integration of academic and career advising takes many forms (Burton Nelson & McCalla-Wriggins, 2009; EAB, 2018). Some institutions cross-train individuals to address students' complex needs, reducing necessity for multiple advisors. Other campuses co-locate career services and academic advising into a centralized office, with focus on preservation of individual specialties. Career services and academic advising can also form ongoing partnerships which result in co-sponsored events and the continuous exchange of information. Individual academic advisors can seek training, integrate information into individual advising appointments, and collaborate with colleagues (Burton Nelson & McCalla-Wriggins, 2009; EAB, 2018).
Although a singular career advising structure does not exist, scholars have consistently described the need to engage students in inquiry, information gathering, and integration (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2021; Burton Nelson, 2015; Schoeman et al., 2021). Called the 3-I framework, Virginia Gordon (2006) suggested that inquiry, information, and integration deepen students' understanding of the future impact of their educational choices, pathways to achieve their goals, and connections between gathered information about oneself, academic programs, and career options. We now expand upon Gordon's (2006) 3-I model with the addition of two new dimensions: inclusion and institutional design. These additions further inform the praxis and equity of career advisors' work.
Fourth Dimension of the 3-I Process: Include
Culturally engaging advising includes “humanized, proactive, holistic approaches — as well as common ground” (Museus, 2021, p. 26). Each of these aspects is an essential element of career advising.
Career advising must be humanizing because it is founded on personal, caring relationships (Gordon, 2006; Hughey & Hughey, 2009). Efficacy studies of practitioner-delivered career counseling showed more positive effects than self-directed, computer-based career interventions (Whiston et al., 2017), as advisors can demonstrate holistic concern for students in a personable and interested manner. Advisors may also offer support and reassurance to enhance students' sense of belonging and future well-being (Rendon, 2021; Strayhorn, 2015).
Unfortunately, some students reported a belief or perception that faculty did not believe in their ability to succeed or know them by name (Gasman & Nguyen, 2019). For academic advisors to build authentic relationships with students, advising administrators must set caseloads carefully (Moore, 2020; Museus, 2021). Time constraints often reduce advising to a service or merely a registration activity. Students enrolled in STEM programs have reported dissatisfaction and perceived inability of academic advisors to provide effective advising due to excessive caseloads (Lancaster & Xu, 2017). First-generation students are most often negatively impacted by ineffective advising due to lack of guidance from family members.
A relationship alone is not enough. Students do not engage in quality decisions or achieve goals by chance. Career advisors must build upon student relationships by proactively introducing career exploration and engagement opportunities, such as mentoring or internships. Early engagement with students fosters active decision making, meaning making, and development (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2021). As cultural navigators, career advisors are uniquely positioned to foster vocational engagement (Strayhorn, 2015, p. 61) as they can demystify networking and offer experiential pathways, professional benefits of liberal arts, and assist with the process of major selection. Early introduction to career exploration resources may be especially necessary for marginalized students who are more likely to graduate from under-resourced schools with inadequate school counseling and career planning (Gasman & Nguyen, 2019). Without access to secondary educational career resources, many students prematurely declare a major and arrive at college without engaging in active exploration (McGee, 2020). Scholars estimated that between 61% to 78% of students express some degree of uncertainty about their career choices, with higher rates among students of color (Longenecker, 2014).
Proactive student engagement in exploration and decision-making requires holistic career advisors. Some students may exclusively associate careers with self-ambition or advancement; however, the concept of vocation distinctly includes the needs of students' communities (Dik & Duffy, 2009). Connecting careers to social issues enables students to associate the common good with the mission of their institutions and general social justice (Puroway, 2016). Vocational conversations framed around interfaith perspectives may be especially important to underrepresented students who value spirituality but also feel marginalized (Ahmadi et al., 2020; Cahalan & Schuurman, 2016; Cunningham, 2019). Career advisors can focus on universal existential questions and perceptions, such as the search for meaning and what constitutes a good life (Astin et al., 2010). They also can validate the inclusion of roles such as care for family members and volunteer opportunities in the definition of work in addition to one's paid employment (Duffy et al., 2016).
Career advising must also be holistic by inviting students to reflect upon the impact of diverse dimensions of their identities (Leong & Hartung 1997). When students share perspectives and advisors affirm their responses, they acknowledge each student is unique. Students can assess the influence of their identities (e.g., their race, ethnicity, gender, family, abilities, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion) and dominant society in their present career concerns (Evans & Sejuit, 2021). Career advisors can engage students through questions designed for reflection, such as those captured in the Careers-in-Culture Interview (Ponterotto et al., 2000).
To create safe spaces for students, career advisors must avoid incidental assimilation, which occurs when advisors' policies, practices, or procedures conflict with students' traditions, values, goals, or culture (Windchief, 2018) and leave students feeling marginalized or excluded (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991/2016). Cultural conflict also diminishes students' academic sense of belonging and identity or sense of self within the academy (Rouland, 2017).
Scholars provide multiple examples of incidental assimilation. The dominant culture and student development theorists frame individualism as the hallmark of personal maturity or quality decision making (Baxter Magolda, 2008; Marcia, 1966). Scholars deem students deficient if they value the input of external entities, such as family members or community leaders. Academic advisors perceived students who were not outspoken or did not challenge authority, given their collectivistic values, with less leadership potential and suggested a change of career path (Manuelito-Kerkvliet, 2015). Dominant career theorists also encourage introspective career assessments that may not align with the values of all cultures (Evans & Sejuit, 2021). Few in the education field work closely with families and communities given the pervasiveness of individualism (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991/2016). Faculty members may ignore students' complaints and instead simply encourage students to persist and exhibit grit. This emphasis on resiliency perpetuates colorblind mentalities and the status quo (McGee, 2020; Schreiner, 2017).
Inclusive career advisors also exhibit caution when they frame the objectives of a college degree. Known as outcome expectations, these beliefs influence students' academic interests and the anticipated benefits they prescribe to learning (Lent, 2020). Equity-minded career advising is not founded exclusively on individual ambition, achievement, or advancement (Juntunen & Cline, 2010). Many minorities aspire to give back to their communities, but report changing their majors or leaving their institution because they struggled to connect their degree to the social good or political sovereignty of their Indigenous nations (Jett & Davis, 2020; Rendon, 2021). Academic advisors must discuss and validate for students the usefulness and relevance of their degrees — in the context of students' values (Museus, 2021; Winkelmes et al., 2016). Advisors who emphasize self-actualization or individual ambition undermine collectivistic values when they imply college graduates hold more value than those without a degree or that personal economic security trumps the intrinsic worth of communities (Hanitchak, 2015; Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991/2016).
Exclusive use of self-reported interest inventories may result in career-limiting decisions because middle school and high school students often develop interests based on geography, stereotypes, or ability to pay for activities (e.g., books, summer camps, after-school events, hobbies) that introduce or expose them to different subject areas (McCloy et al., 2020). Advisors whose students share that they are considering a change to their declared majors may need to increase students' self-efficacy and validate their culture or capabilities instead of introducing alternatives (Lent, 2020). Equal caution is necessary when career advisors discuss ways to demonstrate fit during job interviews. Fit is often predicated on assimilation, requiring marginalized students to exhibit normative behaviors or beliefs (Kezar, 2010). In addition, career advisors must orient themselves to employment laws or regulations to educate students about their rights.
Fifth Dimension of the 3-I Process: Institutional Design
Equity-based career advising begins with humility and constant critical reflection upon the impact of their work (Evans & Sejuit, 2021; Hooley et al., 2019), resulting in effective campus design. Inclusive individual conversations are necessary, but not sufficient for equity. Exclusive focus on individual advising poses the risk of operating from a deficit-based mindset or implementing superficial, isolated initiatives which fail to transform the campus (Kinzie & Kuh, 2016). Career advising is an ongoing process, not an episodic event isolated to individual conversations with students during registration. Exemplary institutions affirm the strengths students bring to campus and focus on bringing change to campus environments through disbanding oppressive policies, practices, and procedures (McNair et al., 2016; Rendón, 2021). Career advisors understand and actively play an “essential role in constructing and sustaining such learning environments” (Museus, 2021, p. 28).
Ongoing data analysis enables career advisors to evaluate and effectively (re)design campus environments. Career advisors annually disaggregate career outcome rates, student utilization rates, course completion, change of major metrics, and experiential learning participation practices (McNair et al., 2020; Sosa, 2017). Institutions must also examine advising assessment data to identify if students develop decision-making skills or other learning outcomes as the result of advising, particularly because this is the essential purpose of career conversations (Gati & Kulcsar, 2021). To best capture the needs and lived experiences of marginalized students, institutions must also implement focus groups, interviews, and campus climate surveys.
Further, career advisors should advocate for the analysis of course completion rates in gateway courses. Nationally, graduates of color and low-income students do not have equal access to meaningful, satisfying employment. After failing gateway courses, they are prohibited at higher rates than their counterparts from progressing in their initially chosen endeavor (Rosenberg & Koch, 2021). Without this analysis, career advisors may be expected to move students involuntarily to alternative degree programs (Clark, 1960). Career advisors must facilitate socially-just student success to ensure all students fully realize their career aspirations. Socially-just advising results in “equal access to social mobility, opportunity, and privilege within society” (Rosenberg & Koch, 2021, p. 51).
Effective campus design also requires collaboration and advocacy (Lee, 2018). Career advisors need to support the inclusion of cultural courses in general education programs to increase student awareness of racism and discrimination. Without this curriculum, students of color or women may internalize society's prejudicial beliefs and prematurely opt out of suitable academic majors, particularly in science, engineering, math, and technology (Cadenas et al., 2020). Students may also validate their identities during ethnic courses or engagement with affinity groups (Museus, 2021).
Collaborative first-year programs are instrumental to career advising. Instead of expecting students to seek assistance on their own, career advisors proactively offer courses which deepen engagement and prepare students for individual advising conversations (Steele, 2020). Career advisors can also partner with faculty to embed career exploration into courses by inviting guest speakers to classes or explicitly naming relevance of assignments to students' future professional goals (Winkelmes et al., 2016). If faculty members take students to employers' work sites, career advisors should confirm diverse representation among the professionals who speak at the event. Students who do not see professionals who reflect their identities may question participation in their academic majors (Chadderton, 2019).
The institution should also create equitable experiential pathways so all students can participate in high-impact applied learning (Dugan et al., 2021). Through endeavors such as service-learning, students identify the direct communal benefits of their learning (McGee, 2020). Scholarships may be needed to offset costs associated with unpaid internships or study away. Advisors must also create publications or major maps tailored to each academic program to demystify the timeline and method of participation in applied learning, particularly because first-generation students are often unaware of these opportunities (EAB, 2018; Stebleton & Jehangir, 2020).
Many marginalized students must work more hours at part-time jobs, which creates time constraints and additional stress that prevents them from participating in experiential learning (Ziskin et al., 2010). In response, career advisors advocate that the institution frame student employment as a high-impact practice instead of menial work (Burnside, 2018; McClellan et al., 2018). Colleges exhibit classism and reproduce social stratification when administrators amplify the transferrable skills embedded in or merits of some co-curricular activities (e.g., student government) over student employment (Ardoin, 2020). Through campus jobs, students learn critical thinking, interpersonal development, ethical decision making, humanitarianism, civic engagement, and problem-solving skills (Halper et al., 2020; Lewis, 2010). Like other applied learning, student employment provides space for students to connect theory to practice and learn how education can be used as a tool to advance the public good. In one study, first-generation, low-income and racial or ethnic minorities who worked on campus were more likely to return for the second year of college compared to those who did not hold a job at the college (Bluml, 2019). Campus employment also provides a sense of community, mentorship, and flexible work schedules (Umbach et al., 2010).
Other Initiatives and Advocacy
Until post-secondary environments change, predicted student success is based on social support (Jett & Davis, 2020). Faculty must connect students to peers, other faculty members, and alumni mentors, particularly because marginalized students often have less social capital than the dominant majority (Kitchen et al., 2021). Mentors can describe the benefits of degree completion, foster a shared context of cultural legacy, and provide a narrative to counteract stereotypes (Nguyen & Riegle-Crumb, 2021). Mentors also help normalize students' experiences, share ways to preserve their cultural identities, and uniquely convey to students they are not expected to assimilate (McGee, 2020). Career advisors should partner with student affinity organizations to arrange mentorship programs with clear expectations, carefully defined mentor roles, and training to avoid deficit-based thinking. Students should be paired based on shared backgrounds (McGee, 2020; Van Camp et al., 2019).
Career advisors must examine campus practices to evaluate existing transfer pathways, second-year programming, networking opportunities, and identity-specific resources (Fink & Jenkins, 2021; Gardner et al., 2010). Students need tailored job search resources, post-graduation transition support, and professional clothing closets (Ardoin, 2020; Kitchen et al., 2021). Senior leaders must also consider equitable hiring practices, professional development, course design, and tenure review (Gasman & Nguyen, 2019; Gordon, 2019; McNair et al., 2020). Although many minorities report entering higher education to give back to their communities, tenure review committees rarely recognize or reward public service as compared to scholarship (Fox, 2005).
Finally, academic advisors must take an interest in public policies because social systems enable and constrain people's careers (Blustein et al., 2019; Hooley et al., 2019). Excellent career advising empowers students to individually navigate inequities and work collectively as leaders within their communities to transform systems (Evans & Sejuit, 2021). Without action and calls for change, career advisors may overlook that workforce supplies may override students' interests and access to decent work (Blustein et al., 2022; Sultana, 2022). Career advisors acknowledge the reality of racism given research, such as resume studies and call-back rates for traditional vs. nontraditional names (Quillian et al., 2017), and the experiences of some job applicants who have encountered hostility due to their natural hair (CROWN Act, 2019). Given existing inequities, career advisors must participate in civic engagement by remaining informed of policies related to internships, working conditions, compensation, unemployment, and career well-being. Communities need citizens who act boldly to ensure all people have access to meaningful, fair, and just work (Duffy et al., 2016; Holzer & Baum, 2017).
Culturally Engaged Career Advising in Action
Virginia Gordon advanced her work by developing an advising curriculum which integrated educational and career planning with organized learning outcomes, assessments, and activities (Steele, 2019). Building upon this strong model, career and academic advising continues to be integrated with shared technology, co-hosted training sessions, joint campus publications, co-sponsored events or programs, and organizational restructuring (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2021; Burton Nelson & McCalla-Wriggins, 2009). Career learning objectives are best achieved when education extends beyond individual student interactions. To illustrate these practices, we examine the advising strategies of three institutions, each with their own integrated career advising structure.
General Education Integrated Curriculum at Liberal Arts College
This small private liberal arts institution in the Midwest follows the Catholic Dominican tradition of education. The institution emphasizes career preparation focused on servant leadership, lifelong learning, and the pursuit of truth. To achieve this mission, the institution has designed a required career curriculum for all students that is integrated into the general education curriculum. This ensures that career development serves as a foundation for learning throughout a student's collegiate experience. The first-year course is designed to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of their career skills, interests, abilities, goals, and values. Through various career and self-assessments, students can explore their core strengths and reflect on their findings. The course is a prerequisite for experiential learning opportunities such as undergraduate research, study away, and internships. A senior year capstone course on decision making and implementation is also offered to support students as they transition from college to the workforce, graduate school, or volunteer opportunities. Instructors provide guidance on financial literacy and professional etiquette, and students have the opportunity to engage in career conversations with alumni from various backgrounds in their fields of interest.
Integrated Conversation & Course at Predominately White Institution
To avoid delays in support, primary-role advisors are assigned both academic and career advising duties at the second institution we selected. Career and academic advising are fully integrated, with primary-role advisors trained to cover any germane topics that surface during a conversation. This advising occurred at a Predominately White Institution. Given this context, the institution also proactively paired integrated advising with a new first-year seminar course taught by these primary-role advisors and designed to prompt students' vocational engagement while also validating cultural identities. To counteract pervasive stereotypes in society, students discussed ways society hinders the career success of marginalized groups. Students participated in micro-mentoring plenaries which connected them to classmates, faculty, employers, and alumni in their chosen fields. Students also examined topics such as racism, intersectionality, cultural identity, communication styles, and exclusionary behaviors. All students completed an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and received tailored feedback about engagement activities to advance development and create an inclusive environment for classmates. In order to experience narratives different from their own, students were required to attend diverse events outside of class. Students also explored connections between values and careers, and examined career avenues to help their broader communities. Pre-post assessments indicate self-awareness and understanding of specific-applied learning pathways. Institutional data reflects increases in retention and earlier major selection. The institution will use future results of the IDI and campus climate surveys to assess students' future experiences or development.
Co-Sponsored Program and Training at Land Grant Institution
Although higher education purports an undergraduate degree as one means to a successful life, one land grant institution in the southeastern part of the country acknowledged that for many underrepresented students, including Black, Latinx, Native, and lower socioeconomic populations, this promise becomes reality only if faculty and professionals use an equity-based lens to acknowledge social disparities and provide the resources students need to achieve their goals. To advance justice, the institution created a shared, comprehensive institutional definition of equity and a diversity strategic plan which provided a framework for creation of a dynamic, robust, and accessible learning environment for all students and faculty members. Career advisors connect students to identity-specific online career resources and mentors. They also use effective questioning to proactively support and guide students to intentional curricular and co-curricular decisions that help facilitate career readiness development. As a part of the advising office's career champion training program, faculty members discuss the unique experiences and barriers of specific marginalized student groups. To affirm the collective values of students, professionals also collaborate closely with families through online publications and e-newsletters.
Research, although often overlooked in higher education, is central to the work of all career advisors. Because many advisors are neither encouraged to perform nor rewarded for conducting research, administrators must advocate for structural changes (McGill, 2019). As such, further research is needed to examine the impact of career outcome marketing messages on diverse populations. Some have argued gainful employment advertisements are predicated on and perpetuate the myth of meritocracy (Rawlinson & Rooney, 2019). Common career outcome ads overlook the influence of social or economic forces on career opportunities and the inequitable social mobility across marginalized groups (Atkinson, 2020).
As career advisors continue to engage in campus redesign and culturally engaged advising, researchers must employ quantitative and qualitative practices to further understand how practices enable and constrain student learning (Museus, 2021). Career advisors will also benefit from evidence-based practices that expand professional development, career advising competencies, and information resources (Cuevas et al., 2021; Mahoney, 2009). Albana (2021) has developed a culturally responsive questionnaire to benchmark and assess institutional advising practices across higher education.
Future research should assess teaching practices for families. Although evidence suggests family support positively influences student persistence (Turner et al., 2018), educational researchers have historically excluded parents in learning assessment due to pervasive individualism. Additionally, leaders in the advising field should consider whether the term career advising is suitable or if vocational advising more holistically captures students' identities, advisors' initial focus on life goals, and institutions' commitment to the intrinsic merits of lifelong learning (Dik & Duffy, 2009). Vocation also emphasizes the broad benefits of degree completion and critically examines the perception of the existence of higher education solely for labor market or economic gain (Riswold, 2016). When advisors invite students to think critically about vocations and normative oppressive practices, as graduates they will further advance justice (Hooley et al., 2019).
Finally, flipped advising through learning management systems and e-portfolios also requires further examination. Although scholars have written about ways e-portfolios enable students to synthesize experiences and actively construct a coherent, compelling story of their college education (Collins, 2018; Wenk, 2019), less than half of the faculty respondents of an American Association of Colleges and Universities survey reported their institution focused on integrative learning (Finley & McConnell, 2022). Advisors must continue to engage in research to advance the use of integrative inquiry and reflection. Student motivation and engagement increases as learning becomes transparent, relevant, and visible (Winkelmes et al., 2016). E-portfolios also permit students to create counter-narratives and celebrate the cultural meaning prescribed to their degrees (McLellan, 2021). Engagement with advisors in ongoing vocational reflection through e-portfolios may also allow students to better understand the purpose of the core curriculum and increase articulation of the skills they possess at the time of graduation, thereby closing the career readiness gaps often perceived by employers (Craig & Markowitz, 2017).
In conclusion, Virginia Gordon (2006) cast a vision for career advising that continues to be applicable today. Through a blended career approach, academic advisors are uniquely positioned to teach students informed decision making, holistic planning, and integrated reflection skills. Culturally engaged career advisors advance this vision through creation of inclusive advising spaces and culturally validating student-ready environments. They foster strong relationships which validate students' cultural identities, acknowledge the presence of external obstacles, and affirm the value students prescribe to their degrees, being careful not to impose dominant individualistic values, but instead counteract pervasive stereotypes of society and affirm strengths. As a result, students can articulate how they will use their degrees to advance the health of their communities and navigate the hidden job or internship market. Career advisors also continuously audit environmental design and institutional data to identify barriers among policies, practices, or procedures. Through individual and institutional efforts, career advisors embody the values central to the field (NACADA, 2017) and Virginia Gordon's (2006) inspirational vision.
Billie Streufert serves as the Assistant Vice Provost of Student Success at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, and is pursuing a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in leadership in academic advising. Prior to serving in this role, she worked at public and two-year institutions in academic and career advising capacities. After pursuing diverse certifications (NCC, CCC, CCSC, BCC, SHRM-CP), she went on to participate in the Fulbright program and write for USA Today College on diverse career topics. More recently, she has been recognized with multiple awards and participated in leadership programs available through NACADA: The Global Community of Academic Advisors and the National Career Development Association. Her research focuses on integrated, proactive, and adaptable career advising. Billie can be reached at email@example.com
Kimberly Smith currently serves as Associate Vice Provost for Student Success Initiatives at Virginia Tech where she provides leadership for university-wide initiatives related to enhancing student learning and in addition serves as an affiliate assistant faculty member with the Higher Education program. Dr. Smith is responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing initiatives throughout the institution in collaboration with various university stakeholders. Dr. Smith has served in various leadership capacities for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) for more than seven years including as a board member, secretary of the association, annual conference chair, and president. She also serves as a Board Member for the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and is a faculty member for the NACADA Consultant and Speakers Bureau.
Dana Hebreard, Ph.D., currently serves as the director of the advantage center and career services at Aquinas College. A lifelong learner, she continued her education at Western Michigan University earning a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in 2011. At AQ, Dr. Hebreard teaches a Career Development class designed for upper-class students and also advises both students and alumni on job search strategies. She also teaches in the Master of Management program and works to develop recruitment strategies and to help broaden the scope of employment opportunities for Aquinas students. She is an active member of the advising communities in the National Association of Academic Advising and currently serves as the Director of College Relations for the Association of Human Resource Management (AHRM).