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 Three Faculty and Staff Receive Award for Their Work in Academic Advising at LaGuardia 

Long Island City, NY—February 18, 2011—
Three LaGuardia faculty and staff members won a 2011 “Promising Practices Award” from Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs (SAPAA) a division of the National Association of Student Personnel (NASPA).

Laura McGowan, Director for Academic Support Services; Dr. Mitchell Levy, Executive Director, Center for Counseling, Advising and Academic Support; and Dr. Bernard Polnariev, Director of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs at LaGuardia, are being honored for the Art of Advising faculty professional development seminars they created and conducted during the past three semesters.

The award will be presented in the name of LaGuardia Community College on Tuesday, March 15, at NASPA's Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Kansas State University and Philadelphia University are also being recognized in this category.

The objective of the Art of Advising seminar series was to assist faculty and staff in incorporating conceptual, informational and relational elements (NACADA, 2009) inherent in effective academic advising into their work with students. In their belief that true developmental advising (Frost, 1991) requires more than merely “course selection,” the trio built the three-part seminar on a foundation of skills, values, and insights that are typically employed within the realm of student affairs.

By focusing on enhanced multicultural awareness, active listening skills, communication of empathy and an exploration of faculty values and attitudes regarding education, they sought to prepare faculty to engage in developmental advising at its best. In doing so, the College now has 36 additional faculty members who have joined the growing ranks of those who participate in LaGuardia’s bi-annual College-wide Advising Day. Many of these faculty also put their enhanced advising skills “to the test” when conducting one-on-one advising sessions with students in their majors.

Because the LaGuardia advising model calls for mandatory advisement only through the 30th credit, faculty advisement is not a requirement for all students. One important finding from College-wide Advisement Day, however, is that many students with over 30 credits continue to actively seek out advisement. Further, data from the most recent event shows that, of the 91% of students with 30+ credits who said they were motivated to take action, almost one-third (32.8%) stated that the specific action they would take would be to consult a faculty advisor earlier.

Also interesting to note is that 66% (n = 190) of students in this higher credit range indicated that they had “learned something new.” This speaks to the importance of continuing to enhance student access to, and engagement with, faculty advisors. It also speaks to the necessity of supporting these advisors with a wide-range of skills, including those that will keep students coming far beyond the point of the mandate.

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at twice the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia, we imagine new ideas; create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.