The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Rachel E Friedensen

Second Advisor

Jennifer B Jones

Third Advisor

Linda S Heath

Fourth Advisor

Darcie L Anderson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Faculty advisors, professional development


Academic advising is widely touted as essential to retention and student success. Faculty members have advising responsibilities at a majority of colleges and universities. Faculty members typically receive little or no preparation for advising through their graduate education, and advising training for newly hired faculty members is often limited. This interpretive qualitative study explored the experiences of faculty members in developing academic advising knowledge and competencies using the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Academic Advising Core Competencies Model (NACADA, 2017a) as a conceptual framework. Using a semi-structured interview format, I interviewed eight faculty advisors at a mid-sized, public, four-year university. Faculty advisors described learning skills by studying university policies and requirements, by asking questions of faculty colleagues, and by working with students. They valued and prioritized building relationships with students. They tended to use advising approaches consistent with their disciplinary backgrounds. Participants’ discussions of their experiences demonstrated the importance of institutional supports to develop a culture of advising.


Many thanks to so many friends, family members, and colleagues who supported and encouraged me throughout this graduate program and dissertation process.

Special thanks to Dr. Rachel Friedensen, my advisor and committee chair, whose guidance and encouragement helped me to keep writing and refining my work.

Thank you to my committee members, Dr. Darcie Anderson, Dr. Linda Heath, and Dr. Jennifer Jones, for taking time to read and consider my work, to ask thought-provoking questions, and to provide constructive feedback.

Thank you to my husband Randy, who has steadfastly encouraged me to go after this degree, and for the countless loads of laundry, trips to the grocery store, meals prepared, and dishes washed so that I could focus on my studies.

Thank you to my son Erik—whenever I needed it, his words “you can do it Mama” helped me keep going.

Thank to my sister Barb who was always there to listen, and reminded me that I always liked learning things when I was unsure about starting this journey.

Thank you to my study participants who generously shared their time, their experiences, and their thoughts with me.

Thank you to my Cohort 10 classmates for your friendship and support. I am very grateful to have shared the challenges of this program with you.

This project was supported by a research grant from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.