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Enabling Technologies For Effective Student Advising

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Academic Standards and Academic Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.484.1 - 8.484.8



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Paper Authors

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Andrew Sterian

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Paul Plotkowski

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Jeffrey Ray

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1460


Paul D. Plotkowski, Andrew Sterian, Jeffrey L. Ray

Padnos School of Engineering Grand Valley State University


Engineering degree programs are, by their nature, very structured with extensive prerequisite systems. Because of this, student advising often degrades to the level of updating records and assisting students as they navigate the proper sequence of courses [1]. This situation can be substantially changed if both the faculty advisor and the student are provided with a larger view of the entire undergraduate curriculum including major and general education requirements and sequencing.

Utilizing database management software and web tools, a system has been implemented that provides both students and faculty advisors with timely and accurate student program data. The information is presented in an easy-to-understand format that is effectively utilized in advising. Providing this information changes the dynamics of an advising session, and allows students and their faculty advisors to focus their conversations on forward planning rather than bookkeeping.


Proper academic advising has always been important to student success in engineering programs. In recent years, additional pressure has come to bear on universities from state legislatures to ensure timely graduation of students and from accrediting bodies to provide accountability for student advising [2]. Recent surveys report that the proportion of college students who graduate in 4 years is steadily declining [4]. Essential to the success of any advising program are accuracy and consistency of information and the customization of materials to the needs of each student. Student success is influenced not only by advising with regard to university processes and procedures, but more importantly, by helping each student understand university level-academic expectations [3].

The Padnos School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University has introduced several programs and tools to facilitate consistent and accurate student advising. These initiatives begin early in the orientation/registration process and continue throughout the student’s academic career. Central to these efforts are the use of technology to assist in student exploration and the

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Sterian, A., & Plotkowski, P., & Ray, J. (2003, June), Enabling Technologies For Effective Student Advising Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12431

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