BARS7.pdf - Assessing Academic Advising Using Behaviorally...

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Assessing Academic Advising Using Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS) By Paul L. Govekar and Jill Ellen R. Christopher Peer reviewed ________________________________________________________________ Paul L. Govekar [email protected] is an Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, Ohio Northern University. Jill Ellen R. Christopher is an Associate Professor of Accounting, College of Business Administration, Ohio Northern University. ________________________________________________________________ Abstract Academic advising has been found to be important to the retention and success of college students. Many colleges of business administration do not have the luxury of an advising center to provide academic advising to their students, and the faculty is assigned this task as an additional responsibility. Most colleges do not have a system in place to assess the quality of the advising that is done. This paper outlines a process for developing a behaviorally anchored rating scale that can be used to assess the quality of faculty-based student advising. In the case presented, the rating scale is designed to be used for developmental purposes to help faculty improve their student advising.
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Introduction The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) includes academic advising in at least three of its standards for accreditation (AACSB International Standards, 2006). Academic advising is specifically mentioned in Standard 5 (Financial Strategies), Standard 8 (Staff Sufficiency – Student Support), and Standard 9 (Faculty Sufficiency). Faculty-based advising has been found to be an important factor in student retention (McArthur, 2005). Academic advising, when defined broadly, covers a lot of ground. It can help students in such areas as financial aid, support services, degree completion, career goals, and assessing job offers. Academic advisors can do much, then to enhance a student’s experience in college (Help!, 2006). However, most campuses do not have a way to ensure that students are receiving quality advising. When students are not well-advised, student retention is negatively affected (Academic Advising, 2004). Many colleges of business administration do not have the luxury of an advising center to provide academic advising to their students. In these colleges, the task of academic advising falls to the faculty. If such academic advising is an important aspect of the faculty’s responsibilities, then it follows that there should be a means of assessing the quality of such advising for developmental purposes. To create a developmental assessment of faculty advising, we turned to an approach that was in fashion two or more decades ago--the Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) approach. This paper proceeds as follows: First, we provide a review of BARS and the literature on its usefulness. Next, we outline the process we used to develop our assessment instrument. Finally, we discuss how this instrument will be used in our circumstance, primarily as an advising assessment tool, but also as evidence of effective advising that faculty members can choose to use to support their applications for merit, tenure, or other similar types of advancement.
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