Actions Needed to Improve the Quality of
Academic Advising in the CSU

AS-2690-05/AA - January 20-21, 2005

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) re-affirm the recommendations regarding advising in AS-2646-04/AA, March 11-12, 2004, "Definition of Sanctionable Units and Recommendations and Guidelines for Campus Facilitation of Progress to the Degree," and AS-2598-03/AA, January 23-24, 2003, "Recommendation on the Report from the Joint Provost/Academic Senate, California State University Task Force on Facilitating Graduation: Facilitating Student Success in Achieving the Baccalaureate Degree"; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU reiterate "the following guidelines for campuses to use for adapting or developing campus policies" regarding advising, which are found in AS-2646-04/AA:

  1. Advising:
    1. Require a timely declaration of major. In general, require that students declare a major after completing 25% of their total program (e.g., 30 semester units for a 120 semester-unit program, 45 quarter units for a 180 quarter-unit program) and before completing 40% (i.e., 48 semester units, 72 quarter units) in the example above.
    2. Require students to develop a personal graduation plan based on the declared major. Students should work with a faculty advisor in their major to develop a personal graduation plan permitting timely completion of the degree. If the personal graduation plan is not completed by the time the student completes 75% of the program, there should be a hold placed on registration until the plan is completed and approved by the appropriate advisor.
    3. Perform a degree audit in the semester or quarter when a student reaches 75% of the program and inform the student and the student's advisor of missing requirements.
    4. Implement an automated degree audit system as soon as possible.
    5. Put in place requirements such that when a student reaches 100% of the units needed for the degree program and does not graduate there are specified and progressively more stringent procedures that the student must follow until, at an appropriate point, the student is disenrolled for failing to make adequate progress toward the declared degree objective.
    6. Campuses should provide adequate funding for both major and general-education advising.

  2. Departmental plans and schedules:
    1. Each program should regularly review and, as necessary, revise its "academic road map" to ensure a clear and expeditious path to degree.
    2. Each program should offer, as resources allow, required courses and stipulated electives regularly and on a predictable, published schedule.
    3. For higher-unit sequential degree programs, the program faculty should develop alternative plans to assist students who take courses out of sequence"; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU request the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees for a timely report on the current status of the implementation of these recommendations; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge the CSU to seek supplemental funding for these important initiatives.

RATIONALE: At the January 2005 Board of Trustees meeting, Board members asked for a resolution on advising from the Senate. This resolution highlights the previous actions taken by the Academic Senate CSU, as recently as May 2004.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and long years of practice in the CSU, it is one of the roles of the tenured and probationary faculty to do advising.

As the following graph shows, the number of students per tenured or probationary faculty member has risen substantially (approximately 25%) over the last decade, and especially in the last few years, reflecting the failure of the system to hire tenured and tenure-track faculty commensurate to the number of additional students:

The Crisis in CSU Advising: Number of Students per Faculty Advisor - CSU Systemwide

Approved Without Dissent - March 10-11, 2005

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