Welcome to your Academic Advising/Counseling Research Guide. We hope that you will find this guide invaluable as you grow as a practitioner-researcher. This guide is developed for an inclusive community of higher education professionals, both at the 4-year and community college levels. We hope that academic advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students will use this research guide as a resource to foster best practices and intellectual inquiry within the field of academic advising and higher education.
We are sensitive to the fact that individuals may identify as either academic advisors or academic counselors, and our intention is to be inclusive of all professionals. For the purpose of this guide, we use the term academic advising, while recognizing that advising practice is situated in an interdisciplinary framework, rooted in educational counseling, and critical inquiry from diverse academic disciplines and scholarly perspectives.
"Rigorous inquiry that investigates academic advising’s impact, context, or theoretical basis.”
- NACADA Research Agenda
Practitioner research refers to workplace research that enables professionals to evaluate and assess practices, and find solutions to challenges they identify. It also fosters critical dialogue between theory and practice, and has the potential to advance knowledge production within the field. For example, scholarly advisors engage with the symbiotic relationship between theory and best practices, which informs how they advise. Thinking critically about how they advise can, in turn, enable advisors to reimagine advising theory.
Academic advisors are uniquely positioned to engage in practitioner research because they are in direct contact with students, working with them during challenging and transformative experiences throughout their academic careers. Their in-depth knowledge of student experiences has the potential to add texture, nuance, and dimension to advising research, which is typically done by faculty and higher education administrators.
To learn more about practitioner research: