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Multicultural Academic Advising Portfolio
Transcript of Multicultural Academic Advising Portfolio
The objective of this portfolio is to synthesize my current multicultural advising awareness into one document. This document will show what I have learned during this semester about myself and the privileges inherent in my culture. It will also display what I have discovered about multicultural students, my institutional climate and services as well as the diversity on the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) campuses.
I will review and revise this portfolio as I learn new skills, participate in multicultural experiences, and gain knowledge and awareness from other classes I take at KSU. It will be a helpful reflection tool and a marker to gauge how my definition of multicultural advising changes over time. It is intended to be a fluid document, always leaving room for improvement and new insight. This document, but its very nature must never be “complete” as there will always be new opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally.
Multicultural academic advising is an important facet of advising as a whole. Academic advising is the process of coming alongside the student to guide and teach, but in a multicultural environment this must also include awareness of discrimination, knowledge of cultural background and culture-specific learning styles or "ways of knowing" and a sensitivity to ones' own personal bias or privilege. It is vital for the advisor to identify and understand different resources and contacts available to multicultural students.
When looking at NACADA's Statement of Core Values of Academic Advising, multicultural advising is one aspect of advising that still fits nicely into the core values. While staying within the framework of the Core Values, somewhat more emphasis may be placed on “advisors are responsible to the individuals they advise” and also “advisors are responsible for involving others” (NACADA, 2005).
In a multicultural advising situation, the advisor is required to take into account additional information such as the student’s background, religious practices, affectational or sexual orientation, home life, family expectations and students' personal goals as these things relate to culture. Advisors would also do well to pay particular attention to involving others departments or amenities in the process such as on-campus cultural groups, language classes, seminars and support programs for immigrant, international, disabled, or non-traditional students.
Multicultural advising should start with an awareness of the self and the lenses through which we as advisors see the world. When we know and understand our own biases we can then see more clearly through the lenses of other cultures.
It is important to avoid making assumptions about a student based on skin colour, accent, gender, style of dress, affectational orientation or cultural background. It is always best to treat each student as an individual and ask questions to learn how their culture has (or hasn't) affected their experiences in school. To avoid a patronizing tone, we must not assume that every ethnic minority student has felt marginalized or has strong ties to their cultural background, and we must not assume that students in majors outside of traditional gender-roles have felt alienated. We must listen more than we talk.
Personal Multicultural Identity
My experience as a nontraditional student heightens empathy for my advisees
What's in my educational "invisible knapsack"
Attended a predominantly-white school so never felt out of place or misunderstood
approximately 66% of students in my chosen major were women
many educational choices
a culture that promotes and values
no language barriers
serious health issues kept me from graduating with my class
no financial assistance was available from family
worked 3 jobs while in full time school
First-generation University student
I did not have a model to follow or family to help me navigate the process
Heterosexual person in a
took time off to pursue other educational avenues
was unsure of my life goals and direction
Serious Health Concerns
was never aware of Disability Resources, but would have benefited from these services
Lived close to campus
no barriers because of commute or cost of travel
Curriculum consistent with my cultural upbringing
reading, writing & linear logic
All areas of campus were for "my race"
didn't need to join ethnic clubs or international dorm
beliefs subject to scrutiny & questioning, but not persecution
EDCEP 851 ~ Multicultural Advising
May 11, 2013
Multicultural Advising Portfolio
Operational Definition of Academic Advising
Statement of Objectives
All photos used with permission from the UFV Marketing & Communications Department and may not be reproduced without permission.
Hunter, M. S., & Kendall, L. (2008). Moving into college. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, and T. J. Grites, Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2nd edition) (chapter 9). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kotler, P. (1973). Atmospherics as a marketing tool. Journal of Retailing, 49(4), 48-64.
Lowenstein, M. (2008). Ethical foundations of academic advising. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, and T. J. Grites, Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2nd edition) (chapter 3). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
McIntosh, P. (1990). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. Independent School, 49(2), 31. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
NACADA. (2004). NACADA statement of core values of academic advising: Exposition. From the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Core-Values-Exposition.htm
NACADA. (2005). NACADA statement of core values of academic advising. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Core-values-of-academic-advising.aspx
University of the Fraser Valley. (n.d.). Aboriginal Access Services. Retrieved from http://www.ufv.ca/arc/
University of the Fraser Valley. (n.d.). Educational Advising Services. Retrieved from http://www.ufv.ca/advising
My personal philosophy of multiculural academic advising has several facets, and is likely to change over time as I learn and grow. I believe there are certain things I must know in order to be an effective advisor, such as institutional policy and how to work with at-risk students, minority students and students in various developmental stages. I place particular importance on the physical advising space; it sets the tone and mood for every interaction it must not be underestimated. I have specific goals for myself in regard to the role I play with students and key influencers. I also believe that it is important to act in an ethical manner with students and staff at all times.
To function effectively as an advisor there are three major areas of knowledge I must possess. The most obvious is knowledge of the institution, its policy, its programs and its strengths. Students make advising appointments because they have questions, concerns, or they need direction. First-year students may be expecting a prescriptive advising style where they are told what to do and how to do it, as they have become accustomed to throughout their elementary and high-school education (Hunter & Kendall, 2008), or they may come from a collectiveistic culture where they face certain expectations from family. It is important to build trust and credibility by having the answers to their questions based on a solid understanding of my institution’s entry requirements, available programming, clubs, and support. It is also vital to understand where the student may be hearing other advice; do they have strong parental involvement or are they a first-generation student without a roadmap to follow? I must also have the knowledge to understand how each student may fit into a larger cohort and to understand how to work with each. While avoiding over-generalization, I need to be sensitive to certain at-risk groups such as adult learners, students with disabilities, and minority students, all of whom may be more likely to leave school before completion (Hunter & Kendall, 2008). I must be able to adjust my advising style depending on the audience. Finally, I must know some of the most prominent developmental and cognitive theories so I can have a framework to understand why and how students make certain decisions.
Before students even come through the door I believe it is important for the advising office to create an appropriate environment to ensure their comfort. The study of atmospherics, usually applied to retail marketing, applies quite well to the advising office. Atmospherics, a term coined by Philip Kotler, means, “The effort to design… environments to produce specific emotional effects…” (Kotler, 1973, p. 49). Advising spaces should be neutral and calming. Desks should be organized and free of clutter and walls should be sound-proof. Students should experience an environment that feels welcoming, but also businesslike. If advisors are to be viewed as professionals we need to create a place that portrays credibility, professionalism, and trustworthiness. Certain decor can show students that the advising office is a safe and inclusive space. Advisors must be mindful not to display anything that could be offensive, but more than that, to show diversity by decorating for varied cultural holidays, or showing a rainbow flag. The environment is extremely important to set the stage for good relationships and to encourage dialogue.
As an advisor I believe part of my role is provide relevant and timely information, to avoid overwhelming students and to assure them that many other students before them have had similar concerns. Though every situation is unique, it is important to let students know there are others who have already navigated the waters ahead. It is especially helpful to be able to speak about the experiences of other minority students (confidentially, of course) who have been successful. I believe it is also important to serve as a sounding-board for students, guiding the conversation as they talk about their hopes and plans for the future, but I should spend more time actively listening than talking. It is also important to ask open-ended questions to encourage them to talk through their issues and come to their own conclusions. It is important not to assume that all minority students face the same challenges.
As stated in NACADA’s Core Values, I have a responsibility to the students I serve (NACADA, 2004). One specific area I try to focus on is helping students to become self-reliant. For many students the advising appointment is the first time they are introduced to the idea of taking full control of and responsibility for their own lives. Sometimes this is in conflict with what they are hearing from their parents. As much as possible I like to form relationships with the students’ key influencers to help everyone understand that it is in the students’ best interest to have support, but ultimately to make decisions of their own. Even if a student is from a collectivistic culture, they must make the decision to follow or challenge that way of thinking. If students are allowed to rely on advisors or parents to make their decisions for them it is likely that they will blame their own shortcomings on those advisors or parents. Perhaps worse, they will not take full ownership of their successes and achievements, thereby missing the opportunity to develop self-confidence and autonomy.
I believe I have a responsibility to act ethically at all times. I must treat students in an equitable manner without bias even though their ideals, culture, background, learning style, or affectational orientation may not line up with my own. This means that I must not spend more time with or allot more resources to students with whom I have more in common. I must also work within the institution to advocate for the student where necessary while still allowing students to make autonomous decisions (Lowenstein, 2008). Students may know what they need or desire, but may not have the tools or the “inside information” to achieve those goals. I must come alongside them and speak on their behalf to staff or faculty to whom they may not have access. I must be aware of the tools and campus-resources so the student has the support he or she needs.
My personal philosophy of advising has many parts that work together as a whole. I believe that I must have a deep knowledge of institutional policy and programs, and an understanding of my audience, be they at-risk students, multicultural students or students working through their own development. I want to create a welcoming, safe and professional environment for everyone who enters my offices. I also believe I have a specific role and responsibility to the students and key-influencers I serve. In addition I strive to act in an ethical manner at all times to ensure equitable treatment of all students.
Advising Self-Awareness ~ My Personal Philosophy of Multicultural Advising
I would like to do more research on the cultural backgrounds of the students I come into contact with on a daily basis. While every student is an individual, it would be nice to have more of an understanding of cultural practice, religious beliefs, parental pressures, etc that may or may not play a role in the life of the student. Knowing more would help me to ask “better” questions during the advising session and engage in more meaningful dialogue.
Educational Advisors assist students with program information, creating education plans, and interpreting UFV policy as well as referring students to other resources.
Aboriginal Access Services
Disability Resource Centre
International Student Club
Factors Affecting Multicultural Student Retention
will I be offered the resources I need to succeed?
will I be accepted for who I am &
free to express myself?
are there groups and clubs for me?
will my culture be celebrated?
is the campus environment
diverse, positive and inclusive?
will I be able to enjoy myself & contribute to the student body?
Abbotsford has the largest South Asian population in Canada per capita. Many people immigrated from the Punjab province in India starting in the early 1900’s. UFV has strong ties to India and even a campus in Chandigarh.
Another strong culture on campus is the Mennonites who have deep historical roots in the Fraser Valley.The Mennonite Educational Institute (k-12 private school) is one of the largest feeder schools to UFV.
UFV is located on the traditional territory of the Sto:lo Nation. Twenty-four member bands are represented on campus, including First Nations status students, non-status students, Metis, and Inuit.
University of the Fraser Valley’s main campus is in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. This area is particularly known for its ethnic diversity. In fact, Abbotsford is the third most ethnically diverse city in Canada, behind Vancouver (which is 45 minutes away) and Toronto, Ontario.
Multicultural curriculum is vital to student experience, student retention and to promote diversity on campus. The representation of culture in academia shows the university values and respects many cultures.
The government of Canada and all of the universities are actively engaged in dialogue about ways to Indigenize the Academy. This refers not only to courses offered, but promoting traditional ways of teaching (oral vs written), traditional ways of understanding personhood (the Medicine Wheel), and infusing these into all classes. First Nations students also have access to Aboriginal Services, meeting with Elders, computer and group space, and bursaries. Often there are conferences and lectures about this issue and I make it a point to attend as many as I am able to.
Modern Language Classes:
American Sign Language
Indigenous Visual Arts
Aboriginal Culture & Language Support
Social Services - First Nations Option
Native Indian Teacher Education Program
Workplace TASK (students with disabilities)
Indo Canadian Studies
Latin American Studies
English as a Second Language
"Describing White privilege makes one newly accountable" - Peggy McIntosh
what are my career prospects?
do I fit in?
do my holidays and religious events matter?
Statement of Objectives
Operational Definition of Advising
Personal Philosophy of Multicultural Advising
Advising Services at UFV
Institutional Climate at UFV
Privilege Awareness & Relatability
Retention - What Really Matters?
Multicultural Curriculum at UFV