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GPS For Success - Resources For Faculty

  • Students in a classroom

GPS for Success is designed to help advising specialists and faculty provide students who are recent high school graduates, have never been to college before and are enrolled in an academic program with a comprehensive advising experience. GPS for Success is the result of NOVA's Quality Enhancement Plan, which was established for the reaccreditation process for SACS. Our focus is to commit the same level of quality of instruction and engagement to the academic advising process.


Definition of Academic Advising and Related Terms

What is Academic Advising?

Academic advising is an opportunity to engage with and teach students the crucial planning skills needed for college and beyond. Students identified as recent high school graduates, those who have never been to college before or who are enrolled in an academic program are the focus of this program.

NOVA's Catalog defines academic advising as a comprehensive program facilitated by faculty and student service personnel to share responsibility for student success with the student. The relationship is intended to help students transition to college and help them evaluate and attain their career and academic goals. The goal is to teach them what campus and college resources to use, so they can make informed and independent decisions.

Related Terms

  • Developmental Advising - Taking the whole student into account, seeking to understand more than just academics and coursework -- students' goals, strengths, and intentions for pursuing their academic goals.
  • Intrusive Advising - Advising that takes an active role in pursuing the students’ progress and completion of tasks.
  • QEP Population - Students who are recent high school graduate, have never attended college before (except dual enrollment) and are enrolled in an academic program.
  • First Year Advisor - Professional academic advisors hired in Student Services to perform the first tier of academic advising and teaching curriculum.
  • Coordinator for Student Success - Student Services personnel who supervise the SOAR and NSO processes and Advising Specialists.
  • PeopleSoft - The data management system used by NOVA.
  • Assessments (GPS context) - Tests and surveys used to determine the extent of Student Learning Outcome attainment.
  • Microsoft Outlook - The email and calendar manager that NOVA uses.
  • SOAR - Student Orientation and Registration through which students are taught curriculum and complete some of the assessments.
  • NSO - New Student Orientation
Faculty Roles

Teaching, Learning, Advising...

Faculty are important to the success and advising of our students.

Here are some of the roles (and resources) that faculty will play in GPS for Success advising:

Expect the student to not know everything about career decision -- it's usually due to lack of awareness.

Extend an invitation to the student to come for advising; be reasonably available.

Make your expectation about their involvement and assignments to prepare very clear. Make your communication preferences known.

Attempt to engage in conversation about the student's interests. Visit theses links for more communication techniques and resources:

Review the information that is provided for you about the student.

Be interested in the student's progress, questions and well-being. Make a connection with him/her.

Assist the student in academic planning, build a proper schedule, taking into account the variables that affect successful attainment of educational goals.

Help student evaluate and learn the skills to evaluate academic performance and realignment of goals.

Students will expect you to:

  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculumgraduation requirements, and NOVA policies and procedures.
  • Encourage and guide them to define and develop realistic goals.
  • Inform them about strategies for utilizing the resources and services available at NOVA.
  • Assist them in understanding the purposes and goals of higher education.
  • Be accessible to meet with them in person during office hours, by telephone, or email in a timely and responsive manner.
  • Follow through on things you promised.
  • Assist them in gaining decision making skills and skills in assuming responsibility for their educational plans and achievements.
  • Maintain confidentiality.

Advising Syllabus Templates and Examples

GPS Resources

NOVA Specific Academic Advising Resources


What is Advising?
An overview of academic advising, the GPS for Success program and the roles/expectations of faculty.

Theories in Advising
An overview of developmental theories and their possible application to GPS for Success.

Further Reading

William Perry

David Kolb

Howard Gardner

Selected Literature on Academic Advising

Creamer, D.G. (2000). Use of theory in academic advising. In V.N. Gordon & W.R. Habley (Eds.),Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook, p. 18–34. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Crookston, B.B. (1972). A developmental view of academic advising as teaching. Journal of College Student Personnel, 13, p. 12–17.

Shockly-Zalabak, P. (2012). Advisors as Interaction Designers. NACADA Journal, 32(1), p. 12-17.

O'Banion, T. (1972). An academic advising model. Junior College Journal, 42, p. 62-69.

Winston, Jr. R.B., Enders, S.C., & Miller, T.K. (Eds.) (March 1982). Developmental approaches to academic advising. New Directions for Student Services, p. 17.

David S. Crockett, Ed. (1987). Advising Skills, Techniques and Resources: A Compilation of Materials Related to the Organization and Delivery of Advising Services. Iowa City, Iowa. ACT Corporation

Lowenstein, M. (2005, Fall). If Advising is Teaching, What do Advisors Teach? NACADA Journal, 25 (2), p.65-73.