Use of and satisfaction with two types of advising systems among engineering students at Iowa State University

Jaffe, William
Major Professor
Mary E. Huba
Committee Member
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As enrollments decline in institutions of higher education quality academic advising may help reduce student attrition. A quality advising program is one which students use and one with which they express satisfaction. In this study, the academic advising program in a college of engineering was studied, by means of a questionnaire, to describe the role of the advisor in terms of predominant patterns of student use. Another purpose was to determine which type of advising system, faculty-based or professional advisor-based, resulted in greater student use and satisfaction for specific advising needs: assistance with preregistration, class add/drop, curriculum planning, career guidance, college and department rules and procedures, and personal counseling. Specific student characteristics (grade point average, age, and gender) were studied to determine if they were related to the dependent variables;Engineering students use their advisor predominantly for assistance with course selection, program requirements, institution policies, and to a lesser extent, for personal counseling;Students assigned to a faculty advisor reported greater use of and satisfaction with their advisor than students assigned professional advisors for assistance with curriculum, program, and degree requirements. Students with high grade point averages reported greater use of and satisfaction with their assigned advisor than students with lower grade point averages for curriculum and registration assistance. Younger students (less than 25 years of age) used their advisor more frequently than older students (25 years of age or older) for career guidance and personal counseling. No discernable pattern of use of the assigned advisor was found based on student gender. In contrast, female students reported greater satisfaction with advising from their assigned advisor than male students for course assistance. Women students assigned professional advisors were found to be more satisfied with the advising received from their assigned advisor for department rules and procedures assistance than women who were assigned faculty advisors;Findings were interpreted in terms of the literature and recommendations for future research were made.