Academic Advising For At-Risk Students: How To Recognize & Address “Red Flags”
Challenge - Picking up on the early warning signs or red flags that students at-risk waive
Red flags often lead to poor academic performance, which does not motivate students to persist in their academic journey. This is a problem for the student who hopes to earn a college education; it is also a problem for the institution in that higher attrition rates affect everything from efficient resource allocation to budget shortfalls.
This webinar will discuss the common red flags that students at-risk share, i.e., working full time, children, lack of resources, etc. The advisor can address and intervene on red flags that could potentially derail the student’s overall success.
“At risk students may have difficulties other than lack of basic skills. For example, at risk students may lack the motivation to pursue a college degree. They may also lack soft skills needed to be successful (i.e., attending class, maintaining concentration, using effective study strategies, and using social skills necessary to ask questions.)”. ~ Marcia Laskey
The academic advisor must be able to hear what the student is not saying and see what the student is not showing. The role of the advisor is to recognize any early warning signs the student may be experiencing that will derail the student’s success. By identifying common red flags during advising sessions, students can access the resources they need to be successful. For example, students will often show their red flags by mentioning their work schedules, lack of equipment or knowledge of how to use equipment, apprehension to ask for help, explaining their family structure or household, etc. Early intervention is the best way advisors can provide the necessary resources to the student early in their academic journey.
Join us as we discuss evidence-based best practices academic advisors can immediately use to equip students better when they start waiving red flags. Although everything discussed will be theory-based, the primary focus of the discussion will be application-oriented. Examples will show how the strategies explained can be effectively implemented in a diverse range of settings. Finally, the presenters will explore the effects that COVID-19 have had on today’s college students in creating new red flags to minimize the negative influences the pandemic has caused.
- Identify common red flags that students show, emphasizing those flags that will derail their academic journey.
- Explore the changes precipitated by COVID-19 in creating new flags for students and how advisors can address those new concerns in a post-Covid world.
- Explore ways to read between the lines and pick up on potential flags.
- Discuss the different ways an advisor can pick up on a red flag. This includes listening for keywords, using nonverbal and verbal communication, and recognizing behavior patterns from the student.
- Determine key obstacles that different student populations (traditional, non-traditional, international, etc.) face that can deter their academic progress. For example, a student needing all online classes due to work schedule, lack of equipment, etc.
- Explain how academic advisors can work with other professionals across campus to maximize the potential for success for new students.
- Discuss the specific interventions and modifications that can help these students succeed in the total college experience.
- Demonstrate evidence-based best practices for providing additional services (remedial and/or developmental) to students who could benefit from this kind of supplemental support.
- Critique real-life case studies of college students who overcame the challenges they faced upon entering college (with the help of appropriate interventions from academic advisors).
- Academic Advising & Retention
- Academic Affairs/Advising Faculty
- Career Services/Career Center
- Orientation & Advising
- Admissions & Recruitment
- Enrollment Management
- Student Services/Affairs
- Housing & Residence Life
- Student Conduct
- Any educator interested in learning more about helping at-risk students
“When being asked if the advisor saw the red flags from the student, they replied: ‘Yes, but I thought it was a carnival.’ With intrusive advising and using all forms of communication skills, the advisor can pick up on the early warning signs or red flags that students at-risk waive. Intervening when these flags present themselves and connecting the student to the appropriate resources, can course correct the student and assist them overcoming these barriers.”
Rachael Finn is a May 2020 graduate of the master’s degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Western Kentucky University. She completed her B.A from WKU in 2006 in Sociology. Rachael has worked in higher education since 2012. She has worked in Admissions/Recruitment and Career Services before landing in Academic Advising at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College in 2019. She is currently assisting her Advising Center with developing a retention program that focus on academically suspended students and their reinstatement process. Being an at-risk student herself, Rachael focuses on helping students set their goals and enjoys coaching students towards success.
Bio current as of June 2022.
Dr. Aaron W. Hughey is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University, where he oversees the graduate degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he spent 10 years in progressive administrative positions, including five years as the Associate Director of University Housing at WKU. He was also head of the department of Counseling and Student Affairs for five years before returning to the faculty full-time in 2008. Dr. Hughey has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 60 refereed publications on a wide range of issues including leadership and student development, standardized testing, diversity, legal issues (including compliance), technology, and educational administration. He regularly presents at national and international conferences and consults extensively with companies and schools. He also provides training and professional development programs on a variety of topics centered on student success; academic advising is one of his specialties.
Bio current as of June 2022.
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