Appreciative advising

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Appreciative Advising (AA) is a social-constructivist advising philosophy that provides a framework for optimizing advisor interactions with students in both individual and group settings.[1] The heart and soul of appreciative advising is the organizational development theory of appreciative inquiry that was developed in 1979 by David Cooperrider at Case Western Reserve University. Appreciative advising also draws from the positive psychology, social constructivist theory, and choice theory literature.


Appreciative advising emerged from an article written by Jennifer L. Bloom and Nancy Archer Martin titled "Incorporating Appreciative Inquiry into Academic Advising" that appeared in the online academic advising journal at Penn State, The Mentor,[2] on August 29, 2002. Subsequently, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) began implementing the concepts outlined in the article and began to demonstrate success in terms of student retention. Bryant Hutson and Scott Amundsen at UNCG coined the term "appreciative advising". Bloom, Hutson, and He (2008) wrote the first book, titled The Appreciative Advising Revolution, on the topic. Institutions and academic advisors from throughout the country are now utilizing the appreciative advising approach to guide their advising programs and interactions with students.

In 2012, the University of South Carolina began offering an online Appreciative Advising course as well as a process for certifying appreciative advisers. Building on the success of the Appreciative approach to academic advising, the movement has expanded to other areas, including teaching (appreciative college instruction), orientation, admissions, Greek life, and tutoring. This expansion of the principles of appreciative advising is now known as appreciative education.

The core of appreciative advising[edit]

The six phases[edit]

The Disarm phase involves making a positive first impression with students and allaying any fear or suspicion they might have of meeting with the advisor.
The Discover phase is spent continuing to build rapport with students and learning about their strengths, skills, and abilities through utilizing effective and positive open-ended questions that encourages narratives.
The Dream phase involves uncovering students' hopes and dreams for their futures.
The Design phase is spent co-creating a plan to make their hopes and dreams come true.
The Deliver phase is the implementation phase where students carry out their plan, and the advisor’s role is to support them as they encounter roadblocks.
Don't Settle
The Don't Settle phase involves challenging students to achieve their full potential and supporting them along their journey.[3]

Appreciative advising certification[edit]

Professional certification[edit]

The University of South Carolina's Office of Appreciative Education now offers a professional rating for academic advisers: Appreciative Advising Certification. Certified Appreciative Advisors are committed to a standard of excellence in the field of advising and optimizing their students' educational experiences. The certification process includes successful attendance of the Appreciative advising Institute or completion of the appreciative advising course, as well as completed advising rubrics, recommendations, a current CV, and personal advising theory.[4]

Benefits of certification[edit]

  • Advanced professional qualification [4]
  • Increased skills and knowledge
  • Raised professional expectations
  • Elevated advising experience for students

Appreciative Advising Institute[edit]

The Appreciative Advising Institute was first held in August 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2012 Appreciative Advising Institute was held July 28–31 in Charleston, SC. The Institute is intentionally designed to teach participants the theoretical structure of appreciative advising and to provide skills training in implementing this framework. This conference is designed to provide ample opportunity for participants to extend theory to practice. Participants learn how the six phases help both the advisor and advisee optimize their educational experiences. Participants are encouraged and given the opportunity to reflect on their own goals and dreams to optimize their own lives.[5]

Appreciative Advising Course[edit]

The Appreciative Advising Course is designed to be a community of learners (instructors included). There are opportunities for participants to interact with other community members each week. This is done via discussion board conversations, as well as optional live chat dialogues. Active participants greatly enhance their own learning experience as well as that of the community. This is an eight-week course.[6]

Institutions using appreciative advising[edit]

  • University of North Carolina Greensboro
Advising, adviser training, undergraduate academic courses, Appreciative Advising Inventory, and graduate-level ESL courses
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Advising, adviser training, TEAL Learning Community, and Academic Recovery Program
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Advising students on probation, workshops for students on probation, and adviser training
  • University of South Carolina at Columbia
Advising students on probation, adviser training, Appreciative Advising Inventory, advising master's degree students in Higher Education and Student Affairs programs, and a graduate-level course that focuses on appreciative advising
  • Miami University Hamilton
Advising all students, including probation students; advising syllabus; adviser training; and Appreciative Advising Inventory
  • Eastern Illinois University
Advising adult and non-traditional students, electronic advising
  • Prairie State College
Advising at-risk students, faculty and adviser training
  • Grand Valley State University
Advising honors students and candidates for fellowships
  • Florida Atlantic University
Advising traditional and non-traditional students, honors students, probation/suspension/at-risk students; advising syllabus, advisor training, workshop presentations[7]

More about UNCG's usage of appreciative advising[edit]

Academic recovery programming[edit]

When students feel academically discouraged, such as when they are on academic probation, they may need to be reminded of the strengths that led them to college in the first place. Students in academic trouble also typically have a limited time in which to improve their status. Practically, it is quicker to correct this status by building on strengths, and maintaining a course load and engaging in academic and social behaviors that reflect these strengths, than it is to attempt to correct long-standing deficits. The SAS 100 program at UNCG is a great example of this application. The course features the use of the Appreciative Advising Inventory as the basis for three mandatory advising sessions and the use of appreciative advising questions in weekly reflections and discussions. All instructors are trained to use appreciative advising in their meetings with the students. After the appreciative approach was introduced, retention of SAS 100 students improved 18%. When control and treatment groups were compared, the treatment group achieved a statistically significant GPA gain of .73 (p=. 03) compared to the control group at .42.[8]

Internal transfer advising[edit]

Appreciative advising is also particularly useful in internal transfer cases in which a student has realized that their current declared major may not be a good fit, but are struggling to identify a new major. Student Academic Services at UNCG has used appreciative advising to assist declared pre-nursing majors who have not met continuance requirements. This began as a pilot program in the spring of 2005, and currently includes all pre-nursing majors who have a cumulative GPA that has been identified as not competitive by the School of Nursing. The goal of the program is to help students explore their options, given that they are unlikely to be accepted into the School of Nursing. Of the 145 students served by the program during the spring and fall semesters of 2005, 30% have changed their major, while an additional 43% continue to receive advising through Student Academic Services. The mean GPA for participants has also improved dramatically.[9]

First-year Experience Program[edit]

UNCG's First-Year Experience program is called University Studies 101 (UNS 101), and uses a curriculum emphasizing appreciative advising. One stated aim of the program is to assist students in discovering their purposes, identifying their strengths, and aligning these newly discovered assets with plans for their future. The activities, class discussions, and assignments used in the course guide students through the six appreciative advising stages. A comprehensive program evaluation which includes the tracking of academic outcomes and assessment of student attitudes and behaviors has evidenced the positive impact of the UNS 101 program (Hutson & Atwood, 2005). For example, the freshman to sophomore retention rate of freshmen who completed UNS 101 in fall 2006 and returned for fall 2007 was 81.9%. This compares to a retention rate of 74.4% for freshmen who did not take the course. Meanwhile, the average first semester GPA for students who did not take the course was 2.49, while UNS 101 participants had an average first semester GPA of 2.72.

Further reading[edit]


  • The Appreciative Advising Revolution by Jennifer L. Bloom, Bryant L. Hutson, and Ye He
  • Appreciative College Instruction: Becoming a Force for Positive Change in Student Success Course by Jennifer L. Bloom, Bryant L. Hutson, Ye He, and Claire Robinson

For a more exhaustive list of articles consult Those listed below were pulled from that site.

  • Truschel, J. H. (2007, July 6). "Using Appreciative Inquiry in advising at-risk students: Moving from challenge to success". The Mentor.
  • Larkin, M. (2008, February 6). "Creating reflection on international experiences through appreciative advising". The Mentor.
  • Pembleton, H. L. (2009, February 5). "Master's students, Appreciative Advising, and the transition", The Mentor.
  • Braunstein, M. (2009, March 4). "Advising honors students within the Appreciative Advising framework". The Mentor.
  • Olsen, N. S. (2009, April 2). "Appreciative Advising and first-generation college students". The Mentor.
  • Lyons, R., Sandeford-Lyons, S., Singleton Jackson, A. E. (2010). "Examining the appreciative advising model for student athlete advising". Academic Athletic Journal, 21 (1), 23-35.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Bloom, Hutson, & He (2008). The Appreciative Advising Revolution. Urbana-Champaign, IL: Stipes.
  2. ^ The Mentor
  3. ^ "The Six Phases of Appreciative Advising". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Professional Certification". Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  5. ^ "2012 Appreciative Advising Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26.
  6. ^ "Appreciative Advising Course". Archived from the original on 24 September 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  7. ^ Bloom J.L.; Hutson, B. L.; He, Y.; Amundsen, S.; et al. (22 April 2009). "How Eight Institutions Have Incorporated Appreciative Advising". The Mentor.
  8. ^ Hutson, B.L. He, Y., Amundsen (November 2006). "Evaluating the impact of Appreciative Advising across higher education institutions: A multi-site evaluation (Poster Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Portland, OR.)".
  9. ^ Hutson, B.L; Atwood, J.A. (November 2006). "Outcome evaluation to support freshman orientation program".