Advising the Students of Today

Advisors over ZoomAdvising the Students of Today is an academic advising certificate program designed for staff already working in an academic advising position at UC Santa Cruz. The program, developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education’s Office of Campus Advising Coordination, aims to support advisors in building general foundations of advising including NACADA “core competencies,” and essential skills for working with the students who make up our diverse undergraduate population.

By ensuring the academic advising community at UC Santa Cruz has an opportunity to be developed not only in concepts such as academic advising strategies and student development theory, but also in concepts such as stereotype threat, recognizing microaggressions, and the power of a growth mindset, we are better positioned to effectively support our students’ sense of belonging and ultimate academic success.

How was the program developed?

The Office of Campus Advising Coordination successfully applied for funding from UC's Office of the President designed to support access and retention of students from LCFF+ high schools - this population typically includes low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. Ensuring that our academic advising staff is well-trained in supporting these populations is a key part of improving their experience and progress to graduation.

The funding was used to hire a NACADA consultant, who developed a report with recommendations for the curriculum. We worked with other consultants who developed the online modules. We are very appreciative both to the UC Office of the President and to NACADA for their support in developing this program.

Who can participate?

In 2023-24 it will be open to college and department advisors. To be eligible you must obtain supervisor approval prior to submitting your interest form. Discuss with your supervisor what it will mean to attend, and how it will affect your work schedule. Participants will need to ask their supervisor to submit confirmation of support prior to the start of the program.

How will participants be chosen, and who will facilitate the program this year?

We hope to be able to accommodate all college and major advisors who express interest; if we are unable to accommodate all who express interest, we will prioritize them for the following year. In 2023-2024, Verónica López-Durán and Winnie Tang will facilitate the program.

How much time does it take?

The program is completed over the course of a year. There are three modules in each of fall, winter, and spring quarters, and a final meeting in summer; each module consists of about 4 hours of independent online work that can be completed at any time (readings, viewing videos, etc.), followed by a two hour facilitated discussion which all participants must attend. You may miss no more than one meeting and still earn the certificate. The culminating project will be to develop your own personal philosophy of advising.

Facilitated discussions will take place on the following dates via Zoom in 2023-2024. All discussions will be from from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.:

Fall Winter Spring Summer
October 13 January 26 April 19 July 12
November 3 February 16 May 10
December 8* March 15 June 7

* The Multicultural Advising Conference E-course is required between the second and third meetings in fall quarter.

What topics will be covered?

The topics will be consistent with NACADA’s conceptual framework for advisor training, and will include conceptual, relational, and informational topics:


•   Advising as a teaching and learning activity
•   Retention and engagement theories
•   Overview of student development theory
•   Exploration and development of awareness of inequities
•   Structure of an advising session


•   Examining larger systems of inequity, and application to our advising practice
•   Identity awareness; exploring self and others
•   Culture matching, and student messaging to foster a growth mindset
•   Understanding microagressions


•   Undergraduate populations and demographics at UC Santa Cruz
•   Policies in action: case studies on specific academic advising policy and procedure

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to advisors or their units to participate.

How can I register?

The interest form for 2023-2024 will be available in August. A call from the Office of Campus Advising Coordination will be sent to college and department/major advisors with a deadline of September 7. if we are unable to accommodate all who express interest, we will prioritize them for the following year.