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Fall 2009 PACADA Retreat: Adventures in Academic Advising

The Fall 2009 PACADA retreat was held in a new venue, the Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette. The conference room was spacious and met the day’s needs well. The theme for the day was, “Adventures in Academic Advising." Attendees were welcomed with a lively PowerPoint presentation created by Merrill Landgrebe with snippets from adventure films and included numerous inspirational quotes. Anneliese Kay, Steering Committee Chair, provided the annual Lettermanesque “Top Ten List,” connecting academic advising to the titles of the various adventure films in the PowerPoint.

This year’s retreat was directly relevant to the day to day functions of an academic advisor. The approximate 100 attendees traveled through Adventures in Academic Advisingviewing vignettes from NACADA’s academic advising professional development DVD: Scenes for Learning and Reflecting. Sara Stein Koch, director of undergraduate programs in Management, facilitated the day. After each vignette, advisors shared their perspectives in small groups. Then Sara opened the discussion to the large group. Advisors had the opportunity to share their opinions and techniques as well as learning from their advising colleagues.

In addition to the advising vignettes, representatives from several of the counseling offices on campus presented information about their respective services and programs including Counseling & Psychological Services, Counseling and Guidance Center and University Residence.

We were fortunate to have a lovely and sunny day. Most of the attendees went outdoors with their McAlister’s lunch to enjoy the sunshine and to mingle with their advising colleagues. A random drawing provided lucky winners with advising related door prizes procured through NACADA.

As is the case with all programming, not all aspects of the day were highly rated by all attendees. However, this quote sums up the overall evaluation: The location was superb! I felt this retreat was the best we have had in years! The format allowing for small and large group discussion was most beneficial. Through our title, Academic Advisor, we are "alike" but we are also different in our duties, responsibilities, advising philosophies, and methodologies. It is often good to get together as colleagues and discuss BEST practices...especially in these times of CHANGE!


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