Make or break: the role and support needs of academic advisors in work-integrated learning courses

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Wenham, Kathryn E
Valencia-Forrester, Faith
Backhaus, Bridget
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2020
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The role of academic advisors in work-integrated learning courses is crucial to student success, yet poorly understood. This research aimed to understand the role and support needs of academic advisors by conducting interviews, a survey, and a focus group within a service learning program in Queensland, Australia. Participants identified rewards in observing student transformation and supporting students to contribute to social justice causes. However, the role had high demands in terms of pastoral support. Although academic advisors reported strong support mechanisms, they identified gaps in supporting them to meet the needs of international students and students with mental health issues. Academic advisors need strong mentoring or supervisory support to deal with diverse student issues, clear processes for tracking and managing students, training and resources to deal with special needs students, and opportunities for team building and bonding. Supporting academic advisors could help to better support students to successfully complete internships.

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Higher Education Research and Development
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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version
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Education
Higher education
Social Sciences
Education & Educational Research
Academic advisor
roles and responsibilities
support
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Wenham, KE; Valencia-Forrester, F; Backhaus, B, Make or break: the role and support needs of academic advisors in work-integrated learning courses, Higher Education Research and Development, 2020
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