Students' perceptions of academic advisement in rural Virginia community colleges
Professional literature suggests that there is widespread dissatisfaction with academic advisement, even though students continually indicate that the advising process is critical to their success in post-secondary education. This study investigated the perceptions of traditional and adult students, career and transfer students, and full and part-time students concerning the academic advising delivery system at three small rural Virginia community colleges.
The particular advising traits investigated were: (1) Advisor's knowledge of and interest in advisees, (2) accessibility of advisors, (3) discussion of non-academic problems, (4) advisor knowledge of institutional regulations and requirements, (5) warmth and friendliness of advisors, (6) frequency of contact, (7) freedom and encouragement to be open, (8) elimination of enrollment errors by advisors, (9) satisfaction with advisor and the advising system, and (10) recommendations by the advisee to the advisor and of the advising program to others.
Comparative analysis using chi square test and frequency distributions were conducted with traditional and adult students, career and transfer students, and full and part time students. The results generally indicated that students were pleased with the advising process, however traditional students were more pleased than adult students. Furthermore, career more than transfer and full time more than part time students indicated greater satisfaction with the advising program. This study recommends that community colleges develop ways to provide better academic advisement for adult, transfer, and part time students. More research also needs to be conducted on academic advisement for career and transfer students.