Professional News

Advisers Get Help in 'War on Attrition'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2009) - The University of Kentucky's "War on Attrition" is aimed at retaining students and helping them be successful. As part of that, the second in a webinar series on "Reaching and Retaining Students" will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Center Theater of the UK Student Center.

The webinar series, provided by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), is for UK's academic advisers -- frontline employees who play an important role in student retention. The series, sponsored by the UK Advising Network and the Office of the Provost, includes several more sessions throughout the academic year.

The Nov. 18 webinar features Kathleen Shea Smith, assistant director of the Advising First Center for Exploratory Students at Florida State University and chair of the NACADA Undecided/Exploratory Students Commission; and David Spight, assistant dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at University of Texas-Austin and past-chair of the NACADA Undecided/Exploratory Students Commission. A discussion facilitated by Mark Taylor, director of the Central Advising Service and Transfer Center and senior assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies will follow the webinar presenation.

According to the NACADA Web site describing the webinar, although many students enter college with a declared major, they aren't completely sure of their choice. A report is cited that estimates as many as 75 percent of all students entering college are actually undecided about their academic and career plans.

The Web site also states: "As academic advisors, we are positioned to empower each student at the onset of their educational journey. To be most effective, advisors must implement specific methods adapted from the career development field to effectively guide the major selection process. Critical navigation tools include assisting the student to identify their unique strengths, interests and values, and connecting these to viable academic options and promising careers. By utilizing this developmental approach, advisors will have the greatest impact on student success, directly affecting satisfaction and retention."

The series of seven webinars and subsequent discussions are taking place from September 2009 to May 2010 covering various topics advisers deal with on a daily basis.

For a full list of the webinars, visit the UK Advising Network at, or for more information contact Matthew Deffendall at 257-3532 or