Education and the Role of Advisory Programs Research Paper

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School advisory programs enable growth in students when advisors successfully connect and built trust with the student. When school advisory programs fail to provide that connection, students tend to dismiss what the kinds of programs have to offer and miss an opportunity on a chance for a personalized education. Steps must be taken to ensure school advisory programs meet the needs of the student population as well as develop methods to ensure communication and connection between the student and advisor. This literature review will analyze six articles that observe and develop methods of successful implementation of student advisory programs and what school staff can do to increase their odds of helping students.


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In a 2012 qualitative study, authors examined a Horizon's Schools to Watch advisory program to observe middle school aged students. It is an Illinois affiliate of an organization called National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform National Schools to Watch program. Any program with the STW designation have demonstrated exemplary implementation of practice in middle schools. While many advisory programs follow the same standard, this program is unique in that it is separated based on gender during the time the student speaks with an advisor. The authors of the study explored the possible impact gender separation can have on enabling trust within the advisor-student relationship as well as providing a comfortable environment to further allow students to confide and become open with their problems. The results gender separation may be beneficial in providing that safe environment for effective advising. "The findings suggest that gender separation appears to provide benefits in the eyes of the students and teachers, making the advisory program a key component in helping to provide an effective middle school environment" (Weilbacher, & Lanier, 2012, p. 17).

Research Paper on Education and the Role of Advisory Programs Assignment

In analyzing the article, the theory or hypothesis is, can gender separation provide a more comfortable environment for students to share and be open in? In pre-contemplation phase, the authors felt students being with the same gender will instill trust faster because they could relate more to the advisor. As the interviews took place, they thought they may highlight why students feel more comfortable with the same gender. After their interviews, they finished collecting the data and compiled results that matched their hypothesis. By actively engaging with the participants and observing the results in the program, they were able to prove their theory and suggest that other advisory programs perform more gender separation as it may prove beneficial in getting effective results such as properly advising students.

This also helps to identify a gap in research. This gap in research is effect of same-sex advisors on students and their willingness to confide and trust. This also opens up investigation in the effect same-sex groups and pairings have on students and how this may differ from pairings with opposite gender students or staff.

Another article by McCarty deal with researching and generating a comprehensive handbook for the development and planning of advisory programs for possibility of personalization of education. Personalized education is also known as personalized learning. "Personalized learning refers to the structures, policies, and practices that promote relationships based on mutual respect, trust, collaboration, and support" (McCarty, 2014). The research methodology the authors used was the development and research methodology by Borg and Gall. With a prototype developed, it was assessed by specialists in the area of personalized learning and a field test was sent through email to Kansas high school principles that worked in schools with a student population size of 1,000 or more. Feedback received was used to modify the handbook, which then translated to a revised version. The main field test included the revised version of the handbook and evaluation of said handbook by three peer-nominated professionals, which then led to a final version of the handbook.

The study's results provided results in the form of four main statements.

1. High schools with large student populations need relevant resources that apply to their needs.

2. Advisory programs are needed to help personalize learning.

3. Handbooks like the one created in the study have proven essential in addressing main components like support, transition, academic counseling, as well as interventions.

4. The last is a comprehensive handbook discussing critical components for staff and administrators through a step-by-step process helped instruct on how to personalize learning via advisory programs as advisory programs help address the many concerns of a large high school student population.

This could be joined with the aforementioned separated genders approach because separating the genders allows for more personalization and a chance for students to bond with their advisors in an advisory program. Tailoring education based on the needs of a student can help students progress further than before, and also add that extra layer of connection that separation of genders seems to provide. This would also be an interesting topic explore further.

A mixed methods study done in 2013 explores advisory programs from three different middle schools chosen from Southeastern Pennsylvania. The author highlights that success of a middle school advisory program must have a clearly understood purpose and has to be agreed upon by both the school staff and administration that are responsible for its implementation. The mixed methods study which included interviews and gathering numerical data based on student population size, age of students, and efficacy of school advisory programs sought to examine if school staff responsible for the handling and managing of advisory programs understand their purpose as well as how to sustain it and successfully implement it.

Through the author's research the theory was confirmed linking staff awareness of what had to be done in the program with successful implementation of the advisory program. Additionally, nevertheless, it seems as long as the aim of the advisory program successfully handle an identified need within the school community, the tactic used in advising is secondary to "the goal of providing an adult advocate for every student. Nurturing positive relationships between middle school students and caring adults is the lynchpin of middle school advisory programs" (O'Dowd, 2013, p. 1). This article confirms the role of fostering connections between school staff and students.

A 2015 study addressing middle school students' perceptions of advisory program effectiveness uses a literature review as well as a mixed method survey consisting of open-ended questions, Likert scale questions, and finally multiple choice questions to gather information electronically from the student population after they have had their advisory lessons in the advisory program. By exploring descriptive statistics like age and gender, they were able to discover the advisory programs proved effective. "The findings in this study showed students reported the advisory program as effective, necessary, and often provide topics they could relate to" (Miglin, Stephens, Hurd & Al-Bataineh, 2015, p. 1).

By providing students with topics they could relate to, they peaked the interests of the students during advisory lessons. As they grew interested, they felt more willing to participate. Increased participation allows for a higher rate of effectiveness of the program. Therefore, it confirms yet again, that connection through relevancy enables effectiveness of advisory programs.

In an article about students with disabilities and mentoring, the authors researched an initiative to help give districts implement evidence-based programs to help students with disabilities graduating instead of dropping out. They have also highlight the major benefits a mentoring connection with an adult figure can have on a student with a disability. "Researchers have demonstrated that students with a disability have a greater likelihood of graduating when they have mentors in school" (Wilkins, Ruddle, Paitsel, Duffield & Minch, 2014, p. 3). The authors gathered data from the quantitative study from 2008 to 2009. They explain in the results section, that the ability to create relationships with students on a mentor level enabled confidence in students over their academic hurdles and provided students with a place to get help when they felt overwhelmed in school.

Because of the initiative, disabled students were less likely to drop out. This seems to be an overwhelming theme throughout all the articles discussed thus far. The theme of connection and relevant-minded or relevant based advising can really help students develop the skills needed to graduate and succeed in school. This article also provided a possible gap of information to explore like income-level based intervention. Sometimes children from lower income families have a harder time trusting adult figures and may need more assistance in finishing school.

The last article to analyze is a 2013 quantitative study on student-reported teacher support. The study examines associations of teachers' role definition. Specifically, role breadth or how teachers define their roles in regards to emotional and social support of pupils. Their hypothesis/theory focused on "teachers' role breadth would relate to student perceptions of teacher support and high academic expectations (also known as academic press)." (Phillippo & Stone, 2013, p. 358). They utilized multi-level modeling of the correlation between student outcomes and teacher role breadth. The results demonstrated positive correlation between reported role breadth and the teacher's sense of efficacy in regards to providing… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Education and the Role of Advisory Programs.  (2015, December 19).  Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

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"Education and the Role of Advisory Programs."  December 19, 2015.  Accessed September 21, 2020.