Friday, September 16, 2011


I’m excited to announce a series of blog posts we’ll be featuring leading up to the conference in Denver. We’ll be soliciting posts from all our CUES presenters to highlight the topics that will be covered by our commission members and and posting them here. As a sort of “kick off” of this series, My co-presenter Kathleen Shea Smith from FSU will begin by discussing the pre-conference workshop she and I will be presenting on Sunday, October 2. And for those of you who won't be attending the conference, fear not! We're also going to encourage our presenters and posters to include contact information so you can reach out to discuss their topics with them personally.

“Exploration at High Altitudes: Maximizing Resources to Create or Strengthen Programs for Your Undeclared/Exploratory Population”
As the calendar turns from August to September, for many advisors the change of season from Summer to Fall brings the anticipation of cooler temperatures, a new group of eager advisees and the promises a new college football season. For this advisor, as soon as September arrives, so does the official countdown to the NACADA national conference. This year is no different and each day includes focused time on preparations for upcoming sessions. Art Esposito, our fearless CUES leader, and I are launching the Denver experience with a two hour pre-conference session, Exploration at High Altitudes: Maximizing Resources to Create or Strengthen Programs for Your Undeclared/Exploratory Population.  It will combine meaningful dialogue with an overview of useful tools and resources, including dedicated time for the development of advisor action plans. Art and I have both developed programs with limited resources and we are excited about sharing our lessons learned and exchanging ideas that have been very successful in our work to support Exploratory students at our institutions. 

We hope you'll consider joining us for this session if you're going to be in Denver. We appreciate, however, that not everyone will be, so below the Abstract you'll find our contact information--feel free to reach out

Session Details:
Exploration at High Altitudes: Maximizing Resources to Create or Strengthen Programs for Your Undeclared/Exploratory Population. According to a 2004 ACT report on what works in student retention, developing advising interventions with selected student populations was identified as one of the top three initiatives to successfully address student persistence. All together, the study surveyed over 1000 institutions, citing eighty-two different initiatives, ranking special populations advising along-side freshman seminars and learning support. The current and past chair of the Commission for Undeclared and Exploratory Student (CUES) advising have both built their respective programs, “from the ground up” and with extremely limited resources, resulting in significant gains in persistence rates for first year undeclared/exploratory populations (boasting retention gains of! up to 9%!). In this session, the presenters will illustrate the programs they developed, identify the guiding principles and theories upon which they were developed, share lessons they learned along the journey and share resources collected by the CUES steering committee and housed on the newly developed CUES Blog. Attendees will be given a guided tour of the Blog and the resources housed therein (including examples of exploratory workbooks and annotated links to assessment tools for major/career exploration). Attendees will develop action plans for implementing undeclared/exploratory programming on their campus or strengthening that which already exists.

Kathleen Shea Smith Art Esposito
Associate Director Director of Discovery Advising
Advising First Virginia Commonwealth University
Florida State University

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