Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Erin McHenry-Sorber

Committee Co-Chair

Patricia Haught

Committee Member

Amy Kuhn

Committee Member

Neal Shambaugh

Committee Member

Nathan Sorber


This qualitative study examined the emerging field of comprehensive academic advising programs (CAAPs). The purpose of this study is to describe a successful CAAP in-depth at one public four-year higher education institution. The research specifically investigated strategies the CAAP uses with the aim of increasing retention rates, and level of CAAP embeddedness into institutional culture. Findings indicated that the CAAP was successful at embedding the CAAP in to the surface and middle layers of the culture. Good academic advising was recognized as an essential element of the effective CAAP across participant groups. Slightly divergent results concerning other CAAP elements indicated that a committed Dean, a decentralized advising model, departmental advising, professional and/or faculty advisors, collaboration, and providing resources and rewards for advising, were considered vital elements of a CAAP to certain participant groups. Specific strategies were identified as: using an advising hold, identifying at-risk students, connecting a student to a specific school or college, focusing on career development, embedding the CAAP in to the curriculum, parallel programs, and good course scheduling. The primary conclusions and recommendations included: a centralized advising center for undecided/exploratory students only, a decentralized advising model, more professional development for faculty advisors, rewarding advising and incorporating it in to the evaluation process, collaboration across the University, and making the CAAP more visible and valued.