Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mary Huba

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Whitt


An extensive interview process took place to develop a thorough description and assessment of the 1991-1992 fall program of proactive advising services given to first-year, open-enrolled student advisees at Drake University. From 11 pilot study interviews with former faculty advisors, peer advisors, and student advisees, a revised set of interview focus questions was designed. Over-all, all eight faculty advisors, nine of the available 11 peer advisors, and 24 of the available 86 student advisees were interviewed;Stake's responsive program evaluation model was used to guide the qualitative research process. Macintosh Data Collector software was used to code and sort units of transcribed information from each interview. Important themes were identified to describe the perceptions of each of the three groups of participants. Standards of program evaluation and recommended qualitative research methods were documented to support the findings, assessments and concluding recommendations. Accuracy of the findings and recommendations were confirmed through member check focus group interviews with respondents and peer debriefings with the director of advising;The more successful the advising relationship between advisee and either faculty advisor or peer advisor, the more effective the advising services were perceived. The quality of the advising relationship was strengthened by the following attributes of the advising program: (a) proactive advising strategy, (b) monthly advisor meetings for faculty and peer advisors, (c) faculty advisor as an immediate classroom professor, (d) personal experiences and role model of peer advisors, (e) networking opportunities for advisees, and (f) the director's resource services;In contrast, the advising relationship was weakened by the following deficiencies of the advising program: (a) delayed involvement by faculty and peer advisors, (b) vague direction for peer advisors, (c) the lack of accountability for peer advisors, (d) poorly coordinated advisor and advisee placement, (e) advisors uninformed of general education requirements, (f) biased advising, (g) emphasis on exploration versus declaration of a major, and (h) inconsistency between Drake's recruitment message and faculty advisor performance;Recommendations from participants and current advising programs were given to address these needs. Emphasis was placed on improving the advising relationship through better advisee orientation and advisor assessment and training.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Stephen Everett Buckley



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279 pages