Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Christopher Glass

Committee Member

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

Wendy Scott


The completion agenda has driven many community colleges to focus on alternative advising approaches in place of traditional advising practices. Appreciative Advising is a paradigm shift in academic advising that centers more on individual students by helping identify and build on their strengths. Advisors apply positive psychology and reality therapy with positive, open-ended questions to help students identify their strengths and plan for the future. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which community college academic advisors experience their self-efficacy and relatedness to students as they transition from traditional advising practices to Appreciative Advising practices.

This qualitative study interviewed a purposeful sample of 10 academic advisors from a multi-campus community college in the southeastern United States. Particular aspects of the experiences examined included how community college academic advisors experience their efficacy in the practice of Appreciative Advising and how community college academic advisors experience their relatedness to students in the practice of Appreciative Advising. This study could contribute to student retention initiatives by enhancing the quality of academic advising and consequently, have a positive impact on both persistence and academic achievement at community colleges. Furthermore, providing insight on the experiences of community college academic advisors who transition from a traditional advising practice to the Appreciative Advising Model may assist community college administrators in their understanding of how academic advising supports student success and supporting effective professional development for academic advisors to promote positive, student-centered advising.


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