Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mari Tinney


Community colleges expect their employees to promote academic success and propel students to graduation by providing a range of services, including academic advising. Increasingly, advising professionals continue to extoll the benefits of effective academic advising. The problem of the lack of enough trained advisers and information about the effects of academic advising on students’ success at a college in the West Indies was addressed in this study. Schlossberg’s transition theory and Bloom et al.’s appreciative advising theory were used in this basic qualitative study to explore the perceptions of 8 former students who graduated up to 3 years prior to this study, 3 faculty advisers, and 3 academic advisers. The research questions focused on the perceptions of graduates and academic advisors regarding the relationship between advising and student success and potential ways to improve the academic advising structure at the target institution. Interview transcripts were deductively analyzed and then synthesized in themes. The findings indicated an apparent gap in teachers’ professional advising practices and training, and the negative effects that poor advising practices have on students’ ability to succeed academically and to graduate in the expected program timeline. The resulting project consisted of a white paper describing strategies to improve the academic advising process with more powerful students’ college experiences. The white paper evaluation was designed to provide both formative and summative feedback from the administrators and other stakeholders. The project contributes to social change through the suggestions derived from the findings of this research by helping the administrators develop the necessary mechanisms, policy guidelines, or frameworks for a more suitable advising model from the project policy paper to improve students’ experiences.