Arcadia Wins $35K Holistic Advising Award in Recognition of Ambitious Redesign Efforts

By Emily Horowitz | June 1, 2023

In May, Arcadia University was selected as one of five national winners of a 2023 Holistic Advising Award given by the Advising Success Network, which is a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-supported network of six major organizations including NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) and NACADA (The Global Community for Academic Advising). The award comes with a $35,000 prize, and winners were chosen by panels of professional and student reviewers.

The Holistic Advising Award won by Arcadia recognizes colleges and universities undertaking ambitious holistic advising redesign efforts that are supported by cross-functional teams, center student experiences, and focus especially on increasing completion and success indicators for students of color and low-income students.

Arcadia’s previously-awarded, five-year federal Title III Strengthening Institutions grant and the University’s broad set of campus-wide Combating Anti-Black Racism initiatives provided a necessary foundation upon which a great deal has been built.

Among the various, interconnected elements of recent Arcadia undergraduate-focused initiatives that impressed the Advising Success Network’s reviewers are: our standing up new advising goals, expectations, and assessment tools and our improvement of student- and advisor-facing advising resources; our work to create a team approach to holistic student advising that strives to connect the various staff and faculty formally and informally advising students in intentional and strategic ways; new academic advisor training initiatives and the evolution of our Department Liaison system that pairs professional advisors with academic departments; our on-going efforts to refine and improve early alert systems and to support students in Academic Recovery; and, of course, our on-going build out of the Student Success Hub – a Salesforce-powered technological platform designed to support and enhance our broader advising goals.

“I’d like to thank a great many of those who have been working on various pieces of these advising initiatives,” said Dr. Peter Siskind, vice provost and head of the Division of Student Success at Arcadia. “In particular, the Undergraduate Success professional advisors have contributed invaluable expertise and experience, and Student Success staff has worked tirelessly and creatively to re-think and reform processes and systems that make so much possible.”

Siskind and Lindsay McGann, Assistant Dean of Student Success and Title III Project Manager, will be traveling to the NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education in Kansas City, Mo., in late June to present on Arcadia’s work and accept the 2023 Holistic Advising Award.