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Educor Hosts its First Academic Advising Research Conference

Oct 5, 2017
Educor Hosts its First Academic Advising Research Conference

Leading private education provider, Educor Holdings will be hosting its first Academic Advising Research Conference on Friday, 6 October 2017 at the Premier Hotel in Pinetown.

Educor Holdings launched the Academic Advising Centre (AAC), which is the first fully-fledged online AAC in South Africa, in response to the Council of Higher Education’s call for improving student success. One year on, the vision, which initially formulated to optimise student success by providing quality support through expert online academic advising, remains its core focus.

The AAC, which is an outbound service for all Educor’s face-to-face and distance brands consists of advisers across five faculties namely, Education, Creative and Vocational, Technical, IT, Social Science and Business.

The conference will draw Educor’s principal Academic and Research professors together with its skilled subject matter advisers. It will include an address from keynote speaker, Group Chief Academic Officer, Professor Henriette Hay-Swemmer and nine paper presentations and six poster presentations from the academic advisers.

The objective of the AAC Research Conference is to harness the profession of academic advising. It aims to discuss the advisers’ transition into academic advising to reflectively examine current online advising procedures and practices and propose strategies to improve student learning, performance and retention rates.

Educor’s objective is to use the AAC as a vehicle to pioneer the development of an exclusive cohort of advisers who could be an example to South African Higher education institutions who wish to advance in the field of online academic advising.

Group Chief Academic Officer, Professor Henriette Hay-Swemmer said, The importance of the event is the focus on how Educor is capitalising on the benefits of quality advising, how our colleges can more effectively help students to be successful and stay on track towards the achievement of their education and career goals. Advising is a key to student retention. The best way to keep students enrolled is to keep them stimulated, challenged and progressing toward a meaningful goal and the best way to do that - especially among new students, is through informed academic advising."

In most first world countries, academic advising has been existent for many years. However, in Southern Africa, online academic advising is a relatively new field of support. Online academic advising is, therefore, crucial considering South Africa’s diverse (contact, distance and online) learner population. 

With this in mind, Educor has also initiated a professional development programme for all academic advisers at the AAC. The programme, which takes place on an ongoing basis, assists the advisers in developing sound principles of online academic advising and practices using three essential elements of applied, foundational and practical and reflexive competence. The programme includes knowledge-based training, research and work integrated learning.

Educor Holdings Research Manager, Trisha Ramsuraj said that the research component serves a dual role in the AAC. She said, “Firstly, the purpose was to develop the academic advisers’ research skills, techniques and knowledge. Secondly, the aim is to transfer acquired skills and knowledge into their practice of professional online academic advising. By presenting the research in this forum we aim to initiate a critical dialogue on the practices and processes of online academic advising that will assist 21st-century digital learning and academic support.”

For more information on Educor and the Academic Advising Centre, log on to www.educor.co.za or www.academicadvisingcentre.com