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Kathleen Shea Smith Dissertation Topics


Academic Advising Council Hosts a Luncheon with Dr. Kathleen Shea Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Advising at University of Oklahoma. 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 11:30am-1:30pm in Burney Ballroom A.

All Faculty and professional advisors as well as administrators are invited.

Please RSVP at https://selectsurvey.uncw.edu/SelectSurveyNET//TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=llKKl5620

Dr. Kathleen Shea Smith is the Associate Provost for Academic Advising at the University of Oklahoma. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing advising services to ensure that each individual student is on a pathway to academic fulfillment and degree completion. She serves as a member of the retention team and leads academic advising initiatives that promote campus collaboration, the consistent implementation of policies, and the removal of barriers to graduation. Since her arrival to OU, she has introduced coaching as a key retention strategy, believing it offers a solid framework for deeper conversations and empowering mentorship. In the past year, 28 campus professionals have completed a certification in Academic Life Coaching, an International Coach Federation accredited program. A group is currently working on a Coaching to Flourish model that encompasses eight specific competencies based on research examining student success and progress to degree.  In two years, the first to second year retention rate at OU has risen from 86% to 92%. 

Prior to her role at the University of Oklahoma, Kathleen was a member of the Advising First team at Florida State University where she rose from the ranks of academic advisor to Director of Advising First.  During her time at FSU, the university also experienced a significant increase in student retention and high quality advising was a driving force behind this gain. Kathleen directed several initiatives that attracted national attention including the Advising First Center for Exploratory Students, which received NACADA’s Outstanding Program Award, and the Advising First Center for College Life Coaching, a leader in the coaching to retain movement.   She is a leader in the association having served as the Chair of the Commission for Undecided and Exploratory Students, Co-Chair of the Advising and Academic Coaching Interest Group, and an active member of the Research Committee, which presented her with the outstanding dissertation award for her study examining the relationship between students’ perceptions of advising and their enrollment behavior. 

Kathleen has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kenyon College, a Master’s Degree from Temple University, and a doctorate in Higher Education from Florida State University. Kathleen is a regular presenter, trainer, and speaker and is committed to helping institutions find ways to remove barriers to graduation and implement holistic student support strategies.  

The Academic Advising Association is pleased to announce that Kathleen Shea Smith, Ph.D., Director of Advising First at Florida State University, will be the 2015 conference keynote speaker. Having worked for 25 years in the field, Shea Smith coordinates the Advising First program at FSU, which is the campus center for exploratory (undecided) students.  Shea Smith coordinates the program's efforts in advising research, professional development of advisers/ coaches, and programming/ fundraising initiatives. Prior to this role, Shea Smith was the Associate and Assistant Director of Advising First and served as the founder and program director of the Advising First Center for Exploratory Students. She helped the program receive the national award for Outstanding Advising Program, which is given by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).

Shea Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Kenyon College, her Master's degree in Education from Temple University and her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Florida State University. She received the 2006 National Academic Advising Association's Student Research Award for her dissertation: Perceptions of Academic Advising and Freshman Student Retention: an Application of Tinto's Model. She has presented at both regional and national conferences on a wide range of topics including student retention, advising assessment, major selection process, and the inner student.

The title of the Keynote is Advising Greatly: Shame, Vulnerability, and the 'Hidden Student'. The theme, 'the hidden student', recognizes that for many of our advisees, private struggles with identity, suboptimal performance, and the absence of meaningful social connections pose serious threats to college success. Research in higher education reveals that it may not be these experiences in and of themselves, rather it's the manner in which students perceive themselves in light of these challenges that may be of greater concern. Studies exploring shame among college students identify a set of specific behaviors that serve as an emotional early alert system and signal to advisors a call for sensitivity and additional support. 

Dr. Shea Smith's keynote address will explore shame and its antidotes, vulnerability, hope, and resilience. Attendees will be inspired to dare greatly in their work with advisees and in their own life journeys.

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