Are Your Advisors NCAN-Certified?

July 19, 2017

By MorraLee Keller, Director of Technical Assistance, and Lisa King, NCAN Consultant 

With August around the corner and summer halfway over, many college advising programs have started or will soon start training new advisors. Make sure yours are NCAN-certified by incorporating NCAN e-learning, Fundamentals for College Access & Success Providers, into your annual advisor training. Each unit takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to complete – and is currently free to those who work at NCAN member programs! (Non-members pay $39 to $119, depending on unit length.)

Here are just a few ways to incorporate e-learning into your advisor training for the upcoming year:

  • Require all advisors in your program to complete the 16 units to earn the Access Advisor NCAN Certified badge.
  • Select a subset of units that all new advisors must complete prior to their placement into the advising role, and require them to submit certificates of completion for verification.
  • Require all advisors to complete the FAFSA 101 and FAFSA 201 units in September, when the updates for the 2018-19 FAFSA process have been incorporated.
  • Require new or current advisors to earn badges in one or more of the advising areas.
  • Require advisors to complete the cultural competency unit and the program manager to complete the “Coaching Culturally Competent Advisors” unit and implement suggested exercises from the unit.
  • Advisors may want to consider compiling their badges on electronic resumes.
  • Programs may wish to offer financial incentives to advisors who wish to earn badges or become NCAN Certified Advisors.

The current course menu includes 23 units that focus on areas such as testing, admissions advising, financial aid, serving target populations, retention strategies, cultural competency and data tracking and metrics. Newly added units include Adult Learners, College Success 101, and Advocacy for College Access and Success.  Approximately 800 units have been completed since last fall.

Program directors may wish to review units prior to deciding which may be most appropriate for their advisors. They should request access to courses on the course registration form located at the bottom of our e-learning webpage. Advisors wishing to register for courses should complete the same form. If you have questions regarding course registration, please contact Office and Events Manager Crystal Courtney.

Still not convinced? Ask your colleagues about their e-learning experience. NCAN members Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Take Stock in Children both have access personnel who recently earned badges:

We would also like to give a special shout-out to Morgen Tau Patrick of the University of Wyoming, who won the grand prize in a recent NCAN raffle to encourage users to earn badges. Morgen’s name was drawn from a pool of e-learning badge completers to receive a free 2017 NCAN National Conference registration and $500 travel voucher! Additionally, Adriana Estrada from Project GRAD Houston won a free NCAN conference registration. Congratulations Morgen and Adriana!

We hope you will consider incorporating this information-rich resource into your organization’s professional development plans. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Director of Technical Assistance MorraLee Keller.

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