Texas Tech University

Committee on Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR)

Strategic Plan (Revised 3/26/2013)

Academic Advising Excellence through Enhanced Policies and Procedures

  • The quality of academic advising is a significant component of student success at Texas Tech University (TTU). This quality directly affects undergraduate student retention and success. TTU will develop and implement innovative academic advising policies and procedures to ensure the delivery of a high quality academic advising experience that is consistent for all undergraduate students, centered on student involvement and positive university outcomes, collaboration among academic advisors, students, and other members of the university community, and promotes shared responsibility for student success.
    • Develop a broad superlative statement (vision) and statement of purpose (mission) for the TTU academic advising community.
      1. Vision Statement:
        TTU will be recognized nationally for excellence in academic advising. The academic advising community is dedicated to helping students reach their full academic potential at TTU (Priority 1).
      2. Mission Statement:
        Academic advising is a teaching and learning process dedicated to student success. The TTU academic advising community facilitates the process of exploring academic majors and programs through matriculation and graduation, advocates and serves as a resource for all students, develops action plans for ongoing strategic efforts to center academic advising on student success, and promotes an academic environment of collaboration and engagement.
    • Develop a plan to fund additional academic advisor positions to create an advising culture that is in line with national student-to-advisor ratios.
    • Academic advisors will write a personal mission statement that reflects their own understanding of and commitment to the overall Academic Advising Vision & Mission at TTU. Academic Units may wish to develop a collaborative process in conjunction with individual personal mission statements.
    • Each academic advising practice will develop academic advising expectations/outcomes for academic advisor-student interactions.
    • Each academic advising practice will develop three to four academic advising learning outcomes to be assessed each semester.
    • All academic advisors will facilitate students' understanding of their academic strengths and weaknesses.
    • All academic advising units will assist students with the development of an academic action plan or “blueprint” for academic engagement and success–course selection, major selection, campus resource referral (academic tutoring, student health services, counseling center, mentorship, student involvement, financial aid, student disability), career goals (exploration, internships, assistantships, graduate school), study abroad, undergraduate research, and service learning.
    • All academic advisors will develop professional relationships with their students that are engaging, respectful, polite, welcoming, congenial, knowledgeable, advocatory, and instructive.
    • Develop Academic Advisor Procedures for assisting students who are seeking a secondary degree, with the realization that other types of students are in this category.
    • Establish formal communication channels between the Transfer Evaluation Office (TEO), Red Raider Orientation (RRO) staff, Community College & Transfer Relations (CCTR) office, and students.
    • Audit the current academic transfer courses and how specific courses are transferred to TTU in conjunction with the TEO.
    • Create a process to assist students who are considering changing majors.
    • University advising will develop and maintain a single point of information for academic advising resources (i.e., SharePoint) including an updated flowchart with advising reporting structures and advising locations.
    • Academic advisors will advocate for consistent application of graduation and other academic policies concerning student academic success, matriculation, and retention.
    • Move the advising support group, previously known as Rump, under the direction of the Committee on Academic Advising and Retention (CAAR).
    • Consolidate general university academic advising services (i.e., Pegasus) under University Advising.
    • Allow departmental advisors to access all undergraduate academic advising processes (i.e., degree plan declaration, degree audit, intent to graduate) to achieve better consistency and to facilitate faster information access and degree audit feedback for students.
    • Provide the resources to all departmental academic advisors to access all academic advising functions necessary to counsel students, from degree declaration through graduation. These resources could include software, access permits, or contact with a particular staff position or administrator.
    • Merge all pre-professional health career academic advising within one unit to make efficient use of resources and programming within the Division of Undergraduate Education & Student Affairs (i.e. University Advising).
    • Evaluate the depiction of the various majors offered at the University both via print and online media. Creating a tool for students to evaluate career options based on academic course work.
  • To promote academic advising excellence at TTU, undergraduate academic advising will have a central role in RRO.
    • All colleges and academic advising practices will deliver consistent pre-RRO messages to incoming students. CAAR will evaluate current pre-RRO communication strategies and recommend improvements.
    • RRO college check-in and major change tables will be staffed by at least one of the following: Departmental representatives – academic advisor, student ambassador/assistance, graduate student assistant, recruiter, and associate/assistant dean or designee.
    • All RRO personnel will wear standardized dress (i.e., academic advisor shirt/polo provided for every academic advisor).
    • Replace college advising holds with time tickets for registration control by enlisting the assistance of Information Systems.
    • TSI Compliance holds will be lifted by the Registrar's office and not replaced upon major change.
    • Each academic advising unit and student resource center (RRO, Texas Success Initiative (TSI), Housing, Scholarships and Financial Aid (SFA), Student Business Services (SBS), etc.) will assign an academic advising Lync Liaison during peak academic advising times.

Academic Advising Excellence Through Transfer Relations

  • CAAR will enhance undergraduate transfer student academic advising, matriculation, and success through researching, defining, identifying and promoting transfer student best practices
    • Promoting use of consistent terminology
    • Expanding Community College & Transfer Relations (CCTR) collaborations, partnerships, and academic agreements across campus, the system, the region, the state, the nation, and internationally
    • Increase numbers of transfer credits applicable to TTU degree programs via development of transfer plans for appropriate course sequencing, articulation agreements, improving course alignment among partner institutions, and promoting inter-institutional collaboration among disciplines of study, faculty, and students
    • TTU will enhance academic advising of undergraduate transfer students through the following on campus resources: Tech Transfer Acceleration Program (TTAP), CCTR, Military and Veteran Programs (MVP), and Summer Gateway.
    • Research, develop, and advocate for expanded depth and breadth of transfer student population research, data tracking and Cognos reports, for assessment reporting and improved program development.
    • Devise campus-wide transfer student communications plan to educate, engage, and influence transfer students' choice of transfer institution and academic programs.
    • Host academic advising transfer conferences/seminars with community college partners.

Academic Advising Excellence Through Academic Advisor Professional Development

  • TTU will enhance academic advising professional development opportunities for the academic advising community to ensure a consistent academic advising experience among undergraduate students at TTU.
  • Develop a professional identity for Academic Advisors by creating a partnership with the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC).
    • Mandatory trainings for new Academic Advisors and continuing education for current Academic Advisors.
    • Add professional development sessions to the TLPDC online scheduler for registration management.
    • Mentoring systems for academic advisors.
  • Create a campus resource fair for academic advisors to be held in conjunction with a larger early summer Professional Development event or conference.
  • CAAR will be recognized as the selection committee for the President's Excellence in Academic Advising Awards.
  • Expand President's Excellence in Academic Advising Awards to recognize up to two individual and two team awards.
  • Collaborate with TTU academic advising community to develop topics for professional development workshops such as: Understanding prerequisites, academic background, realistic academic loads, how to identify students' personal strengths and weaknesses, understanding special student populations (veterans, first year, nontraditional, transfer), college/department/major updates, advising standards and practices, and technology: MyTech, Xtender, MapWorks, DegreeWorks, SharePoint, TimeTrade, etc.
  • Provide quarterly TTU academic advising community trainings/updates.
  • Provide academic advising job training for all newly hired academic advisors.
  • Establish travel stipends to fund academic advisors attendance to the National Academic Advising Association Conference.

Academic Advising Excellence Through Enhanced Technology

  • The quality of academic advising is a significant component of student success at TTU. This quality directly affects undergraduate student retention and success. TTU will enhance academic advising infrastructure, support, and technology across the academic advising community to ensure a consistent academic advising experience among undergraduate students at TTU.
  • Academic advisors will support the adoption of technology; specifically the use of degree audit software (i.e., DegreeWorks).
    • Ensure that DegreeWorks includes requirements outside of courses (i.e. limiting transfer hours, upper division hours, and hours outside of student's college).
  • Maintain a dynamic MyTech Portal to insure student information is disseminated.
  • Implement a student early alert system (i.e. MapWorks).
  • Integrate TimeTrade technology campus-wide to assist students with the academic advising process.
    • In coordination with the Professional Development Subcommittee, establish a training schedule for academic departments and advisors on TimeTrade integrations.
  • Review the official reporting tool, COGNOS, to ensure compatible with the reporting needs of the Academic Advising community and establish criteria for new COGNOS that will meet current and future needs.
  • Hire a full time position to support the technology and advising initiatives of CAAR and TTU.
    • Increase funding, specifically HEAF funds to support academic advising improvements.
    • Develop a website dedicated to the academic advising community in addition to SharePoint.
    • Expand college and academic advising SharePoint site to expand implementation and usage.
  • Ensure all advisors have access to sufficient hardware and software to accomplish advising and retention tasks.

Academic Advising Excellence Through Assessment of Academic Advising Assessment

  • The quality of academic advising is a significant component of student success at TTU. This quality directly affects undergraduate student retention and success. TTU will implement an academic advising quality assessment plan of established student academic advising learning outcomes and other indicators of academic advising success to ensure a consistent academic advising experience for undergraduates at TTU.
    • CAAR will develop five university academic advising learning outcomes to assess each semester by each academic advising unit:
      1. One:
        Academic advisors will work with students to develop and implement an individual student success action plan.
      2. Two:
        Academic advisors will help student have a comprehensive understanding of course requirements, GPA requirements, degree requirements, and prerequisites within each major.
      3. Three:
        Academic advisors will engage in evaluation of a student's progress and make referrals as needed.
      4. Four:
        Academic advisors will engage in active listening and ask open-ended questions to assess individual student needs, goals, and abilities.
      5. Five:
        Academic advisors will reinforce self-direction and self-sufficiency.
    • All advising units will develop practice-specific academic advising learning outcomes.
    • CAAR will review the currently enrolled survey/graduating senior survey/alumni survey section on advising – make recommendations for additional questions or revision to current questions that reflect the new outcomes.
    • Each academic advising unit will conduct biannual assessment of both university and college/department student advising outcomes in TracDat, with the assistance of the Office of Planning and Assessment.
    • The individual colleges and departments should review current surveys to ensure that they align with the five learning outcomes. CAAR can assist with the development of questions for colleges/departments to incorporate into their surveys.
Click here to view a complete copy of the Strategic Plan


The quality of undergraduate academic advising and retention is a significant component of the success of students at Texas Tech University. The Undergraduate Advising and Retention Committee, hereafter referred to as “the committee”, shall serve in an advisory capacity to the provost regarding matters related to undergraduate academic advising, retention, and college transfer. The committee provides leadership in recommending policies, procedures and priorities concerning academic advising, student retention, and college transfer. The committee provides oversight of the University's undergraduate academic advising procedures. The committee has authority to support all academic units in improving the delivery of their academic advising systems in accordance with University policies. The mission of the committee is to support the academic success of Texas Tech University (TTU) undergraduate students through the promotion of effective academic advisement and retention. The committee strives to meet the following objectives through regular meetings:

  1. Discuss and make policy recommendations
  2. Share information and best practices
  3. Assess academic advising effectiveness
  4. Report regularly to the academic deans and departments
  5. Promote professional development among the Texas Tech University advising community.

The committee is a Texas Tech University advisory committee convened by the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs in response to the recommendations of the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President. All policy recommendations shall be brought to academic council for its consideration. The committee is comprised of undergraduate professionals from a broad spectrum of units. The committee's tasks include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Proposing and vetting advising initiatives and policy changes
  2. Developing reliable lines of communication for advisors with campus advising units, the university's administration, and other university and off-campus groups,
  3. Advancing understanding of the purposes and functions of academic advising
  4. Identifying and promoting professional development opportunities for advisors
  5. Providing a forum for dialogue about undergraduate advising and retention and a venue for innovation and change
  6. Conducting regular assessment of all undergraduate academic advising, persistence, and college transfer efforts, and
  7. Ensuring that academic advisors are involved in university initiatives that impact their work.

Voting Membership:

Voting members will consist of appointed representatives from Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Athletics, Business Administration, Center for Campus Life, Community College and Transfer Relations, Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, Education, Engineering, Enrollment Management, Honors, Housing, Human Sciences, Information Technology, Institutional Diversity, Media and Communication, Registrar, Student Disability Services, Student Government Association, Student Housing, Support Operations for Academic Retention, University College, and Visual & Performing Arts.

Operating Procedures:

The committee shall develop its own operating procedures subject to the approval of the provost. Copies of all minutes and reports will be provided to the members of the committee and submitted to the provost. The committee will establish the following standing committees:

  1. Technology and Resources
  2. Advising Policy and Procedures
  3. Advising Quality and Assessment
  4. Professional Development, and
  5. College Transfer

In addition to these committees, the development of an Advisors Roundtable will begin in the Fall 2012. The roundtable will serve as a way for advisory support office to reach the advising community as a whole. This will be led by the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.


Each representative has one vote. Ex-officio representatives shall not vote, except that the chair of the committee shall vote to break any tie. Members' substitutes carry a full voting proxy.


The committee is chaired by the Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.


Email: Committee on Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR)

College/Division/Department Representative Term Begins Term Ends
Assistant Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education Gibbs, Ryan 2011 2013
Associate Vice Provost, Student Affairs Duran, Cathy 2011 2013
Associate Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education, Chair Hughes, Patrick 2011 2013
Athletic Department Lackey, Rodney 2011 2013
Center for Campus Life Manning, Zach 2011 2013
Center for Campus Life/Assessment Miller, Tara 2011 2013
College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Johnson, Ramona 2011 2013
College of Architecture Perkins, Patti 2014 2016
College of Arts & Sciences Borst, Stefanie 2014 2016
College of Arts & Sciences Hellman, Pam 2011 2013
College of Arts & Sciences Poffenbarger, Judy 2011 2013
College of Education Brasher, Donna 2011 2013
College of Education Watson, Connie 2014 2016
College of Human Sciences Dean, Jenni 2014 2016
College of Mass Communications Wernsman, Marijane 2011 2013
College of Visual & Performing Arts Nordstrom, Kathy 2011 2013
Community College & Transfer Relations Phelps, DaNay 2011 2013
Enrollment Management Logan, Ethan 2014 2016
Honors College Veal, Janet 2011 2013
Information Technology Austin, Kathy 2011 2013
Institutional Research Reynolds, Jeanine 2011 2013
Library Heinz, Laura 2012 2014
Office of Institutional Diversity Martinez, Jobi 2011 2013
Office of Planning and Assessment Morton, Craig 2011 2013
Pre-Professional Health Careers Gellene, Greg 2011 2013
Rawls College of Business Carnes, Adrienne 2011 2013
Registrar Brown, Bobbie 2011 2013
Registrar Price, Nicci 2012 2014
Student Disability Services Justyna, Erin 2011 2013
Student Disability Services Phillippe, Larry 2011 2013
Student Government Association Cotton, Luke 2013 2014
Student Housing Bowles, Erika 2014 2016
Student Housing Green, D'aun 2011 2013
Support Operations for Academic Retention Kiser, Michelle 2011 2013
Teaching Learning & Professional Development Center Tapp, Suzanne 2011 2013
Undergraduate Admissions Logan, Ethan 2011 2013
University Advising Barron, Joshua 2011 2013
University Advising Nutter, Catherine 2011 2013
University Studies Foley, Sarah 2011 2013
Whitacre College of Engineering Morse, Audra 2011 2013