Rutgers University Senate Committee on Instruction, Curricula
Report on Student Advising Services
NACADA Standards for Advising Distance Learners
Education offered via distance education provides greater flexibility
to individualized learning. A primary goal of distance education
is to provide an environment in which learning occurs at the time, location,
and pace of the individual learner. Distance education provides an
alternative delivery and ready access to educational offerings and necessary
Distance Education includes students enrolling in:
Programs or degrees from a single institution in which some or all
of the instruction is offered via distance education.
Programs or degrees from a consortium in which some or all of the
instruction is offered via distance education.
A course/courses offered from an institution via distance education.
Providers of Distance Education must offer a minimum set of core services
which assist distance learners in identifying and achieving their education
Technologies used for distance learning:
The following standards have been developed to address many of the categories
as identified in the established Academic Advising CAS Standards.
These standards have been divided into three categories: institutional
standards, standards related to faculty as advisors and/or professional
advisors, and standards that apply to students.
Provide leadership and an organizational structure that integrates and
coordinates activities that support distance learning for faculty, advisors
Truth in advertising: Recruitment and admissions promotions must
accurately represent the program and services available.
The institution must be committed to the concept of distance education
by providing on-going technical as well as financial support for a period
sufficient to enable students to complete a degree or certificate.
The institution has an obligation to work toward providing the same student
services to distance learners as they do for students on campus plus any
additional that are appropriate to support their learning.
The institution’s environment for distance learners must strive to provide
a sense of connection and community with the institution and with other
The institutional philosophy of a distance learning support services program
must be to strive to respond to learner needs rather than the learner adjusting
to an institution’s established organizational structure with the principal
goal being to provide “individualized guidance” so learners may become
more effective in dealing with concerns that influence their pursuit of
personal learning goals at a distance and at the time and delivery mode
preferred by the learner.
Continuous evaluation & application of TQM principles: It is
an institutional responsibility to evaluate the program’s educational effectiveness,
assess student learning outcomes, analyze student retention and measure
the level of student faculty satisfaction.
Institute an orientation course, i.e. DL 101 “What it takes to be a distance
Proper assessment must be conducted to ensure students have the required
backgrounds, knowledge and technical skills needed to undertake the program.
FACULTY AS ADVISORS AND/OR PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS:
A distance education program must provide for appropriate real time
or delayed interaction between faculty, advisors and students, AND among
The program provides faculty and advisors to support and assist students
in making informed choices about career and academic goals; self assessment;
decision making; and evaluation of academic career options.
The program provides faculty and advisors with the support to orient students
to the distance learning environment.
The institution needs to provide an environment in which faculty as advisors,
as well as professional advisors, can work toward achieving the following
competencies needed to be an advisor of distance learners. (Thach and Murphy,
Advising and counseling
Planning and organization
Learner needs assessment
Learning style and theory
Distance learning theory
Customer support services
Advise on the level that the student needs and wants. Multiple systems
and/or policies may be required.
NACADA Task Force on Distance Education, 1999
The program provides workshops and/or training as required for students
enrolled in courses/programs in the use of distance education technologies.
The program provides access to the appropriate learning resources as required
of distance learning students, i.e. basic skills, course tutorials, disability
support, library, etc.
In order for students to be able to function effectively and achieve academically,
they need to be provided with accurate information on the assumptions about
the technical competence and skill level required as well as the actual
technical equipment requirements needed to participate.
The program provides students with accurate and timely information and
an internal distance learner network that connects all processes required
of the distance learner providing them with one point of contact for:
Costs and payment policies
Nature of student/faculty interaction