10 Years Later–Nurturing the Soil for Student Growth: The Establishment of an Iowa Academic Advising Network

Listen.  Share.  Connect.  This is the tagline of the Iowa Academic Advising Network (IowaAAN) and the foundation of the organization that is celebrating its 10th annual conference!  The idea for a state association in Iowa began in 2008 with the presentation Nurturing the Soil for Student Growth: Establishing an Iowa Academic Advising Network at the National Academic Advising Association Region 6 Conference.  Deb Noll (Iowa State University), Jennifer Joslin (University of Iowa), and David Marchesani (University of Northern Iowa) proposed the idea to provide academic advisors throughout the state with a new avenue for personal development, professional events, and information/resource sharing closer to home.   A formal advising network in the state of Iowa would serve to:

  1.  Promote quality academic advising in the state
  2.  Establish a communication network and sharing of resources among individuals and institutions of higher education regarding academic advising and related areas in higher education
  3.  Support and provide for professional development of academic advisors
  4.  Increase recognition for academic advising as a profession
  5.  Provide connections for new academic advisors and graduate students to the profession
  6.  Support and promote the goals and programs of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)

In 2009 we embarked in our first event – the webinar Retaining Students in Iowa through Academic Advising – to bring colleagues together to learn, listen, and share ideas.  The following year we hosted our first annual drive-in conference in Ames, Iowa.   Over the next 10 years we have hosted webinars, drive-in conferences, institutes, and book reads as a way to promote learning, collaboration and connections.  The inaugural IowaAAN Institute of Academic Advising in 2016 brought together professionals throughout the state to promote the understanding and enhancement of the faculty role in advising.

Today, the state of Iowa is only one of about 15 states in the US that have a state association/network for academic advisors.  And now, as we approach our 10th annual IowaAAN Drive-In Conference, we celebrate the growth of our association and the long-lasting collaboration and friendship we have made with colleagues from throughout the state.  Please come join us for the 10th Annual IowaAAN Drive-in Conference on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny campus.  For some this year will also mark their 10th trip to this drive in conference…for others this may be their first time to attend!  As we have shown from past history, for all who attend this will be a great professional and personal opportunity to listen, share and connect…but also to celebrate this milestone for our state organization!

In the coming weeks, look for additional blog posts on the present and future of the Iowa Academic Advising Network in anticipation of our 10th Annual Drive-in Conference on Tuesday, April 2, 2019!

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