Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics, College of Liberal and Professional Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Charline S. Russo, EdD


This capstone study explores the need for formal training specifically designed for academic advisors in one school in a higher education institution. The study includes a review of the literature in adult learning, coaching in academia, the role of the academic advisor and select advisor training in universities. Based on the review of the literature, an interview guide was created and interviews with current academic advisors and their managers were conducted. Interviewees provided insights that informed the content and structure of this program. The findings supported a need for advisor training that was greater than originally contemplated. Based on the study results, a Staff Advisor Training Program was designed to meet the identified needs. The Staff Advisor Training Program offers advisors training in academic coaching through a progression of three types of advising—prescriptive, developmental, and proactive—and creates a safe space for real-time advising practice. The training provides basic to advance fundamental knowledge that advisors need to grow professionally and be informed about the numerous topics students seek assistance from the staff advisor during their academic program.


training, advising, academic advising, coaching, higher education



Date Posted:06 January 2023