Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Peer counseling of students; Nursing students--Counseling of--Iowa;


Care Group advising, as it was institutionally developed, is an academic advising method intended to improve the first year experience of undergraduate college students. The purpose of this study was to explore student perceptions of their participation in Care Group advising, as well as faculty and administrative perceptions. The overarching research question was: "How are academic advising Care Groups perceived by students, faculty, and administrators?" From the perspectives of students, faculty, and administrators, the following sub-questions served to guide this study:

  1. Are academic advising Care Groups serving their intended purpose?
  2. What are the perceived benefits of academic advising Care Groups, as identified by the participants?
  3. Are academic advising Care Groups contributing to student persistence and retention?

This qualitative study utilized focus group interviews with existing academic advising Care Groups, and individual interviews with Care Group advisors and select college administrators. Seven groups of students, six Care Group advisors, and two college administrators were interviewed. Data analysis, with use of the constant comparative method, was ongoing throughout the data collection process.

Data analysis revealed several themes relevant to academic advising. Although the implementation of academic advising Care Groups does carry some added responsibility and obligation to the institution and faculty, the benefits may outweigh the identified concerns. Implications for practice related to Care Group advising were also identified. While numerous benefits were recognized by participants, perhaps the most important finding of Care Group advising is that students come to understand that they matter to the College community.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Carolyn Bair, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 133 pages)



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