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Academic Advising & Student Success


Appreciative College Instruction: Becoming a Force for Positive Change in Student Success Courses

Jennifer Bloom, Bryant Hutson, Ye He, and Claire Robinson
The vast majority of higher education institutions offer courses that are designed specifically to increase student retention and graduation rates. These courses typically focus on first-year experience, second-year experience, study skills, academic recovery, or other retention focused initiatives. Although the content and focus of these course may vary greatly (Tobolowsky & Associates, 2008), all of them aim at offering learning and engagement opportunities to facilitate students’ social and academic success in college. With the variation of these courses in mind, in this book we present a flexible Appreciative College Instruction framework that can be adapted to a wide range of such Student Success Courses. For the purpose of this book, we define Student Success Courses as those that focus on helping students acquire skills and knowledge that will allow them to thrive both inside and outside the classroom.
Appreciative College Instruction is built on the six phases of Appreciative Advising ( and heavily influenced by the tenets of the Positive Psychology and strengths movements. Appreciative Advising is defined as a social constructivist advising philosophy that provides an advising framework for advisors to optimize their interaction with students in both individual and group settings (Bloom, Hutson & He, 2008). The six phases of Appreciative Advising include: Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don’t Settle. Sharing the same premises and following the same phases, Appreciative College Instruction invites both students and faculty to learn, develop and grow via interactions inside and outside the classroom.