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Exploring effective academic advising for mature women : autobiography and personal vignettes based on interviews with seven mature female students and two academic advisors at a university in Montreal

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Exploring effective academic advising for mature women : autobiography and personal vignettes based on interviews with seven mature female students and two academic advisors at a university in Montreal

Stembera, Katarina (2007) Exploring effective academic advising for mature women : autobiography and personal vignettes based on interviews with seven mature female students and two academic advisors at a university in Montreal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to explore the academic advising available to mature immigrant women over 45 years of age who return to university studies. In addition to my autobiographical account, I interviewed seven mature immigrant women enrolled in graduate studies and asked them about the role of academic advising in their choice of the university program to follow. I also interviewed two professional academic advisors in order to gain insight into their practice to meet the needs of this particular student group. The following themes emerged from the analysis of the data: Academic achievement was a product of very strong inner motivation combined with the support of families and friends. In turn, academic achievement helped women in improving their self-esteem and self-confidence which enabled them to achieve an important degree of satisfaction and self-realization. The results indicated that the majority of the women interviewed did not receive adequate academic advising and upon graduation they were not able to find jobs in the areas of their specialization. They also pointed to the importance of a humane, warm and friendly relationship with the academic advisor in order to disclose personal issues and get the needed help. Each one of the two academic advisors had a different approach to their practice. Nevertheless both advisors underlined the lack of university resources for in service education and upgrading of credentials. The results of this exploratory study point to the following recommendations: (a) The importance of providing career advising parallel to academic advising in order to help the students make choices which will lead to job opportunities upon graduation; (b) setting evening office hours for students who are employed full time during the day; (c) making available on the job education and training to academic advisors and faculty advisors in order to update their skills and knowledge to better advise mature immigrant women returning to university education.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stembera, Katarina
Pagination:vi, 171 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hamalian, Arpi
ID Code:975289
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:05
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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