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The first element is the Mission Statement that was written and endorsed by a collaborative group of faculty and student services staff who studied together through the U.S. Department of Education, Title III grant project.

Mission Statement

A system of shared responsibilities between students and the college that results in social and academic integration, education and career plans, and the acquisition of study and life skills.

The second element is the Definition of Developmental Advising, created in a similar collaborative team as the Mission Statement.

Definition of Developmental Advising

Developmental Advising is a student-centered approach toward developing a relationship among students, faculty and other college professionals. This alliance develops through mutual trust, shared responsibilities, and commitment to helping students identify, clarify, and realize their personal, academic, career, and life goals. Developmental Advising is an ongoing growth process which assists students in the exploration, clarification, communication, and implementation of realistic choices based on self-awareness of abilities, interests, and values.

The third element is guiding principles for the implementation of the Developmental Advising Model, again created in a faculty and student services staff collaborative team guided by the Title III grants.

Criteria for Implementation

Implementation of the developmental advising model involves the commitment, the personnel and resources of the entire institution. In the interest of accomplishing the purposes of developmental advising, programming and interventions will reflect the following criteria: 

  • Students' developmental needs are assessed and targeted.
  • Interventions may be prescriptive initially, and should work towards student self-sufficiency incrementally.

    A       As      AS      aS      S*
    A = Advisor           S = Student                    

  • Goals and outcomes are clearly stated.
  • Advising curriculum is in partnership with academic curriculum.
  • Prescriptive assessment points are determined for student evaluation.
  • Technology is fully utilized in concert with the advising relationship.
  • Advising research, in-house data, and student input are creatively incorporated to provide holistic advising services to all students and evolutionary revision of the model.

* This concept is key to implementing O'Banion's model starts with life goals and ends in decisions about course selection. The concept recognizes that while students enter the institution with "course selection" questions that need immediate answers from Advisors, the developmental advising system will move students into life and career planning, with assistance from Advisors, and that this process will become increasingly self-directed so that the student "learns to fish" on his/her own.

Student Progression

The model is learner-centered: fundamentally the question is then, how do students experience this model? From the "student perspective", the model was designed as a five-stage process over time with specific learner-outcomes and learner-performance indicators for each stage.


This stage covers the period from when students have initial contact with Valencia to the time they make a postsecondary education choice.


Students make thoughtful and informed choices about postsecondary education based on an awareness of their general career and academic interests, achievement, and career path options.

Performance Indicator:

  1. Students make decisions about enrollment at Valencia in a timely manner that allows for full participation in application, assessment, orientation, financial aid, and registration processes.
  2. Students enter postsecondary education with the academic skills to enter college-level course work, or are appropriately placed in preparatory courses.
  3. Students indicate general academic and career interests during the application, orientation, and initial advising processes.
  4. Students enter postsecondary education with the financial resources to complete the Associate's degree.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Bringing students to a Valencia campus during their K-12 years increases their interest in attending Valencia.
  2. Encouraging the career interests of middle and high school students will increase their attendance at Valencia.
  3. Making programs "active" for students and providing accompanying written materials and curriculum linkages will increase the learning impact of the programs.
  4. Being good "partners" with the K-12 system by supporting their goals will result in more students attending college after high school and more students being "college ready".
  5. Focusing programs on high school students' career interests and at-risk students will increase enrollment at Valencia and achieve grant goals (Perkins, STW, Tech Prep, Upward Bound, GEAR UP).
  6. Financial aid information and assistance provided to students and their parents will increase the number of students who can enroll in college.


This stage covers the period from when the student makes application to Valencia as a degree-seeking student to their completion of 15 credit hours.


Students make academic and social connections and successfully complete their first year course work at Valencia College.

Performance Indicator:

  1. Students research and select a career path.
  2. Students demonstrate persistence in enrollment and at least 75% successful completion of course work.
  3. Students establish and update an educational plan.
  4. Students who begin college preparatory course work make significant progress towards completing the college prep sequence.
  5. Students are prepared to enter/continue college level course work.
  6. Students participate in campus and collegewide event and activities.

Guiding Principles:

  1. "Front-loading" programs for new students will increase their success in college.
  2. New students who enroll in Student Success (SLS1122) have better success in college as demonstrated by research that shows higher semester completion rates, higher enrollment for the next session, and higher number of credits completed.
  3. Students who have career and educational plans early in their college experience will have more success in college.
  4. Students who make social connections with faculty and peers early in their college experience will have more success in college.
  5. The more that Valencia can "de-mystify" the college experience so that it is explicit to new students "what they should do when", the more new students will be successful in college.
  6. Technology systems that allow students to get information on career and educational programs, and to conduct business with Valencia easily (registration, address changes, fee payment, etc.) will result in increased student success in college.
  7. Financial aid programs that assist students with college expenses will increase the number of students who can attend college and complete their educational goals.


This stage covers the period in which students are completing degree requirements; approximately between the completion of 16 and 45 credit hours.


Students become increasingly self-sufficient in their ability to implement career and educational goals.         

Performance Indicators:

  1. Students commit to educational plans that guide their course choices each session.
  2. Students pursue options for continued education or employment after graduation.
  3. Students self-assess progress in attaining the Valencia core competencies.
  4. Students select portfolio entries that reflect skills required to achieve academic and career goals.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Students with educational plans will become more self-sufficient in progressing toward their degrees.
  2. Providing students with regular feedback, such as degree audits, will result in increased degree completion.
  3. Specific AA pre-majors will assist students in educational planning by being explicit about pre-requisites and providing a "road map" to follow to degree completion.
  4. Students should participate in career planning in order to ensure that they are knowledgeable about career paths, career options, and choosing the correct educational plans to achieve their desired career goals in a timely manner.
  5. Technology can provide information that students can access on their own and result in increased degree completion.
  6. Students should obtain some workplace experience as part of their educational program so that they can verify their career interests and gain workplace skills.
  7. Students should be able to document and articulate what they have learned in terms of the Valencia core competencies and their educational path.


This stage covers the period when students are making preparation to complete their degree and transition to a 4-year college/university or into the workplace; generally from the completion of 45 credit hours and beyond.


Students make appropriate preparation to transition to the workplace or to transfer to an upper division college/university.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Students define plans for continued education or employment after graduation.
  2. Students complete the Associate's degree with 72 credit hours or less.
  3. Students utilize a portfolio that reflects their curricular and co-curricular growth and achievement.
  4. Students write a resume that documents their educational experiences and workplace skills.
  5. Students articulate what they have learned and what they can do.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Students should have defined career and educational goals by the time they complete 45 credit hours.
  2. Students should complete the AA degree in 72 credit hours or less and the AS degree with no more than 12 hours more than is required for the degree.
  3. Students should prepare for transfer to a 4-year school by completing the required pre-requisites for their major within their AA degree.
  4. Students should complete an internship as part of their AS degree.
  5. Technology access should provide information to students to plan for their transfer to a 4-year college or for job search.
  6. Students who complete an associate degree should have a resume and job search skills.


This stage covers the return of students to the college after they have graduated.


Students are able to recreate the experience of goal-setting, career choice, and educational planning in periods of career transition, retooling, or acquiring new skills.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Students set goals for themselves which reflect their ability to think critically, evaluate options, communicate their need for educational and career training, and to actively pursue the opportunities provided by the college.
  2. Students utilize college services to meet their goals.
  3. Students maintain a portfolio and resume' which reflect continual movement toward self-actualization.
  4. Students are self-motivated to seek educational opportunities that enhance and update skills and broaden or add depth to their lives.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Learning continues throughout life.
  2. Learning enhances a person's life.
  3. Students will maintain a life-long relationship with Valencia College if we offer the opportunities they need to stay current in their professional and leisure pursuits.
  4. In the Information Age, it is necessary to update skills frequently.
  5. Valencia has the sources and resources for providing training and information to students who come back for more.
  6. Students can easily build on their successes at Valencia College.


In order to operationalize the Developmental Advising Model and achieve the performance outcomes that are outlined for each stage, current programs and practices were reviewed, revised, and aligned with the Developmental Advising Model. This alignment indicated "gaps" to be filled in order to fully implement the model. Strategic plans have been developed that align programs and resources to support the Developmental Advising Model. Best practices were developed to support each stage. The model was also aligned with the Collegewide Strategic Plan to ensure consistency in overall strategic direction.

To keep "learner-focused", the question of how to present the model so that it is "student-friendly" was addressed by the Marketing and Media Relations Department. The "public face" or "brand name" for Valencia's Developmental Advising Model was created:

LIFEMAP is our "brand name" that:

  • Describes to students what they should do and when (once they complete their application to the college)
  • Links all of the services/program/activities that form the developmental advising system.
  • Describes to faculty and staff how they contribute and participate with students in developmental advising
  • Presents to students visual cues in the physical college environment as to where they can obtain different forms of assistance towards their educational/career goals (signage, etc.)
  • Links together written publications that are designed to assist students in achieving their educational/career goals (catalog, student handbook, new student orientation materials, brochures, AS program sheets, etc.)
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