Empowering Student Success: CoSW Advisors Earn Appreciative Advising Milestone 

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In a transformative stride towards enhancing student experiences, advisors at the UK College of Social Work (CoSW) have embraced a six-week journey of discovery, completing the rigorous Appreciative Advising course by Florida Atlantic University. This endeavor isn’t just a certification; it’s a profound commitment to shaping destinies and nurturing dreams. 

Appreciative Advising is more than a methodology; it’s a bridge that unites advisors with students’ aspirations. It’s about asking questions that fan the flames of potential, igniting paths to educational fulfillment and achievements. CoSW’s dedication to this practice resonates with the Innovation in Ingenuity and Initiative Program (I3), a testament to the college’s progressive approach to professional development. 

In this shifting perspective of organizational development, the CoSW advising team engages in six pivotal phases based on the theory of Appreciative Inquiry – a practice of inquiry-and-change that suggests the very nature of asking generative questions has profound impact in organizational systems.  

  • Disarm: Make a positive first impression with students, build rapport, and create a safe and welcoming space. 
  • Discover: Ask generative, open-ended questions that help advisors learn about students’ strengths, skills, and abilities. 
  • Dream: Inquire about students’ hopes and dreams for their futures. 
  • Design: Students and advisors co-create a plan for making students dreams a reality. 
  • Deliver: Students deliver on the plan co-created during the Design phase, and advisors are available to encourage and support their students.  
  • Don’t Settle: Students and advisors set their own internal bars of expectations high. 

For Senior Academic Advisor Sara Green, this journey amplified connections across institutions. “Certification not only honed our advising strategies but unified us as a stronger advising force.” 

Formal certifications will soon be awarded in June. This accolade embodies commitment. To secure this honor, advisors furnished evidence of their adeptness through Appreciative Advising Skills Rubrics, personal theories, and peer commendations. 

Wainscott, a driving force behind this initiative, illuminated how the program complements CoSW’s ethos. “The Appreciative Advising course aligns seamlessly with our social work principles, enriching our advising techniques.” 

Advisor Kyle Phillips echoed the sentiment, relishing the course as a conduit to foster meaningful relationships. “This journey emboldens us to construct bridges for our students.” 

With every question posed, every dream nurtured, and every plan kindled, the CoSW advisors fortify a legacy of empowerment and transformation. This achievement shapes destinies and elevates lives, resonating far beyond classrooms. 

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.