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STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE AN ACADEMIC ADVISING PROGRAM: A PERSPECTIVE FROM SOCIAL COGNITION

S. Posada-Bernal, M. De Souza Martins

Universidad Santo Tomás (COLOMBIA)
Introduction:
Nowadays the academic advising program are oriented to contribute for the integral formation in students, from the social cognition perspective. These programs promote the interaction between students and teachers within the academic community, which directly affects the permanence of the student in the university context.

Objective:
Identify the actions to improve the process of the Academic Advising Program in the Department of Humanities and Integral Formation (DHIF) at the Universidad Santo Tomás - Bogotá.

Theoretical Framework:
The integral formation is a process for the development of personal skills, commitment to social life and the integration of professional practice. In this way, integral formation has relation with to social cognition, because students can interpret the emotions of other people, put themselves in their place, and decode the information that the context provide. Likewise, it facilitates the students to know how they should act, what is their role and that of others students in academic contexts (Corrigan & Green, 1993). Therefore, this integral formation has an impact for the student in his academic process; for this reason, the university institutions have developed support programs with the aim of supporting the permanence of the students in the university.

Methodology:
Quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study. Participants. The sample was 445 students, registered in the academic spaces of the DHIF at the first semester of 2018, with ages 33.5±17.5 years and a validation of 95% of the students tested (p<0.05). Instruments and Procedure: A self-administered questionnaire, it was designed of Likert Scale that includes 35 questions divided into 5 analysis criteria about Social Cognition variables: Empathy (E), Coping Skills (CS), Teacher Interaction (TI), Perception of Training Teacher (PTT), Perception of Advising (PA).

Results:
The sample presents for E, that 67% (n=295) show that the feelings of others but do not affect them easily. On the other hand, 80% (n=357) the students report that they manage to understand how a friends feels when they are depressed. As also, 79% (n=351) manifest to be satisfied with themselves in the student role. However, 55% (n=244) feel that what they do academically does not make them feel proud. For CS, 67% (n=295) of students that presenting difficult situations prefer to postpone decision making at this time. In the case of the TI, 86% (n=383) is able to put themselves in the place of the teacher in the solution and management of academic problems. For PTT, 80% (n=357) of students recognize that teachers in the academic field have the ability to plan, develop, evaluate and provide feedback to the academic process; in the personal field, the teacher has the ability to identify and help in problematic situations that affect students. Finally, the PA 75% (n=335) of the students identify that the teachers recognize their feelings without them having mentioned it.

Conclusions: For optimize the process of academic advising, the results show that it is necessary to develop strategies that improve the student’s confidence in their own abilities, since they feel good in their role, but is not enough what they do to achieve academic goals. Another support strategy is to create alternatives so that students can make appropriate decisions and that can handle academic pressure, which affect their permanence in the university.