Washington State Student Services Commission
Results from the
Survey of Advising and Counseling Services
October 2001
In spring 2001, a task force made up of members of the Washington State Student Services Commission, in conjunction with the Washington Federation of Teachers and the Counseling and Student Development Administration Council, conducted a study about characteristics and trends in the practice of advisng and counseling in Washington's community and technical colleges.  The Survey of Advising and Counseling Services was used to collect data for this study.

The
Survey of Advising and Counseling Services was distributed to the chief student services officer at each campus, who, in turn, assembled a group of relevant personnel to complete the instrument.  Therefore, the data collected from the survey should be considered "self-report" in nature.

Any questions or comments regarding the data elements or layout of this report should be directed to Dan Weinstein, Director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning at Lower Columbia College, who acted as a resource person to the task force. 
General Findings Summary
The FTE for counseling faculty increased over the past fifteen years, only at a much smaller rate than the FTE for
students and classified staff and administrative exempt* personnel who perform advising and general counseling duties.
In 2001, 81% of counselors system-wide were faculty.  The remaining 19% of counselors were part-time hourly
and administrative exempt personnel.
Classified staff and administrative exempt involvement in personal guidance is very modest - and has been over the
past fifteen years.  Both classifications, on the other hand, have had increasing involvement in advising.
Administrative exempt is the only classification that saw a consistent increase in funding from all sources over the
past fifteen years.
In 2001, counseling faculty involvement in advising was 31% higher than their involvement in personal guidance.
System-wide, each campus has approximately 80 teaching faculty who advise students.
The majority of colleges compensate their counseling faculty during the summer and academic breaks by the part-
time hourly rate and the daily rate.
The majority of personnel who manage advising are directors and associate deans.  Advising managers generally
report to vice-presidents and deans.
The majority of personnel who manage counseling are directors, deans, associate deans, and counselors.  Counseling
managers generally report to vice-presidents and deans.
The frequency of student visits to advisors and counselors system-wide is directly related to the number of people
available for advising on campus, available funding for personal guidance services, and the customer service
orientation of those who provide personal guidance services.
(*In this report, "administrative exempt" is inclusive of all categories of exempt service.)
                   
 
Table 1
System-Wide Participation
 
   
   
      Number of colleges that completed FTE allocation in part 1 of the survey  
  Total in System Submitted Survey 2001 1996 1991 1986  
  Community Colleges 29 27 25 24 23 23  
  Technical Colleges 5 4 4 4 4 4  
   
                   
Part 1: Involvement in Advising and Counseling Duties by the Three Job Classifications
The academic year totals in the figure above for 1986-2001 are 6.81, 8.21, 10.23, and 13.44, respectively.
The average FTE for counseling faculty increased by 7.7% between 1986 and 2001.
The average FTE for classified staff increased by 170%* between 1986 and 2001.
The average FTE for administrative exempt personnel increased by 800%* between 1986 and 2001.
The average FTE for students in all categories increased by 56% in the community colleges (not including the
technical colleges) between 1986 and 2001.
(The technical colleges joined the system in 1991.  Pierce College at Puyallup received campus status in 1999
and Cascadia Community College began enrolling students in fall 2000.)
(*While these percentages make the increases seem very large, they actualy reflect modest increases in headcount and FTE.)
The academic year totals in the figure above for 1986-2001 are 5.14, 5.27, 5.90, and 6.11, respectively.
The duties that counseling faculty perform the most include advising and personal guidance, both of which
have shown an increase over the fifteen-year period - 13.0% and 10.4%, respectively.
The duties that couseling faculty have been doing more of over the fifteen-year period include educational
planning (50% increase), career services (40.6% increase), and managing/directing (24.2% increase).
Counseling faculty have been doing less teaching over the fifteen-year period (16.0% decrease).
The academic year totals in the figure above for 1986-2001 are 0.72, 1.25, 1.64, and 2.72, respectively.
In general, the duties performed most by classified staff over the fifteen-year period include advising
(167% increase) and educational planning (377% increase).
Classified staff were basically not doing career services in 1986, but their FTE allocation in this area
increased by 88% between 1991 and 2001.
Classified staff involvement in management/directing has become more common in recent years with a
239% increase over the fifteen-year period.
Classified staff did not provide personal guidance services until after 1996.  The increase by an average
of 0.14 FTE system-wide may suggest a need for additional support in recent years.
Regression Analysis
Descriptive statistics can be misleading.  System averages can become inflated if even only a few colleges have substatially more of what is being observed than the rest of the colleges in the system.  Regression analysis can address this problem by finding the "best fit" line, or linear progression of the data.  In other words, it tells us - statistically - if the data points fall in a somewhat predictable, linear manner.  If this is the case, then the regression results will tell you that the relationship between variables, or the pattern in which the data falls, is "significant" (p<=0.05).  In addition, the "slope" and y-intercept" can be plugged into a simple formula that can be used to predict what future values of what you're observing are likely to be in the future.  There was no statistical significance for any of the variables associated with counseling faculty.
Classified staff have had virtually no involvement in teaching over the fifteen-year period.
Table 2
Regression Coefficients for
Classified Staff
  slope y-intercept significance
Classified Staff Total FTE 0.1094 1.0806 0.028
Advising 0.0490 0.4284 0.049
Educational Planning 0.0309 0.0850 0.018
Managing/Directing 0.0225 0.1083 0.042
Personal Guidance 0.0081 -0.0174 0.040 (p<=0.05)
Classified staff involvement in teaching and career services does not appear in Table 2 because those results
were not statistically significant.
These data suggest that classified staff will continue to be involved in both advising and counseling in the future.
Controlling for any intervening variables, the average, system-wide FTE for classified staff who do advising and
counseling will be about 3.27 in 2006.  That figure was 2.78 in 2001.
These data indicate that classified staff do not have much involvement in providing personal guidance
services.  The slope (0.0081) is so slight that the average, system-wide FTE for classified staff providing personal
guidance will be about 0.145 in 2006.  That figure was 0.141 in 2001.
For classified staff involvement in advising, that average, system-wide FTE will be about 1.41 in 2006.  That figure
was 1.20 in 2001.
The academic year totals in the figure above for 1986-2001 are 0.4, 1.09, 2.35, and 4.89, respectively.
Clearly, most of the duties performed by administrative exempt personnel include advising
(1,100% increase), managing/directing (396% increase), and educational planning (243% increase
between 1991 and 2001).
Administrative exempt personnel have become more involved in career services since 1996 (110%
increase).
Administrative exempt personnel have been teaching in recent years.  They went from doing virtually
no teaching through 1996 to a 0.35 average FTE for teaching in 2001.
Administrative exempt personnel have had the least involvment in personal guidance over the fifteen-year
period (82% increase from 1996).
Table 3
Regression Coefficients for
Administrative Exempt
  slope y-intercept significance
Admin. Exempt Total FTE 0.3005 0.1887 0.000
Advising 0.0923 -0.0328 0.000
Educational Planning 0.0725 0.0111 0.001
Managing/Directing 0.0682 0.1621 0.000
Personal Guidance 0.0101 0.0286 0.010
Career Services 0.0270 -0.0094 0.000
Teaching 0.0208 -0.0383 0.046 (p<=0.05)
These data suggest that administrative exempt personnel will continue to be involved in advising and counseling in the
future.  Controlling for any intervening variables, the average, system-wide FTE for administrative exempt who do advising
and counseling will be about 6.20 in 2006.  That figure was 5.04 in 2001.
Administrative exempt personnel have a modest involvement in personal guidance .  Controlling for any
intervening variables, the average, system-wide FTE for administrative exempt who provide personal
guidance will be 0.230 in 2006.  That figure was 0.200 in 2001.
For administrative exempt involvement in advising, that average, system-wide FTE will be about 1.81 in 2006.  That figure
was 1.50 in 2001.
Part 2: Funding Sources and Issues for the Three Job Classifications
Despite the fact that state money allocations to counseling faculty positions have been on the decline over
the past fifteen years (14.65% decline from 1986 to 2001), this money clearly makes up the majority of what
renumerates these positions system-wide.
From 1996 to 2001, counseling positions were renumerated by 4.13% more grant money, but only by 0.11%
more contract money.
It should be noted that "available funding for personal guidance" correlated significantly with "talked with
a counselor/advisor about personal issues" on the 1999 Community College Student Experiences
Questionnaire (CCSEQ).
(Colleges were asked to mark all applicable responses.)
These data indicate that the majority of colleges compensate their counseling faculty during the summer
and academic breaks by the part-time hourly rate and the daily rate.
Many colleges renumerate their counseling faculty with compensatory/flextime during academic breaks.
Administrative exempt personnel is the only employee classifaction that shows a steady increase in funding
from all three sources.  On average, state money allocations to administrative exempt personnel have
increased by 14.81% over the fifteen-year period.  That figure is 13.99% for grant money.
Administrative exempt personnel received virtually no contract funding in 1986, but between 1991 and 2001,
this funding increased by 10.98%.
Despite the fact that state money allocations to classified staff positions have been on the decline over
the past fifteen years (15.66% decline from 1986 to 2001), this money clearly makes up the majority of what
renumerates these positions system-wide.
Beginning in 1986, contract money has become a more important funding source for these classified staff
positions.  While this funding source covered barely 1% of their total funding in 1986, it covered close to a
fifth of their total funding by 1996.  Contract funding for classified staff declined by nearly 5% between 
1996 and 2001.
Part 3: Reporting Relationships and Employment Status
The majority of personnel who manage advising are directors (36.7%) and associate deans (23.3%).
Advising managers generally report to vice-presidents (46.7%) and deans (26.7%).
The majority of personnel who manage counseling are directors (40.0%), deans, associate deans, and.
counselors (each 13.3%).
Counseling managers generally report to vice-presidents (63.3%) and deans (16.7%).
The majority of advisors are administrative exempt (66.9%) and classified staff (22.1%).
The majority of counselors are faculty (81.3%) and administrative exempt (12.5%).
Part 4: Educational Background, Contract Days, and Advising Policies
Altogether, 82% of academic advisors have to possess a bachelor or master degree.
Ten advising positions (7%) within the Washington Community/Technical College system require a high
school diploma only.  The state has articulated a classified position (curriculum advisor) requiring a minimum
of a high school diploma.
The majority of counseling positions system-wide (83%) require a master degree.
Of the remaining 17%, almost as many counseling positions require a bachelor degree (8%) as a
doctorate (9%).
Table 4
System-Wide Entry-Level Salaries, Number of Contract Days, and FTE for Advising and Counseling Positions
Community and Technical Colleges
AY 2001
Community Colleges
    Entry-Level Salary Range Entry-Level Salary Average Contract Days Range Contract Days Average FTE Range FTE Average
Counseling Positions $2,655-$58,000 $37,898.40 33-261 179.04 0.05-14.35 2.48
               
Advising Positions $11,000-$56,248 $35,564.99 105-263 235.05 0.1-8.3 1.11
               
Technical Colleges
    Entry-Level Salary Range Entry-Level Salary Average Contract Days Range Contract Days Average FTE Range FTE Average
Counseling Positions $30,139-$40,000 $36,915.13 170-261 212.13 0.1-4.0 1.21
               
Advising Positions $34,000-$55,000 $41,386.00 241-262 260.38 0.1-1.0 0.58
There appears to be no part-time advising or counseling positions in the technical colleges.  This makes the average
number of contract days somewhat larger for both position types in the technical colleges.
The FTE range for both advising and counseling positions in the community colleges is broader than those in the
technical colleges.  This makes the average FTE for both position types larger in the community colleges than in the
techncial colleges.
The average number of contract days for counseling positions in the technical colleges is 18.5% higher than those
positions in the community colleges.
Table 5
Advising Policies
AY 2001
Our college requires all new students to be advised. Our college uses part-time employees for advising.
Yes 14 46.7% (mean = 5.0 p-t who advise)
No 6 20.0% Yes 19 63.3%
Sometimes 9 30.0% No 6 20.0%
No answer 1 3.3% Sometimes 5 16.7%
Our college requires all returning students to be advised. Faculty advising is part of the faculty contract at our college.
Yes 7 24.3% Yes 19 63.3%
No 17 56.7% No 8 26.7%
Sometimes 6 20.0% Sometimes 2 6.7%
Our college requires all undecided students to be advised. No answer 1 3.3%
Yes 6 20.0% Our college sets aside a designated day exclusively for advising.
No 17 56.7% Yes 10 33.3%
Sometimes 5 16.7% No 19 63.3%
No answer 2 6.7% No answer 1 3.3%
Teaching faculty advise students at our college.
(mean = 79.7 faculty who advise)
Yes 22 73.3%
No 1 3.3%
Sometimes 7 24.3%
Most colleges' advising policies maintain multiple caveats.  A comprehensive listing is available.
Educational Background
Table 6
Average Number of Non-Teaching Personnel Who Advise
by Educational Attainment
Degree Counseling Faculty Non-Faculty Employees
Doctoral/Professional 1.3 1.0
Counseling Master 4.9 2.5
Non-Counseling Master 0.7 6.2
Bachelor 1.4 4.7
Associate 0.3 1.0
Trade Certification 0.0 0.3
High School Diploma 0.0 0.9
  mean of non-teaching personnel who advise = 14.4  
These data indicate that the majority of counseling faculty who advise hold a master degree in counseling.
These data indicate that most non-faculty employees who advise have a non-counseling master degree or
a bachelor degree.
Table 7
Average Number of Non-Teaching Personnel Who Provide Personal Guidance Services
by Educational Attainment
Degree Counseling Faculty Non-Faculty Employees
Doctoral/Professional 1.2 1.0
Counseling Master 5.1 1.3
Non-Counseling Master 0.7 1.9
Bachelor 0.3 1.0
Associate 0.0 0.0
Trade Certification 0.0 0.3
High School Diploma 0.0 0.3
  mean of non-teaching personnel who provide personal guidance services = 6.8  
The majority of counseling faculty who provide personal guidance services have a master degree in
counseling or a doctoral/professional degree.
Only 22.4% of non-faculty employees who provide personal guidance services have a master degree in
counseling.  That figure is 32.8% for those who hold a non-counseling master degree.
27.6% of non-faculty employees who provide personal guidance services have less than a master
degree.
Part 5: Appraisal of Advising and Personal Guidance Services
Appraisal of Advising and Personal Guidance Services
1=Not working well
2=Not working well most of     the time
3=Works well most of the time
4=Works well
Table 8
Appraisal of Advising Services
Table 9
Appraisal of Personal Guidance Services
Exempt staff who do advising 3.4 "Customer service" orientation of those 3.6
Classified staff who do advising 3.4 who provide personal guidance  
Advisor's knowledge of graduation/ 3.3 Reporting relationship of those who 3.4
degree requirements   provide personal guidance  
"Customer service" orientation of 3.2 Student satisfaction, in general, with 3.4
those who advise   personal guidance services  
Student satisfaction, in general, 3.1 Space allocated for personal guidance 3.2
with advising   Managing duties of counseling faculty 3.2
Reporting relationship of those who 3.0 Advising duties of counseling faculty 3.1
advise   Personal guidance program overall 3.1
Advising program overall 2.9 "Division of labor" among those who 3.0
Hours of availability for advising 2.9 provide personal guidance  
Space allocated for advising 2.9 Teaching duties of counseling faculty 3.0
The number of those who advise on 2.8 Hours of availability for personal 3.0
campus   guidance  
Advising training 2.7 Personal guidance training/ 2.9
Instructional faculty who do advising 2.6 professional development  
Available funding for advising 2.6 Overall workload of counselors 2.9
"Division of labor" among those who 2.5 The number of those who provide 2.8
advise   personal guidance to students  
Available funding for personal 2.6
guidance  
Table 8a
Table 9a
Evidence Used to Appraise Advising Services Evidence Used to Appraise Personal Guidance
Comments/feedback from students n=30 Services
regarding advising, in general   Student comments/feedback regarding n=30
Comment/feedback from advisors n=29 personal guidance, in general  
themselves regarding their work   Comments/feedback from those n=30
The observation of the people n=28 providing personal guidance services  
completing this survey   The observation of the people n=27
Faculty/staff comments/feedback n=28 completing this survey  
regarding advising, in general   Faculty/staff comments/feedback n=27
Student satisfaction data about n=27 regarding personal guidance,in general  
advising   Student satisfaction data about n=25
Comments/feedback from transfer n=18 personal guidance, in general  
institutions or employers regarding   Frequency of student visits to those n=24
advising, in general   providing personal guidance services  
General efficiency of student n=15 Student comments/feedback regarding n=22
placement into English and math   classes taught by counselors  
First instruction week shuffle of n=14 Frequency (or nature) of student n=19
students into the "right" classes   problems  
(Colleges were asked to mark all applicable responses.) Comments/feedback from faculty/ n=17
staff who are managed by those who  
provide personal guidance services  
(Colleges were asked to mark all applicable responses.)
Overall, classified and exempt staff who do advising are working well on the campuses.  Advisors'
knowledge of graduation/degree requirements and "customer service" orientation also scored high.
Overall, for counselors, their "customer service" orientation, reporting relationship (see Figure 9),
student satisfaction, and space allocated for personal guidance services all scored the highest.
It should be noted that "the number of those who advise on campus" correlated significantly with "talked with
a counselor/advisor about courses and requirements" on the 1999 Community College Student
Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ).  This is a positive correlation which suggests that the more people
there are available to advise on campuses, students will talk more with counselors and advisors about their
courses, etc.
Also, "customer service orientation of those who provide personal guidance" correlated significantly with
"talked with a counselor/advisor about personal issues" on the 1999 Community College Student
Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ).  This is a positive correlation which suggests that the more
counselors/advisors maintain a favorable customer service orientation, the more students will seek them out
to discuss their personal matters.