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We are excited to connect with you at the

2024 Day of Community Conversations Advising Conference on February 28

All sessions will be photographed throughout the day. Check out the images after the conference on the ARC Website.

In an effort to be more accessible and flexible to members of the advising community, sessions marked with an asterisk will be offered in a hybrid format.

If you plan to only attend sessions virtually, you will not need to complete the regular conference registration form. Instead, you will individually register for each hybrid session using the link for that session found below.

If you plan to attend part of the conference in-person and part of the conference virtually, please use the regular conference registration form to register for the in-person activities and use the hybrid session links to register for virtual activities.

The registration deadline for in-person attendance or virtual attendance is Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

Session 1: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Effective Use of Technologies in Advising: An Introduction to Guiding Theories and Models

Facilitated by Danielle Maxham

Room: Rose 3311

There are a broad range of technologies available to you to support your advising practice. Finding a cool tool is typically the easy part. What is more difficult is understanding how, why and when to implement technology. In this session, you will be introduced to learning theories and conceptual models that may inform the use of technology in advising. Guided by these theories and models, you will then evaluate your current technology use and set a practical vision for effective use of technology in your advising to guide how you approach the use of technology in your advising practice. 

As a result of participating in this session, participants will: 

  1. Identify at least one learning theory or conceptual model to guide their use of technology to support student learning and success
  2. Articulate a vision for effective use of technology in your advising practice

Creating Boundaries: Leveraging Technology to Empower Students and Be an Effective Advisor

Facilitated by Annette Fornadel, Jessica Lewellen, Amber Loyacano, and Reilly Zwanzig

Room: Hybrid - Rose 5211 & Virtual

Explore how experienced educators utilize teaching tools and strategies to overcome common obstacles in advising. Leave this session with a selection of successfully implemented strategies to leverage tools like the JMU website and FAQs, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, and more to create boundaries that can enhance your advising practice. 


  1. Reflect on and identify technology tools to set boundaries to enhance advising practices.
  2. Consider implementing tools to empower students to take the lead in planning and navigating their own education. 

*Click here to register to attend this session virtually.

Advising in Their World: Effectively Using Social Media to Support Students

Facilitated by Aaren Bare

Room: Rose 3313

Social media has the ability to be a great tool for advisors to support our students' academic success, yet for many advisors, they don't know where to start or how to address the challenges that may come with engaging with our students in the world of social media. This session addresses the benefits and challenges of using social media as a tool in our advising practices, guiding principles to an effective advising social media account, and practical tips and resources for implementation. Attendees will have the opportunity to draft an intentional strategy for their advising social media account, assess the resources needed to cultivate a consistent and high-quality social media, and brainstorm content and potential collaborations that would be support their students. This session is for advisors/advising teams considering starting a social media to help advise their students or advisors/advising teams that already utilize social media but are wanting to be more strategic and intentional about its use to engage students more effectively.


  1. Describe 3 guiding principles to an effective social media account for advising.
  2. Establish 3 content buckets with 3 content ideas in each for their advising social media account. 
Session 2: 11:15 am - 12:15 pm

TechInclusivity: Employing Technology for Equitable Access and Personal Connections in Departmental Advising

Facilitated by Dr. Tiara Brown

Room: Rose 3311

Participants will engage in a hands-on session to learn about how certain technology-use for advising may exclude certain student populations (students with disabilities, diverse cultures, English-language learners, etc.). The session will present information on apps that are accessible for all student advisees and ways to increase personal connections and communication between departmental advisors and their students. The session will allow participants to explore apps, engage with other advisors, and consider the use of technology that may work best for them in their advising role.  


  1. Participants will understand how certain uses of technology may exclude populations of students and brainstorm solutions.
  2. Participants will explore culturally responsive advising apps that accommodate all student advisees.  
  3. Participants will discuss the use of accessibility features to ensure student connection and participation.  

Utilizing Reports and Dashboards in Advising

Facilitated by Doreen Liccione and Anthony Green

Room: Rose 3313

The session will begin with a brainstorming of what data advisors currently have access to and how it informs their proactive advising decisions. The following will be an overview of the reports and dashboard features in MyMadison Connect (Salesforce) and how they may be used now and, in the future, to support proactive advising. The session will conclude with a brainstorm on what data, reports, and dashboards would be useful to have to support future development.

Participants will be able to: 

  1. Articulate two data points that are helpful to inform proactive advising
  2. Increase knowledge and awareness of reporting and dashboard features in the CRM
  3. Identify one data point, report, or dashboard element to implement.

Advising for General Education Transfer Credit: Policy, Technology, and Advising Philosophy

Facilitated by Dr. Elizabeth Brown and Dr. Kethera Moore

Room: Hybrid - Rose 5211 & Virtual

This session will support advisors in understanding and negotiating the interaction of transfer credit and General Education at JMU at both practical and philosophical levels. 
Through discussion and case study, participants will reflect on the role of transfer credit in the success of their specific advisee population(s). They will confront advising dilemmas posed by transfer credit as it relates to overall student success through the lenses of academic and degree outcomes, long term career and life readiness, equity, and inclusive excellence. 
The conversation will discuss practical logistics of JMU’s policies and supporting technologies that relate to transfer credit into General Education. This will include transfer credit pre- and post- matriculation, how to use the Transfer Equivalency System (TES) and MyMadison for transfer credit advising, and what to do in ambiguous or complicated situations. 
At the end of this workshop, the goal is that participants:

  1. have developed or further articulated a vision of how transfer credit best serves their specific advisee population's liberal arts education and
  2. are confident in their understanding of JMU policy and technology tools relating to transfer credit in General Education. 


  1. Participants will be aware of General Education transfer credit policies.
  2. Participants will be aware of and able to effectively use transfer credit technologies and systems at JMU, (the Transfer Equivalency (TES) database, MyMadison reports, General Education fail safe systems)
  3. Participants will develop or further articulate a vision of how transfer credit best serves their specific advisee population's liberal arts education that takes into account: academic and degree outcomes, long term career and life readiness, equity, and inclusive excellence.

*Click here to register to attend this session virtually.

Session 3: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Advising from a Student Perspective (A Student Panel)

Student Panel

Room: Rose 3313

In this session, participants will hear from a range of JMU students about their experience with advising. This will be a moderated panel and will include some prepared questions about topics such as the types of communication strategies that have been most supportive, how advising technology has impacted their experience, and overall perspectives of advising. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and have conversations with the student panel.  


  1. Discover specific strategies to support students through advising from the student perspective. 
  2. Engage in dialogue with students and colleagues to continue fostering a student-minded advising approach.

Equity and Consistency in Academic Planning: A New Opportunity in MyMadison Connect

Facilitated by Kristin Knapp, Joe Loyacano, Karen McDonnell, and Paige Normand

Room: Rose 3311

JMU recognizes the importance of academic advising in a student’s academic development and success. Academic planning—the process of guiding students through university requirements, academic goals, and career planning—is a vital part of the student/advisor relationship. As students transition from First Year advising and make choices about major and minor programs, they will likely be assigned multiple academic advisors and may experience a variety of academic planning tools. One concern evident in this current system is that students do not have equal access to academic planning tools and/or may experience confusion due to the transition between advisors. 
This past year, JMU initiated the first phase of MyMadison Connect, a system “aimed at elevating student success by optimizing academic advising.” In addition to offering a consistent process for students to set up advising appointments, this new technology enables advising notes and planning tools to follow students as they transition to new academic advisors. 
This session invites all who serve as academic advisors to demonstrate and discuss tools currently used in academic advising and explore how the development of a common (and adaptable to all programs) academic planning template may increase equity and consistency in the student advising experience. 


  1. Share academic planning tools we currently use (e.g., Excel, Google Sheets, Fillable Word doc., PDF check sheet) and discuss the pros/cons of different tools.
  2. Discuss the viability of developing a digital planning template that could be updated/adapted by advisors and shared across all stages of the student lifecycle.
  3. Discuss new opportunities for technology-enabled academic planning using the MyMadison Connect technology to improve equity and consistency in academic advising.

Leveraging ChatGPT for Career Exploration

Facilitated by Sam Squyars

Room: Hybrid - Rose 5211 & Virtual

In this session, discover the interactive potential of ChatGPT which can offer students a unique platform for personalized and insightful career exploration opportunities. Tools like ChatGPT can help students and advisors to have more robust conversations. Students want to use AI tools but may not have the full scope of how to effectively use these resources. The session will explore how students and advisors can effectively use ChatGPT. Bring your ideas and thoughts on how advisors from across different disciplines can leverage AI to work smarter, not harder all while providing authentic support to students. 


  1. Describe at least three ways to effectively use ChatGPT in the career exploration phase.  
  2. List at least three ethical considerations when using ChatGPT.

*Click here to register to attend this session virtually.

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