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CMSI Announces New Report on Academic Advising Practices at Minority Serving Institutions


Natalie Passov | | 848-932-0728 

New Brunswick, N.J., July 18, 2023 – The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce the release of its latest report, “Advising with Intention: Exploring Academic Advising at Minority Serving Institutions.” The report examines the academic advising structures, assessment methods, duties and responsibilities, and competencies/training of academic advisors within and across Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). 

As MSIs have grown greatly in popularity in recent years due to their commitment to serve students of color, academic advising has become necessary for these institutions to recruit, retain, and graduate students. While there is research on advising students of color and other marginalized populations, researchers don't always consider the identity of a MSI as a key factor in their analysis. 

“This research underscores how MSIs intentionally design academic advising to support the success of their diverse student population,” shared Gabriel Bermea, CMSI Visiting Scholar and lead author of the report. “By studying academic advising at MSIs, we gain insights into the intentional efforts that can inform the development and improvement of academic advising at both MSIs and other institutions.” 

This report seeks to address this void by better understanding the organizational patterns of academic advising at MSIs. To achieve this, the study, consisting of a qualitative questionnaire, was conducted among 32 academic advising leaders across different MSI types.

“Students of color have been gravitating towards MSIs because they offer a welcoming, culturally diverse community that many universities in the United States do not have,” mentioned Marybeth Gasman, Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University and Executive Director of CMSI. “A thorough examination of the academic advising practices in MSIs can help these institutions better identify how they can nourish the academic success of their students.” 

Findings include that the top six duties that advisors at MSIs perform are participating in campus orientation, providing course selection and major exploration, referring students to institutional resources, addressing early warnings or progress report cases, and serving on campus committees and task forces. Further, the report indicates that MSIs use significant assessments to determine advising needs of students, provide orientation and registration services to support a student’s transition, and provide essential coaching and development services, 

Overall, these institutions are intentional about providing training to support the development of their academic advisors, but a gap between training and cultural competences still exists. To solve this problem, Bermea recommends that academic advisors’ training should also include cultural and anti-racism competencies along with informational and technological competencies, and that the voices of students should be elevated to create a more intentional academic advising experience. 

“Based on the findings of this research, leaders at MSIs can be more intentional in the alignment of their academic advising practices and strategies with the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and aspirations of their students and ensure academic advisors are ready to meet the needs of their advisees,” emphasized Bermea.

The report can be found here. 


About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions  

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
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