Academic advisors as question-specialists
Merva, Michael Ellis
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Advising literature is full of innovative advising “approaches” -- methods of structuring advising programs or individual appointments. Theories or philosophies of academic advising are less common, as advisors are more concerned with day-to-day practice. However, a foundational theory of advising is necessary in order to unify and professionalize advising. I propose that problematology, a philosophy of questioning developed by Belgian rhetorician Michel Meyer, provides a uniquely appropriate basis upon which to build a foundational theory of advising. In this dissertation I analyze current advising approaches from a problematological perspective to arrive at the most important concepts in advising. After an explanation of problematology, I then apply problematology to these advising concepts, resulting in the academic question-specialist theory of advising. This problematological theory of advising is able to encompass current practices and guide future advising approaches, but more importantly, it provides advisors with a simple way to explain our work to students and administrators across all settings of higher education.