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Academic Advising and Students’ Academic Achievement in Higher Education: Experiences from Dar es Salaam University College of Education in Tanzania

Patrick Severine Kavenuke*

Abstract

Academic advising in higher education is a mounting field of study that requires special attention as it is significant for enrolled university students to persist and retain to the point of graduation. This study aims to explore the contribution of academic advisors in enhancing students’ academic achievement in higher learning institutions.

Data were collected from 58 respondents, including 48 students and 10 academic advisors both from the Faculty of Education of the Dar es Salaam University College of Education in Tanzania. The data collection methods were questionnaires, focused group discussions and unstructured interviews. A majority of student respondents (67%) revealed that their
academic advisors had not contributed at all to their achievement.

In contrast, 33% indicated that academic advisors had made contributions. The findings also indicated that among the challenges that students encountered when seeking for advisory services included the unavailability of academic advisors for advisory services, students’ lack of knowledge on academic advising, ability and readiness of academic advisors to the advisory roles, and psychosocial related issues. Thus, a quality academic advising programme is indispensable to increase students’ academic achievements in highereducation.

The study recommends a mutual relationship between the advisor and advisee
that is based on trust and respect, shared responsibility and shared problem-solving.

Keywords

academic advisor, higher learning institutions, students, achievement

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