Jana Renner has been working for the benefit of students in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management (PETM) since 2013 when she joined the then brand-new Office of Student Success. Her efforts were recognized campus wide last month when she achieved the distinction of IUPUI’s first Senior Academic Advisor.
In 2016, the campus announced that it would pilot the first IUPUI Academic Advisor Development Program (AADP), designed to promote undergraduate student learning and success, standardize the quality of and training for academic advising across campus, grow academic advising as a profession, and retain highly effective academic advisors. In October, advisors with a minimum of three years service at IUPUI were invited to apply to be reviewed against a comprehensive list of competencies. Upon having her request for review approved, Renner compiled over 100 pages of evidence showcasing her outcomes in six domains: Intellectual and Personal Growth, Engagement, Career Planning, Academic Planning and Progress, Resources, Policies and Procedures.
Renner also had encouragement in her pursuit from many individuals, receiving letters of support from students and colleagues within PETM and across campus. A common thread in these letters is Renner’s excellent interpersonal skills – collaborating with faculty and staff, supporting students, and promoting spirit of welcoming to all she encounters.
Renner credits her success in this process, in large part, to the support she receives from PETM, “The school has allowed me to pursue the outcomes this promotion recognizes. I appreciate the opportunities to be creative, to attend and present at conferences, and the freedom to innovate within my role.”
AADP’s highest tier of distinction is the Master Academic Advisor, and, not one to rest for long, Renner is already reviewing those competencies and outcomes. In the next several years, she hopes to participate in research in her interest areas (orientation and other student welcoming initiatives) as well as serving on campus and national committees for advising excellence.
One of the benefits of AADP is that it offers the opportunity for professional growth without requiring an advisor to leave their current position. Renner says, “I appreciate PETM’s team environment. Everyone on the staff and faculty are working together with the goal of student success.”
The school certainly benefits from keeping Renner as an integral part of the Office of Student Success as well. As Rose Baker, Academic Advisor, wrote, “Jana makes PETM and IUPUI a better place.”