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Reviewed by:
  • Career Advising: An Academic Advisor's Guide
  • Vielka V. Holness
Career Advising: An Academic Advisor's Guide Virginia N. Gordon San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006, 160 pages, $35.00 (hardcover)

Career Advising is a comprehensive introductory text on career advising for the new professional in a career development center. Virginia N. Gordon, assistant dean emeritus and adjunct associate professor at the Ohio State University and a past president of the National Academic Advising Association (NAAA), has extensive experience in guiding students and new professionals within higher education administration. In Career Advising: An Academic Advisor's Guide, a publication of the NAAA, Gordon seeks to provide a complete overview of the career advising profession for those new to the field. Gordon's approach is well thought out and structured to allow even the novice an opportunity to begin to engage the details important to the discipline of career advising within higher education institutions.

As exemplified in her introductory chapter, Gordon seeks to lay out an easy to follow guide for all interested in career advising. She begins by defining basic terms and drawing a distinction between the counseling perspective of professional career counselors and the role of career advisors operating within a college or university. Given the author's commitment to the professionalization of the field of career advising, the reader learns about professional organizations in the field and about the array of professionals engaged in the process of providing career advisement to university students. The reader is provided with helpful charts and diagrams comparing the educational and professional perspectives of those who supply students with career advice, as well as a comparison of the historical development of the fields of career counseling and career advisement. When readers are informed about career advising principles and standards and the organizations that create and maintain them, the focus is on developmental and equity based standards. This text also briefly addresses issues of concern to students of color, LGBTQ students, and other students who may find themselves outside of the traditional experience.

The author deepens the discussion by addressing the varying competencies that new professionals must master to become successful in their new posts. Rather than solely focusing on either practical skills or an understanding of conceptual frameworks, as many authors in this field do, Gordon asks readers to become skilled in both theoretical and practical competency areas. The competencies are described in detail, as is the work of several theorists. [End Page 236]

Thereafter, the author describes her version of the process that career advisors must guide students through so that the students can successfully become engaged in their own professional development. This process is identified as the "3-I Process" and incorporates three separate components that require students to engage in each of the named tasks. Those tasks are Inquire, Inform, and Integrate. The first is an exploratory or questioning stage that allows students to express concerns about future academic and career planning. The intermediate stage finds students needing information about the career choice process and focuses on the process of how to identify, acquire, and then make use of this necessary information. The final stage is described as when the student has the information that they require and needs assistance in bringing it all together and implementing the career decisions that they have made.

These three chapters are helpful in describing for the new career advisor the specific stages that students must be guided through and the chapters also provide a retinue of appropriate methods for propelling students along the path of professional development. The final chapter and the appendices provide an overview of workplace trends, current directions in higher education, and resources for aiding students in addressing the inevitable changes that they will be confronted with as they navigate their professional development process throughout their lifetime.

In detailing the 3-I process and the history and development of career advising as a discipline, Gordon manages to provide new professionals much of the knowledge that very motivated new career advisors might seek out and master on their own during their first year of employment. The text provides valuable insight into the issues that advisors will face when assisting students...


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pp. 236-237
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