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Reviewed by:
  • The Handbook of Career Advising
  • Scott C. Brown
The Handbook of Career Advising. Kenneth F. Hughey, Dorothy Nelson, Joanne K. Damminger, Betsy McCalla-Wriggins et al.. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009, 420 pages, $65.00 (hardcover)

Are you an academic advisor expanding your scope into career advising? Are you an upper level administrator looking for ways to enhance or restructure advising programs and services in an effective and efficient way? This is the book for you. The Handbook of Career Advising, a [End Page 604]publication of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), makes the case for academic advisors to integrate career advising into their responsibilities.

The context for this volume is timely. We are in a turbulent economic environment where higher education is under much scrutiny, with pressure from students, parents and other major stakeholders. This 13-chapter volume is a crash course on career advising in one book, with chapters that provide a context and overview of academic and career services, student and career developmental theories, and the skills, competencies, and resources necessary for effective career advising. While the Handbook of Career Advisingcovers all of these topics, I have organized the chapters in related groupings for this review.

First, several chapters provide an overview and context for career advising and the use of student development theory: "Foundations of Career Advising" (Kenneth F. Hughey, Judith K. Hughey; chapter 1); "Theories of Career Development" (Spencer G. Niles and Brian Hutchinson; chapter 4); and "Using Student Development Theory to Inform Career Advising" (Heidi Koring, Beverly Reid; chapter 5).

Second, several chapters focus on specific career advising resources, skills, resources, and competencies: "Career Advising Competencies" (Eileen Mahoney; chapter 3), "Information Resources to Enhance Career Advising" (Darren L. Carr, Susan Epstein; chapter 7); "Career Advising: A Framework for Practice" (Joanne Damminger; chapter 8); and "Evaluation and Assessment in Career Advising" (Rich Robbins; chapter 12).

Third, several chapters focus on advising different student populations: "Diversity and Career Advising" (Aaron Carlstrom, Marilyn Kaff, Karen Low; chapter 6); "Career Advising with Undecided Populations" (Catherine Buyarski; chapter 10); and, "Career Advising with Specific Student Populations" (Peggy Jordan, Terri Blevens; chapter 11).

The last set of chapters focus on the larger institutional context: "The Evolving Workplace: Integrating Academic and Career Advising" (Rich Feller, Brian O'Bruba; chapter 2); "Integrated Career and Academic Advising Programs" (Dorothy Burton Nelson, Betsy McCalla-Wriggins; chapter 9); and, "Career Advising Challenges, Opportunities, and Recommendation for the Future" (Betsy McCalla-Wriggins, Kenneth Hughey, Joanne Dammiger, Dorothy Burton Nelson; chapter 13).

Most any practitioner will appreciate the various ways that this volume integrates theory into actual practice. The appendices provide specific models of good practice, case studies on advising diverse students and undecided students, as well some resource examples of standard evaluation forms. The volume is peppered with helpful case studies, tables, figures and exhibits.

However, like any book of this comprehensiveness, its virtue is its vice. By trying to be a one-stop volume, such a comprehensive treatment can obscure much of the nuance of good advising. There are so many possible frameworks presented to choose from, that there is no one best approach that should be followed dogmatically, no matter what an advising situation presents. Any experienced advisor knows that effective advising requires an eclectic approach, drawing from a wide range of knowledge, skills, and competencies. This book will provide more knowledge, skills and resources for one's professional tool kit to help advisors situate learning in a particular student's life.

As a former career director, I would be remiss if I didn't say that career advisors might feel this book is an encroachment on their "turf." It is important to note that this is a publication of the National Academic Advising [End Page 605]Association (NACADA) and its audience is academic advisors. As institutions try to enhance effectiveness and create efficiencies, it is a natural assumption that those with considerable academic advising capacities can expand their repertoire into career advising. Although a good academic advisor can learn the knowledge and skills and resources to do serviceable career advising, time and resources must still be towards career development itself. Effective academic advising can be very internally focused, whereas...


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