Kim Smith, assistant provost for academic advising initiatives at Virginia Tech, has been elected as the Career Advising Chair for NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Smith will assume the leadership role at the end of the 2019 NACADA Annual Conference being held in Louisville, Kentucky, in October and will serve in this position until October 2021.

“This organization has been critical to my personal and professional success by providing me with leadership and development opportunities,” said Smith. “Given the outcome of the elections, I have gained an opportunity to make a difference in the very same profession and global organization from which I have benefited. My desire to serve as career advising chair is a means of giving back to NACADA.”

NACADA promotes quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students. Since its beginning in 1979, the organization has grown to over 14,000 members consisting of faculty members, professional advisors, administrators, counselors and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students.

Within the global advising profession, Smith said she intends to raise awareness of the importance and methods of integrating academic and career advising in an effort to facilitate student success. “This includes expanding the professional development opportunities available to advisors and advising administrators regarding the career exploration and development process,” Smith said.

Smith leads Virginia Tech’s academic advising programs and initiatives for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Her office helps coordinate and lead university-wide advising initiatives, including training opportunities and awards for academic advisors.

Advising serves a critical role for Virginia Tech students by helping them find their best path for a rich undergraduate experience. Also under Smith’s leadership, the University Academic Advising Center advises more than 2,000 students enrolled in the University Studies program and serves as a central hub for advising on campus.

Smith said her service to NACADA in this leadership position will benefit students at Virginia Tech and the institution itself by supporting student success through the development of an advising model that purposefully integrates academic and career advising.

“Career advising is viewed a natural and integral part of academic advising and should be so ingrained in the academic advising process, there is little or no distinction between the two,” said Smith. “When advising is effective, students are able to explore, evaluate, and integrate career and academic information for career and life planning.

“My efforts to advance these ideas globally will allow me to enhance my network and develop best practices that will make Virginia Tech a leader in this area.”

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