Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Committee Member

Leslie Jo Shelton

Second Committee Member

Michael Hevel


Academic Advising, Centralized Advising, Connectedness, Primary Role Advising, Student Experiences, Student Perceptions


The purpose of this study was to explore how undergraduate students experienced and understood academic advising within the context of a four-year centralized, primary role advising center at a public research university in the mid-south. This qualitative study included 13 undergraduate juniors or seniors from the liberal arts college of a large research university. Using phenomenological methods, I explored the lived experience of these students’ advising experiences through a series of focus groups and one-on-one interviews with the goal of understanding how academic advising impacted the students’ sense of connectedness to the university. Five themes emerged from these interviews: access to advisors, consistency of advisor, depth of advisor knowledge, the advisor’s impact of student connectedness, and ideal advising. Participants expressed that quick access to a trusted advisor who could provide them accurate information was the most important aspect they were looking for in their advising experiences. Most participants expressed that they wanted an advisor who seemed to care about them and know a few details about their life. While participants did express that their advisors helped them feel supported at the university, they did not describe their relationship with their academic advisor as a key element that gave them a sense of connectedness to the university. Participants described wanting an advisor they trusted who they could come to for assurance that they were making good academic choices. The data collected in this study can influence our understanding of the experiences of undergraduate students engaged in academic advising in a centralized model as one part of a whole student experience aimed at increasing student connectedness to their institution.