Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dorothy Finnegan


Positive educational experiences deliberately sought through advising can lead to increased academic success, improved college experiences, and long-term benefits as graduates become contributing citizens in society. However, much of the research on the role of and advantages related to academic advising has been limited to American colleges and universities. This ethnographic case study conducted at the University of Liberia examined the organizational role of advising from student, faculty, and staff perspectives, and explored the culture, college experiences, and academic progression of students prior to and after the establishment of the Student Academic Advisement and Career Counseling Center particularly among freshmen and seniors. The purpose of this study was to identify the role of advising services in a Liberian higher education setting, to understand the relationships between social organization and advising interactions, and to explore applications of advising approaches in non-Western cultural contexts. Nine faculty, 10 staff, and 20 student participants were interviewed.;The findings suggest that postwar challenges in Liberian higher education and the University of Liberia's shifting perspective on student-centeredness have been the primary elements that have shaped the barriers and opportunities found in the role of advising and college student experience. Implications of this study have expanded our knowledge of academic advising in a non-Western, postwar culture, and highlighted the significance of applying social organization analysis and metaphor to understand complex structures and processes involved in higher education advising processes. as Liberia and other similar developing countries look for ways to improve educational experiences, inspire social consciousness, contribute to national development and workforce needs, address remediation and rehabilitation concerns, enhance student persistence and retention, and improve academic success, academic advising could be a key solution in the process.;Keywords: academic advising, social organization, West Africa.



© The Author