Adolescents stand at a crucial intersection in their social, emotional, and academic development, and they greatly benefit from coaching and support to navigate the complexities of school and life.

Advisory Plus students develop valuable academic behaviors, strategies, mindsets, and social skills. Each advisor provides a structured, safe place where a small group of students develops the skills they need to set goals, manage tasks, organize time and materials, work collaboratively with others, advocate for themselves, and communicate effectively. Advisory Plus also includes significant opportunities for academic advising.

Engaging Schools collaborates with schools and districts to develop an effective and sustainable Advisory Plus program that is integrated into the life of the school.

After implementing Advisory Plus, schools report improved attendance rates as well as increases in self- and social awareness, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Schools also report an improved school climate and lower rates of late arrivals and absenteeism.

For Advisory Plus, Engaging Schools offers:

  • Customized plans for individual schools or districts. We work with district leaders, principals, and leadership teams to customize plans that include workshops, coaching, and consulting.
  • A four-day Advisory Plus institute for schools that have not yet begun advisories or plan to restructure an existing program.

For more in-depth information on Advisory Plus, click here.

Through training in Advisory Plus, advisors learn:

  • How to use research-based practices and routines to create a community in which peers support one another, grow together, and learn from one another.
  • How to implement an academic advisement structure and protocols through which students learn to analyze and evaluate data related to their academic performance.
  • Facilitation techniques to increase engagement and participation.

Students whose schools use Advisory Plus:

  • Take the lead in setting their own measurable academic, social, and behavioral goals.
  • Learn to monitor their week-to-week academic progress and achievement.
  • Develop habits of work, discipline, communication, and participation as well as skills and mindsets that support success.
  • Help build a learning-focused culture in their advisory and support their peers throughout the school.

Through Advisory Plus coaching and consultation, schools:

  • Learn how to design an effective advisory program.
  • Build the capacity of an advisory leadership team.
  • Develop understanding, skills, and commitment among staff members.
  • Learn how to integrate advisory into the larger school context.
  • Learn how to implement, assess, and continuously improve a successful advisory program.

“Published research on advisory … is generally optimistic and indicates that the program leads to the kind of positive outcomes — such as increased attendance — that correlate with improved academic outcomes.”

R. Makkonen, Advisory program research and evaluation

“In the student focus groups, 98% of students responded affirmatively when asked, ‘Do you think advisory helps you academically?’ Students noted that their advisories helped them focus on their studies, receive critical academic support, strategize about classes and teachers, set academic goals, and belong to a group of peers striving for success.”

S.B. Shulkind, S.B. and J. Foote, Creating a culture of connectedness through middle school advisory programs

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