Motivational Interviewing in Advising (March 2019)


Motivational Interviewing Applied in Developmental Advising

Launched 7 years ago, academic advising has developed from a vision to support curriculum changes to become a comprehensive mechanism through which students receive study support. Thank you for your dedicated efforts in guiding the students who have different aspirations and study paths.

Indeed, no advising is the same for each student. A student may find challenges enjoyable and motivating, a student may work only with a warning letter, while another student may give up, without trying. Here we would like to share with you about Motivational Interviewing theories as applied in advising. Originated as a clinical approach to help prepare patients for change, as suggested by Mr. Robert Pettay – academic adviser in Kansas State University, four general principles can be applied to help students tackle unsatisfactory study performance by developing more productive behaviours.

  • 1. Express Empathy – listen and understand the students’ experiences as they sensed it
  • 2. Show Discrepancy – help students recognize the difference between their current behaviours and desired behaviours
  • 3. Roll with Resistance – avoid arguing with students but continue to use open-ended questions to draw them back to the discrepancy. At the same time advisers should resist their own “Righting Reflex”.
  • 4. Support Self-Efficacy – guide them to find solutions and believe in their capability to make the change.

To Read the Full Article:

Pettay, R.F. (2009, June). Motivational Interviewing in Advising: Working with Students to Change. Academic Advising Today, 32(2).

Further Information: Interested in more reading on Academic Advising?

Ohrablo, Sue (2018). High-Impact Advising: A Guide for Academic Advisors (HKU Libraries call no 378.194 O38)
(See the sample pages here)

You are welcome to contact us if you need information or assistance. Happy Advising!
Academic Advising Office