Friday, February 20, 2015


February is DISCOVER PHASE Month of UAAC’s Appreciative Advising Challenge.

The Discover phase is when advisors work with students to discover their unique stories and help them recognize their strengths, skills and goals. “By utilizing positive, open-ended questions they can extract narratives through which they can help students identify their strengths, passions, and skills.”

Reference: Bloom, J.L., Huston, B.L., & He, Y. (Eds.). (2008). The Appreciative Advising Revolution. Stipes Publishing L.L.C.

 Challenge: What are some of your favorite open-ended questions you use to discover a student’s story? Please share your questions and the contexts in which you use them (e.g. during a second-year MAP appointment) by emailing We are looking for interesting and creative ideas to share with UAAC at the March 19 meeting.

 For example, when Lisa Shaw—one of the subcommittee members—first meets a student, she asks: What brought you to the department? What are you most interested in gaining from this major? Where do you see yourself headed from here? “Once I get them talking about what they want from us, I can usually find out what we can do for them,” she says.

More Discover phase prompts to get to know students:

·       What brought you to the University of Utah?

·       Why have you decided to study ____?

·       What are your strengths?

·       Tell me about an accomplishment that you're proud of. 

·       Look back on your last week. What activities energized you?

·       Who are the positive, influential role models in your life? Why do you admire them?

·       What does your academic support system look like?

·       What impact will your college degree have on your life?

For more ideas about how to incorporate Appreciative Advising into your professional practice, check out The Appreciative Advising Revolution Training Workbook: Translating Theory to Practice by Bloom, Hutson & He (2014).


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