Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

MBM Avoseh


Academic advisors have played an essential role within higher education institutions. Not only did academic advisors assist students in selecting courses/scheduling, but advisors could also help address students' substance use concerns. These concerns could be a factor preventing students from graduating. Students with substance use concerns who did not receive adequate services were barred from reaching their full potential in life and academics, receiving lower grades, and suffering from higher dropout rates than other students. Thus, it was vital for advisors to have the skills to help students with substance use concerns or refer them for additional services. Intrusive advising could help advisors identify whether a student had difficulties before they caused a significant disruption in the student’s life and academic work. This qualitative research study aimed to find academic advisors' attitudes and competencies when working with students who might be experiencing substance use concerns by interviewing seven academic advisors about their advising experiences. Four themes emerged: (a) the need for training on substance use; (b) duties/responsibilities beyond advising; (c) the need for substance use resources and referrals; and (d) (dis)comfort in addressing substance use. Higher education institutions could use this study to develop training for academic advisors in substance use, primarily in warning signs, screenings, and student resources. In addition, training on proactive/intrusive advising techniques would help to identify student problems before they negatively impact students' academic and personal lives.

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education | Higher Education


Academic advisors, substance use concerns, Intrusive advising, substance use, warning signs, screenings, student resources

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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