Tertiary Learning Advisors in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Part 1): Building a profile of our profession

Caitriona Cameron


Defining identity is important for any emerging profession, particularly so for tertiary learning advisors (TLAs) in the increasingly uncertain tertiary education environment in Aotearoa New Zealand.  In the past ten years, two national surveys of learning centres in tertiary institutions sketched the professional status of TLAs, based on data from managers; there has been little research, however, on individual TLAs’ perspectives of their professional status.  This paper reports on a project designed to address that gap.  The project results have been presented in a series of papers.  Part one ‘maps the profession’, by providing a profile of the demographic characteristics, prior career experience and qualifications of learning advisors in Aotearoa New Zealand.  In doing so, it highlights some challenges for recruiting, developing and retaining a sustainable professional cohort.  Part two focuses on learning advisors’ perceptions of recognition and career pathways within their institution.  Part three examines the challenges and rewards of the role.  


professional identity, tertiary learning advisor, higher education

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