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Retention tech providers on how colleges are managing their proactive advising efforts

University Business, September 2018

How is higher ed performing with the “intrusive” approach to academic advising?

“Most schools that we have consulted with are still taking a reactive approach to working with struggling students and are waiting until academic performance or engagement suffers. The most successful schools are implementing a proactive approach and engaging pre-start to guide students through the process, and then engaging periodically throughout their attendance to identify challenges before they affect student performance.”

—Andy Benson, senior vice president, Collegiate Admission & Retention Solutions  

“I think the industry as a whole is beginning to take advising very seriously as a tool benefiting both students and the institution. Some are doing truly amazing things. The biggest challenge is how to identify the students needing advising, and individually, why they need advising. The schools doing best are the ones providing advisors with resources.”

—James Cousins, senior statistical analyst, Rapid Insight


LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Intrusive advising for college students


“Advising today’s students means proactive, personalized, data-informed outreach—offering support and self-service options before students know it’s needed. Student life is complex, and efforts to remove barriers and keep students on track improve substantially with technology that enables automated tasks and communications, integrated with systems across campus.”

—Kimberly Bloomston, vice president of product management, Ellucian

“The struggle we see played out over and over again is correctly identifying students who will be in need of additional resources—not necessarily who is already at risk. Some institutions have a framework to determine who is ‘at risk’ but often that model is out of date, built from institutional policy, and not backed by data. It’s fascinating to compare who they believe is at risk with the actual data. When institutions have used data and done their due diligence ... they now know who is at risk, but the question ‘what now?’ just hangs. We spend so much time triaging students in crisis, rather than correctly identifying students who may need additional help and avoiding that crisis.”

—Meghan Turjanica, product manager for student success solutions at Jenzabar


Mark Rowh is a Virginia-based writer and adjunct professor.