Transforming advising in support of student success with purpose, commitment, and technology that can support better sharing of data across multiple units has been the focus of Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) work in the Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grant program through EDUCAUSE, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. NAU has approached the work in phases with a very deliberate student-centered approach and most notably has focused on enabling advisors to be successful in the new roles they are being asked to play.
On any campus, efforts to improve student success bring about significant change, purposefully touching many if not most departments of an institution. This process of change forces long-established processes to be changed, new communication across departmental boundaries to happen more transparently, and radically increased amounts of data to be shared, understood, and taken into account in order to guide and support students completing their degrees.
Ambitious goals for student success and retention are nothing new at NAU. A decade ago, a first-year advising center served a subset of students. But there were many other advisors throughout the campus working within the disparate schools and academic units. They recognized the value of working together informally and had a working group—and no formal system that would have enabled a consistent student experience.…Read More