A Data-driven Resource for Advising Reform

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June 8, 2016

Self-Assessment for Institutions on the Path to Advising Reform

When Higher Education institutions seek to improve a particular function or area, they often look for defined best practices or exemplar institutions to determine the best path. Academic planning and advising is no exception. However, best practices often don’t take into account the particular context of the institution. Institutions find themselves at various points along the road toward improving student outcomes, and they need a nuanced and segmented understanding of different approaches to improve their planning and advising function.

In our recent report “Driving toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising”, we offer unique intervention approaches for four different institutional segments which, in the aggregate, are representative of the degree-granting post-secondary universe. These segments, gleaned from a segmentation analysis of over 1,000 institutional stakeholders’ attitudes and preferences toward academic advising, are described below:

  • Equipped Navigators – Institutions with a positive view of advising success through strong ownership, alignment, and coordination on student success initiatives, and greater use of planning and advising technology
  • Check Engines – Institutions who do not yet view themselves as having achieved advising success, and favor technology adoption to improve advising
  • Low Fuels – Institutions who do not yet view themselves as having achieved advising success, and favor people over technology as a solution for planning and advising.
  • Limited Technology Users – Institutions with very little use of technology to support planning and advising

Which profile most closely matches the context and stakeholder attitudes at your institution? Fill out the short self-assessment below and map your answers to the graphic to determine the attitudinal segment that best mirrors your institution. In our report, we describe key intervention areas and institutional priorities for each segment to help institutions determine next steps on their road to an ideal advising function.

We hope this provides a useful tool to improve the planning and advising function at your institution. For more insights and targeted tips on how to improve planning and advising practices and technology, we invite you to read our publication, “Driving toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising”, or to further explore the interactive data on this site. If you wish to talk further about the particular situation at your institution, please contact us at info@tytonpartners.com.

Self-Assessment Activity:

Note that while the self-assessment activity below refers to institutional advising, the tool can be applied at the unit level as well depending on the purview of the stakeholder.

  • Please describe the extent to which technology is used to support the following academic and advising categories:
    • Course planning and degree completion tracking/auditing:
      • Widespread use of technology
      • Limited use of technology
      • Technology not used
    • Analytics and reporting of student and institutional data
      • Widespread use of technology
      • Limited use of technology
      • Technology not used
    • Identification of at-risk students and transmission of information for intervention
      • Widespread use of technology
      • Limited use of technology
      • Technology not used
  • To what extent do you feel that there is clear ownership of student success and retention initiatives at your institution?
    • Great Extent
    • Some Extent
    • Limited Extent
    • Not at all
  • Which of the following statements best characterizes your perspective on communication at your institution?
    • There is no cross-departmental collaboration in support of student success
    • Communication channels exist to facilitate collaboration but are not used effectively
    • Strong communication channels exist between stakeholders to facilitate collaboration at my institution
  • Which of the following statements best characterizes your perspective on the role of technology?
    • Investing in people will have a greater positive impact on academic planning and advising than investing in technology
    • Investing in technology and investing in people will have an equal impact on improving academic planning and advising
    • Investing in technology will have a greater positive impact on academic planning and advising than investing in people

self-assessment-infographic