A Data Driven Resource for Student Supports Redesign

A Research and Action Collaboration for Student Supports Redesign

Driving Toward a Degree is an initiative to help institutions make informed decisions toward redesigning their student advising and student supports to improve overall student success and persistence. Through the initiative, Tyton Partners has launched four studies focused on the roadmap to advising and student supports redesign:

  • 2015 Driving Toward a Degree: The Evolution of Planning and Advising in Higher Education
    • Supplier landscape: >120 companies
  • 2016 Driving Toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising
    • National survey: 1,000 institutions, 1,400 respondents
  • 2017 Driving Toward a Degree: State of the Academic Advising Field
    • Supplier landscape: >180 companies
    • National survey: 1,400 institutions, 2,200 respondents
  • 2019 Driving Toward a Degree: Evolution of Student Supports in Higher Education
    • Supplier landscape: > 200 companies
    • National survey: 1,300 institutions, 3,300 respondents
  • 2020 Driving Toward a Degree: The Evolution of Student Supports in Higher Education
    • Supplier Landscape: > 200 companies
    • National survey: 850 institutions, 2,500 respondents

Tyton Partners worked with the Babson Survey Research Group and several other partners including NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, Achieving the Dream (ATD), and the Reinvention Collaborative to develop and administer these studies across a national sample of postsecondary administrators, faculty, and advisors, as well as to host conversations with several product and service vendors.

From these studies, Tyton Partners created a redesign roadmap for student supports that highlights five key elements to improve student supports—leadership, collaboration, capacity, technology, and student engagement. These elements emerge for institutions from our analysis of the survey results, depending on where institutions are on the road toward an ideal advising situation.



  • Leadership – Commitment to and vision for student supports and for structures to support effective leadership, including clear lines of authority and responsibility
  • Collaboration – Structures to enable direct engagement and regular coordination between student supports stakeholders
  • Capacity – Resources (e.g., staff, funds, and technology) to support the efficiency and effectiveness of academic advisors, success coaches, career counselors, financial aid officers, etc.
  • Technology – Technology solutions to bolster student supports
  • Student Engagement – Practices to increase utilization of student supports programs and resources