Our strategic plan, The Pathway to the Future, identified enhancing student success as Goal One. We have made great progress during the past seven years, with retention rates at 94%, six-year graduation rates at 82% and four-year graduation rates that have improved from 43% to 59%. We have improved access to a wide range of high impact educational activities for our students, and made it easier to navigate student services and programs. While our students as a whole have performed better and are persisting and graduating at record levels, we have more to do. There are still too many students who are not making it to the finish line, too many who struggle within their majors and in finding their path to the degree of choice, and others who do not take advantage of the resources and opportunities of this campus. If a student is admitted to NC State, then we need to make sure that they have the opportunity to succeed.
One major strategy from the Pathway was to “Explore a new proactive advising model for freshmen and students in transition.” Proactive advising can assist us in finding students who are struggling and then provide them with the tools and information they need to succeed. The University Academic Advising Council recommended the implementation of a proactive advising model in 2015 that includes fewer total advisees per advisor to allow for more attention to those who need it. In support of this recommendation we invested in the Student Success GPS advising platform (https://gps.dasa.ncsu.edu/). GPS is a technology-based suite of advising tools combining predictive analytics, appointment scheduling features, common note-taking and progress reporting, and real-time data to identify students in need of support, provide early interventions and ensure continuity of care in a decentralized advising environment. We have been rolling this out to front line staff advisors in the colleges for the past two years, and now we are moving to make this our central tool for academic advising.
As a community, we can harness our capacity to promote student success by cultivating a continuity of care culture as our standard practice. GPS provides an environment in which proactive outreach and student support can take place. Therefore we are asking all advisors (staff and faculty) to use the GPS platform to document student appointments and information using the appointment notes capability in GPS. We ask that you and your advisors adopt this by August 1, 2019 for use in the coming academic year. Leveraging the common note taking and informational features will enable advisors to enhance the support and communication they are able to offer students while also coordinating care across units throughout campus (e.g., University Tutorial Center, ASPSA, Study Abroad) ) to streamline the student experience. We are enthusiastic about the utility that GPS offers us in supporting the success of our students.
In addition, we are launching GPS Mobile (https://gps.dasa.ncsu.edu/gps-mobile/) this summer at New Student Orientation. GPS Mobile is a student-centered app that provides personalized and timely information, access to campus resources, appointment scheduling and many other features. We anticipate the appointment scheduling system will be one of the highest-used features. As a result, it is particularly important that advisors make use of the scheduling feature within GPS so students can make appointments within the app.
Our goal is to provide support and training as needed to help faculty, professional advisors, administrators, and students make full use of both the web-based and mobile platforms. Nikki Glenos, Director of Advising Technology, will be reaching out to the campus community regarding additional details, resources, and training sessions for both the web-based and mobile platforms. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support of student success at NC State.