Keys to Retention: Technology and Personalized Guidance from The Journal of College Admission

Focused on the Finsih

Reforms to advising are aimed at helping postsecondary students finish what they start. And at a growing number of colleges, technology is integral to those efforts.

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPass) is a long title for a simple concept: Store student progress data in a central location. Encourage faculty and staff to contribute updates about classroom performance. And use that information to provide personalized guidance and support for students as they navigate their way to a degree.

The strategy is gaining favor in higher education as colleges seek to address stagnant graduation rates. Only 60 percent of students at US institutions complete a bachelor’s degree within six years; graduation rates at two-year schools hover around 29 percent.

Technology alone can’t turn those numbers around, but it can assist colleges as they work to improve support services. A recent survey of more than 1,400 administrators, advisors, and faculty representing over 1,000 higher education institutions found that fewer than one in five respondents believed their institution had achieved an “ideal advising situation.”

Read more about how schools are tracking, assessing, and adjusting admission and retention strategies in “Focused on the Finish” from the fall Journal of College Admission (page 36).

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