Empowering Student Decision-making for Academic Success

By:Carolyn Todaro, Associate Vice President, Academic Advising

academic advising empowers

Academic advisors partner with students to provide the guidance and resources required to help them make empowered decisions and achieve academic success. They work with students to review academic records and progress; advocate educational requests on their behalf; collaborate on educational and personal goals; encourage engagement with the university; communicate degree requirements and policies/procedures; and help students locate and utilize resources that meet their academic needs.

During 2016 we focused our attention on better serving our unique student populations through specialized advising approaches. Current efforts include:

  • First year advising: this pilot program promotes retention, academic success, and student persistence through frequent and personalized engagement with students through their first six courses with APUS.
  • Probation/at risk advising: senior advisors are specially trained to communicate with and support students who struggle to be academically successful. They offer access to resources, remediation, and help them formulate a plan that supports their goals.
  • Graduate advising: our graduate advising team is trained to support the unique needs of our graduate population to include program specific information, research opportunities, and end of program requirements.
  • Undergraduate advising: our academic advisors are structured in a team model to better support our students. Each team is knowledgeable of the specific program requirements, the recommended progression or courses, and the intricacies of the academic school that they support.

In addition, we are focused on improving persistence and student success through coordinated and purposeful outreach campaigns that emphasize course progression and staying connected to the university. In Spring 2016, we launched four monthly outreach campaigns that involve contacting students who recently took an action that impacted their student record but did not result in a course registration. These actions include a new program enrollment, degree change, were readmitted to the university, or returned from a program hold. We subsequently added outreach to those who completed their 1st or 2nd session but did not have a future registration. We outreach to those who completed their 1st or 2nd session but did not have a future registration.

We are available to students through a variety of formats: email, phone, chat, scheduled advising sessions, group advising webinars, and through our student engagement platform, ClearPath. We are exploring ways to adjust the advising communication lifecycle so that key guidance and support is provided during vital moments in the student’s academic experience. We look forward to working with members of the academic leadership team to coordinate a supporting communication approach for students.

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