Facilitating Engagement with, and Among, APUS Students

By: Caroline Simpson, Assistant Provost, Student Services

clearpath

ClearPath, the APUS Learning Relationship Management (LRM) platform was introduced to all undergraduate and graduate students in 2015. Through a partnership with Fidelis Education, Inc., the university developed this dynamic platform to strengthen connections within the university community through both relationship management and enhanced engagement opportunities.

There are multiple benefits to implementing a LRM. It offers students enhanced access to virtual communities, student organizations, clubs, and interest groups in which they are encouraged to continue the rich discussions that occur in the classroom environment. Since those engaged in co-curricular activities are more likely to succeed in their degree programs, there is a focus on building out additional programs within the platform, including a mentoring program, enhanced communities and career services components.

In addition to a variety of co-curricular programs that encourage peer-to-peer engagement, ClearPath provides tools to support staff so that they can personalize their assistance and target those students that need it most. Some examples include:

  • When students create their personal profile, they articulate their educational objectives. These objectives are shared with academic advisors who provide feedback and offer resources and tools related to the goals. Advisors can send customized information to students when they need it.
  • Both students and support staff can add to and update a personal calendar that each student has as part of their ClearPath profile.
  • Tailored performance and behavior analytics tell advisors who needs their support and when.

Essentially, for advisors, ClearPath has taken away any guess work associated with proactive outreach needs and allows the group to support the large APUS student population in a scalable and effective way. Our long- term goal is to be able to connect ClearPath and the tools that faculty use in the classroom so that support is coordinated across the campus.

Fidelis will tell you that LRM platforms are neither Learning Management nor Student Information Systems; rather, they connect the dots between multiple tools and encourage engagement and relationship building to continue outside of the classroom. ClearPath provides tools for both the students and those supporting their success.

Institutionally, there is a growing understanding regarding how and when students are connecting with each other. As a result, APUS is able to encourage a supportive and engaging culture for all learners. With over 35,000 students in the platform to date, APUS has been able to positively impact both the student experience and persistence towards their academic goals. The university plans to continue to expand participation and programs within ClearPath through the end of 2016, and beyond in 2017.

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