Must Read Blog February 7, 2017

Does Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand is Doing?

Does your left hand know what your right hand is doing?

The number of campus stakeholders involved in academic advising is growing — making efforts more holistic, but more complicated. Are advising stakeholders on the same page at your institution?

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Institutional Leaders Believe Collaboration on Advising Is Ineffective

The growing emphasis on student success as a top priority for institutions means presidents, provosts and campus IT leaders are joining the advising department to drive change in academic advising. These leaders are working across diverse functional areas from student affairs to student health services to athletic departments to academic departments to financial aid offices. Yet our research surveying over 1,400 advising stakeholders, published in our June report Driving toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising, shows there is insufficient coordination at most institutions to reap the benefits of broad stakeholder involvement. While 85% of survey respondents agree that coordinated efforts on student success initiatives yield better outcomes, just 35% of stakeholders reported strong communication channels at their institution to facilitate collaboration.

Our research suggests institutions with strong coordination are more likely to report both an ideal advising function and greater technology adoption to support advising. So advising leaders should focus on bolstering coordination to improve student outcomes at their institution.

Let’s Get it Together

Based on our research and conversations with institutional exemplars, we recommend three approaches to improve coordination on advising:

• Form a coalition of communicators: Leveraging an advising council with diverse campus representation can broaden the reach of advising initiatives
• Make coordination a full-time job: Hiring a dedicated individual for advising coordination can lead to a more consistent advising experience and quicker decision-making
• Make process-driven technology decisions: Involving the advising dept. in technology purchasing decisions can lead to user-centered process improvement

To Learn More…

Check out our most recent blog post in EvoLLLution, “Getting Advising Stakeholders on the Same Page” for more on these approaches including highlights from institutional success stories.

For more insights and targeted tips on how to improve planning and advising at your institution, we invite you to visit, a data-driven resource for institutional leaders and vendors on advising reform and the related report, “Driving toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising”.