Must Read Blog May 13, 2015

Is Your Institution Ready to Pursue Integrated Academic Planning and Student Advising?

U.S. post-secondary institutions spend over $1 billion annually on academic planning and advising and, despite this, on-time student graduation rates and freshman retention rates have not improved over the last 10 years. It is safe to say that the current approaches of most institutions are not working and yet identifying and implementing improved practices is a complex undertaking.

Over the last few years, a number of institutions have taken steps towards transforming their planning and advising processes. Instead of providing “reactive services” to students, these institutions are working to identify “at-risk” students, and are engaging them before they fall off track. This shift from a reactive model to a proactive model is being supported by technology that enables institutions and its advisors to track and monitor student data, schedule appointments with students, connect with students through various modes of communication, and improve communication across departments.

Tyton Partners has interviewed over 40 vendors and institutions (IPAS Round I Grantee institutions as well as others) active in the market for planning and advising to uncover key factors that contribute to successful implementation of an integrated planning and advising program. Key findings of our research include:

  • There are over 120 companies providing services to support planning and advising services across 9 distinct product categories (see exhibit 1). There are no providers that offer a full integration and there is limited integration between product categories. In order to provide an integrated approach to planning and advising, institutions must stitch together multiple products, which requires coordination to ensure that systems are integrated and stakeholders are aligned.
  • Only a handful of vendors offer change management capabilities that support institutions in rethinking how to change processes internally and ultimately adapt to a data-driven planning and advising environment. Successful institutions spend time and effort rethinking how their planning and advising structure will operate in a proactive state and provide necessary training to support this change.
  • Overall, the likelihood of program success is determined by, both the levels of commitment and coordination across the institution.

Take the Institutional Readiness Survey:

The set of questions in the online survey below is designed to help you assess your institution’s overall readiness for pursuing an integrated system of planning and advising.

Launch the Survey

Sign up for Tyton Insights to receive our research as it’s published.

In the summer of 2015 we will publish two papers to provide institutions and vendors a perspective on the state of the market for planning and advising. We will provide a picture of the current state of the planning and advising vendor landscape that calls attention to the fragmented landscape of providers operating in the market with a detailed and practical taxonomy for evaluating vendor maturity. We will highlight specific institutional challenges around integrated planning and advising and seek to provide institutions with an implementation roadmap for their retention strategy.