On the Radar: Honing in on Collaboration for Holistic Student Supports

by: Nicholas Java and Michael Chiaro | Tools and Infographics |Oct 12th, 2018

The Bottom Line

Years ago, siloed student supports were the standard, while holistic student supports were merely a blip on the higher education radar. Today, increasing numbers of institutions are aiming to achieve integration across supports to serve the whole student.

Drawing from our 2018 Driving Towards a Degree survey that reached over 3,300 administrators, advisors, counselors, and instructors across over 1,300 institutions, we zeroed in on how institutions are approaching the opportunities and challenges of serving students more holistically.

Institutions reporting integration across student supports have two main characteristics in common:

  • Clear lines of responsibility over student supports; and
  • Strong communication channels between institutional stakeholders

However, regardless of how clear these lines of responsibility or strong the communicational channels are, functional silos persist. Limited direct engagement and regular coordination between stakeholders remain as obstacles to achieving an integrated student experience.

For integrated and separated institutions, levels of regular coordination across the student supports are relatively similar. The differences exist in the levels of direct engagement – integrated institutions have rates of direct engagement upwards of two times greater than their separated counterparts. For example, 28% of academic advisors at integrated institutions report direct engagement with career services compared to 15% of advisors at separated institutions.

 

In an ideal scenario of robust coordination and engagement, the shaded yellow and blue portions would cover large areas of the radar charts. However, these blips indicate more coordination and engagement is needed to achieve holistic student supports.

What should your institution do to facilitate more coordination and engagement between stakeholders? How should the roles and responsibilities of academic advisors and other stakeholders like career services officers be defined?

Talk to us at drivetodegree@tytonpartners.wpengine.com and take advantage of Tyton Partners’ Driving Toward a Degree initiative as a data-driven resource for improved student success through supports redesign.

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