Student Success Software Helps Colleges and their Students
By Matt Brennan
When you purchase a book on Amazon, data comes into play. The company obtains your email, payment information, and follows your viewing history to show you more ads of similar books, or other product that you might want to purchase later.
It should be no surprise that data factors into significantly larger investments as well, such as a college education. Over the last few years, universities have enhanced their data collection efforts to streamline the student experience and help them to maximize their investment. When new sources of data are collected and analyzed it can flag issues and help keep students on track.
An Example Student
Let’s say Lisa has declared herself as a nursing major and is taking all sorts of science courses that she needs as prerequisites to begin the program. She’s been really struggling with her Introduction to Biology class this semester, and without a tutor she is in jeopardy of getting a D.
Lisa’s always been a strong student, and she fared well at science in high school. The situation may have more to do with being a freshman in college and her newfound independence. The student success software that the school now uses flagged an overall trend that may be of interest to Lisa, and her advisors. It flagged that 62 percent of the students who score a C or lower in this particular class end up later failing out of the nursing program – a fact her advisors were not otherwise aware of.
Now, Lisa’s teacher and advisors can help her do what’s necessary to bump her grade up and keep her on track for her long-term academic and professional goals. In short, student success software serves as a powerful early warning system, but that’s not all.
Improving the Student Experience
Student success software helps universities to graduate more students, and helps the students pick majors that are well-suited to their interests. In Lisa’s example, another potential outcome would be that she could pick a different major better suited to her interests, if she so desired. Maybe she’d perform better in a major that didn’t involve a science background.
According to this article from Inside Higher Ed, Georgia State’s system helped generate 52,000 face-to-face meetings between students and advisors for a variety of issues, such as students signing up for the wrong course, or earning a low grade in a required course.
Access to Vast Amounts of Data
Colleges and universities have access to incredible amounts of personal data on students between email, web, and social media usage, and of course academic performance. The universities that are seeing the most benefit out of student success software are finding ways not to drown in this huge amount of data.
They are instead using it in targeted, insightful ways to improve a handful of important metrics. As all this data is collected, organized, analyzed, and managed, it is critical for universities to store and maintain it properly. In a worst-case scenario, it will be important for them to understand that they can work with data recovery companies to regain access to key data.