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Transforming Advising at Two Dallas Community Colleges

Challenge

For the advising departments at Eastfield and North Lake Colleges – two members of the Dallas County Community College District – the shift from enrollment to student success as the basis for evaluating, and even funding, community colleges presented both a challenge and an opportunity. This emphasis on student success led both colleges to redefine their fundamental approach to advising. Rather than simply scheduling students for the next semester’s classes, advisors at Eastfield and North Lake are now responsible for managing a caseload of students, which includes tracking students’ progress and performance and proactively intervening when needed to ensure they succeed.

The challenge, however, is that for this “intrusive” advising approach to succeed, advisors need access to accurate, timely information about their students; without it, advisors will be unable to intervene and keep these students from getting off track. At Eastfield and North Lake, like most colleges, this information was only available through an often overburdened Institutional Research Office.

Solution

Implementing ZogoTech’s student services software provided the advising staff at Eastfield and North Lake with access to the information they need, when they need it, without having to rely on IR. A comprehensive student profile displays risk factors, enrollment history, test scores and other relevant information all on a single screen, allowing advisors to offer more individualized, timely guidance to students. With ZogoTech’s Student Navigator, a user-friendly query tool, advisors identify, create, and track student cohorts, from groups that may need additional support to stay on track (e.g., first-time in college or developmental education students), to those who have reached a certain momentum point, such as completing 15 credit hours. By using ZogoTech’s software, advising services at both Eastfield and North Lake Colleges are more effective and efficient, and advisors are better prepared to help students succeed.

Benefits

With ZogoTech’s software, advisors at Eastfield College and North Lake College now know not only who their students are, but what is going on with them, and can answer a variety of specific questions without having to rely on Institutional Research.

  • Which of your advisees returned this semester? Who did not return and why?
  • How many of your students are on probation?
  • Which advisees dropped courses? What courses did they drop and when?

ZogoTech’s software further enables advisors to identify and create student cohorts, intervene with them, and track outcomes over time. Advisors at Eastfield and North Lake use these tools to provide specific cohorts with targeted interventions, turning information into action by:

  • Working with students who have 45+ credits to develop a graduation/transfer plan
  • Encouraging students who have dropped below 12 credit hours to enroll in more credits and avoid losing their financial aid
  • Connecting students retaking courses with campus resources designed to help them complete successfully (e.g., Math lab, tutoring)
  • Assisting students on the cusp of academic probation to maintain and improve their GPA