LAWRENCE — An innovative University of Kansas project led by the Undergraduate Advising Center has been recognized with a 2013-2014 NASPA Excellence Awards Bronze Certificate. Working closely with partners including the Office of Institutional Research and Planning and Student Housing, the UAC created a unique advising “dashboard” using Tableau Software.
The annual NASPA Excellence Awards honor prominent higher education and student affairs leaders, programs and initiatives for contributions and impact on the field. The bronze award in the Careers, Academic Advising Support and related category is KU’s first NASPA award in the category.
“KU is being innovative and forward-thinking about undergraduate advising, and this recognition by NASPA is great recognition of the work happening,” said Randall Brumfield, director of the UAC. “There are other institutions using dashboard analytics for various campus functions, but KU has created a unique system to synthesize information and use a dashboard for academic advising.”
Tableau Software allows academic advisers at KU to access a dashboard view of individual students by synthesizing information from various databases across campus, such as PeopleSoft and mySuccess. This allows advisers to take greater ownership of their advising rosters.
Advisers can also use the tool to communicate with cross-sections of students populations, such as students who drop below full-time status, are not performing well in class, haven't enrolled in classes, or haven't completed an advising appointment. Advisers and peer advisers are able to reach out to students in real-time throughout the course of any given term, as opposed to responding to student needs after it is too late in the semester.
The dashboard was developed by UAC in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, with startup support provided by Undergraduate Studies. The Office of Student Affairs is continuing its partnership with the UAC this spring by providing outreach through Housing using information provided by the dashboard.
For example, in early December advisors partnered closely with resident advisors to reach out to students who were not registered for spring classes and had not scheduled an advising appointment. The advising dashboard made those targeted student interventions possible.
“This initiative is a product of collaboration among various units across campus to help deliver academic advising to students,” Brumfield said. “These partnerships are essential towards utilizing advising as a means through which we can help students be successful, as well as ultimately help the university meet the retention and graduation goals outlined in Bold Aspirations.”