University of Wisconsin System leaders elevated advising as one of the top priorities in the 2020FWD Strategic Framework. The goal? To build capacity at UW institutions to expand high quality, proactive advising to improve student retention and graduation, reduce time to degree and eliminate opportunity gaps. Here’s the progress to date and a preview of where we’re heading.
A 360 Advising Team was formed that includes representatives from UW System Administration and UW System institutions. The team analyzed existing advising structures, needs and data through surveys and conversations with advising center directors on each campus. That analysis provided valuable information about structural variations, resource needs, and professional development opportunities. The team also reviewed best practices and models of excellence in advising and student success in our system and across the country.
The team sparked connections with and among advising community members in several ways, including convening UW System Advising Center Directors twice in 2018 and providing a 360 Advising overview at the 2018 WACADA Spring Professional Development Workshop and the Fall Conference.
Every UW System institution sent a team for a Fall Advising Workshop that showcased effective strategies in enhancing advising and student success.
- Keynote speaker Tim Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success at Georgia State University, presented data-driven approaches to academic advising that increased student retention and graduation rates and closed achievement gaps for underrepresented students at that university.
- UW-Parkside colleagues addressed the importance of credit momentum and highlighted examples of efforts to promote timely degree completion, including the 15 to Finish campaign.
- Ben Passmore, Associate Vice President for the UW System Office of Policy Analysis and Research, discussed efforts to provide the institutions with the opportunity to opt in for a student success analytics package at a cost-effective rate and to provide training to optimize use of this tool for holistic and proactive advising.
The workshop also provided team time to analyze readiness of their advising program and institution to implement strategies identified and to discuss and share their next steps, as shown in the photos.
The Road Ahead
Now that we have a better understanding of the advising landscape in the UW System, we are better positioned to determine long-term priorities and action steps. Our 360 Advising team will keep you posted on our plans. We recognize that strong academic advising is integral to student success, and we hope to support the excellent work you do each day in helping students explore and achieve their academic and career goals. Thank you, and we look forward to connecting with you in the future!
Senior Academic Planner
UW System Office of Student Success