Institutions across the United Statges are turning to a guided pathways to improve student success. A lot of time and effort is being invested to chart coordinated and coherent routes to a postsecondary credential. It is indisputable that students today are more likely to complete a degree in a timely manner when they have a clear academic plan and support from advising. They are best served when equipped with the knowledge of what courses they need to take and how their credits, no matter how they earn them or where, will be recognized.
How can we move students away from the "cafeteria culture" of choosing courses?
Online self-service advising tools are one way. They are empowering. Students can better find available pathways suited for their area of study or concentration - and track their progress to completion. They simply follow a pathway much like an itinerary breaking down the steps of activities.
Converting paper based degree requirements, transfer agreements and study guides into virtual checklists are one way to ensure students don’t fall victim to taking courses that won't count toward the credential. Checklists are like todo lists. They can help avoid trasfer shock or credit loss which has continued to average about a semester per student who moves between instititions in pursuit of their four year credential because guidance is often out of sync.
Advising appointments are better structured when they can focus less on course registration and more on student outcomes. Staff can spend more time addressing core student issues and needs instead of chasing down and following up on students having trouble figuring out how to complete, change majors or even change institutions.