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Navigate Feature Spotlight: February 2022

Sharon Williams, Navigate Feature Spotlight for February 2022, Advising Matters.

Sharon Williams

Academic Advisor, CEM

In what capacity do you use Navigate’s Advanced Search within your college or department?
At first, it took me a while to get up to speed on Navigate (& I’m still a work in progress!), but I found the tutorials extremely helpful & detailed, so I quickly gained confidence. I now start most processes related to advising tasks with Navigate. I’m the only advisor to approx. 230 students in Construction Engineering & Management (CEM), who come to us from General Engineering (GE) as sophomores. Navigate helps me find students’ contact info in order to add them to our dept. listservs when they declare CEM as their major; I can track graduation cohorts; record no-show appts or run a report on who hasn’t met with me during a given term & contact them to be sure they don’t need anything. Using tags, categories & success markers, I can monitor progress of similar students; look up demographic groups for targeted research studies or scholarships; seek out first-generation or underserved students to introduce them to support services or related groups on campus. I use it for course projections & Timetable management related to course capacities (by searching for students who have or have not had a particular class, then create databases of how many upcoming students still need subsequent courses). I’ve used Navigate to identify potential student ambassadors (based on strong GPA, or expressed interest during advising appts.) or to do a transcript analysis of students who’ve had an “explore” appt. & are considering CEM. I run reports of students with active holds (to remind them a couple weeks before course request that they must be resolved beforehand); I reports to see & update advisors; I’ve run lists of students approaching a 2.0 GPA threshold in order to forewarn them or provide tactics/suggest academic resources before they get on academic warning. I use it to see which students haven’t met Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), or are currently on academic warning (AW) or probation (AP)….so I can then set biweekly appts., as
needed, to practice intrusive/proactive advising & serve as an accountability partner.

What is the most useful search or information you have ran and why?
A major goal of mine in advising is student retention, which is increased when I can help them stay on top of academic issues, ensure they’re in the correct courses, & maintain satisfactory progress—all of which can be aided by accessing the info housed in Navigate. Even the ability to see a photo of students helps immensely so I can learn names, which maintains a relationship of trust because they feel known & valued.

Of course, a major benefit is allowing various stakeholders on a student’s success team to see each other’s notes, referrals & advice to “keep everyone on the same page” & it’s wonderful to be able to attach emails as a time-saver vs. re-entering info. I even use Navigate as a teaching tool to show students how to view their own notes & stay actively engaged in their education. I also try hard to get to know my students personally & learn unique facts about them. If I could add a feature to Navigate, it would be to have a place where we (or the student) could add a tab with biographical info, a couple ‘fun facts’ about them, and their phonetic name pronunciation.

Most recently, I’ve used Navigate for 6 unique situations….to 1) find students’ cell phone no.s in order to call & remind them to sign up for their senior composite photos (they hadn’t read my 5 previous emails asking them to do so & photos were 2 days away!); 2) ran a list of students who hadn’t yet applied for degree & sent them a reminder to do so before spring break so their DARS would be linked to the most updated checksheet for course request; 3) identify a list of students with a 3.3 GPA to share with an honor fraternity who wanted to invite student members; 4) reach out to other professors about a student’s class attendance/progress after one said he hadn’t seen the student 6 weeks into the semester!; 5) identify students who scored high in math classes to invite them to serve as mentors/tutors to students who indicate struggling in math (or who received low grades—which I can also see in Navigate); & 6) invite underrepresented students to be part of a focus group that will help inform our School of Construction’s DEI committee about their sense of belonging, engagement & other info that’s helpful to discussions about starting a minority student organization.

What is a reason you would tell others about how you use Advanced Search within Navigate for?
I can’t think of a reason NOT to use Navigate! In a nutshell, Navigate helps us be time- & task-efficient! We have so much helpful information at our fingertips to stay proactive & streamline the many processes we encounter each day. It hasn’t been that long ago that finding certain details (which are now readily available) entailed contacting multiple offices on campus or going to someone in your dept. who had the very limited access to that information. By pulling information to share with my program chair & curriculum committee, we can make proactive programmatic plans vs. being reactive. The system is easy to use & very forgiving in a trial-&-error approach….if you don’t get what you wanted the first time, just keep modifying the parameters or adding search features until you get the desired result. Certain searches that I now frequently use….were stumbled upon completely by accident. Lists & searches can be used to create Excel files with only the specific info you need, where you can track students as they complete tasks or share files with people unfamiliar w/ Navigate.