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Navigate user of the month: May 2019

Susan Haymore, May 2019, Navigate User of the Month, Advising Matters at Virginia Tech.

Susan Haymore

College of Science

How has your department/unit benefited from using Navigate?

Navigate has allowed us to use a more holistic approach to advising while providing efficiency.  It has changed the way we structure our student meetings and allows us to tailor the appointment to meet the needs of each student.  

It does this by providing important information at our fingertips such as the name of the  student’s academic/athletic/international advisor/s, as well as their major/s, minor/s, GPA, categories (such as if they are international student, first-generation, minority, probation, repeated and failed courses, suspension, advising notes, etc.).  We no longer have to use multiple platforms or rely on other offices to provide us a list of students in these groups.    

What feature in Navigate do you utilize the most?
In addition to the information we can see, it also allows us to make referrals/issue alerts on students.  In this aspect, the student understands that the information they need is not available in our office, but we are sending a request/recommendation on their behalf.  I find that students are more apt to follow through than if we were to suggest they contact an office to schedule an appointment.  

Next I would say appointment efficiency is top on the list.  I feel allowing a student to schedule an appointment without much hassle sends a clear message that we want students to meet with us. In the past, a student might send an email to request an appointment, and if it got buried, the student many times assumed that we did not want to help them.   Many students have told us that Just asking to meet with someone was intimidating, and their anxiety rises even more if they fail to get a response.

In our office, we are also finding it very easy to target different student groups for advising.   For instance, we are looking at students who have improved from one semester to the next.  A student who has improved their GPA by +1.00 from one term to the next, we send them a congratulations note.  This lets them know we noticed they were improving and to keep up the good work.  

We also use it to target students whose term GPA may be decreasing, so we can begin working with these students before they end up on probation.  What would you tell other advisors who are thinking of using Navigate?
If you are not using Navigate, you are missing out.  The system may seem intimidating at first, but I can assure you that Lauren Thomas and Nanette Gordon are here to help you (I am here to help you).   Start slow and get to know the system and learn how to interpret the data it provides.  From there, you can learn how to search for more targeted information on your student population.  You can also access thousands of research articles on best practices and attend various webinars throughout the semester.