During the 2017-18 academic year, D’Youville conducted a nine month Student EcoSystem Study that focused on four areas, including Academic Advisement and Planning. Each team comprised key stakeholders, including faculty and staff who reviewed policies and applicable university-level data, conducted numerous surveys and focus groups, and researched regional and national best practices. As a direct result of the team’s recommendations, a Student Success Center opened in August 2018 providing the essential service of academic advising.
D'Youville’s results from their NSSE 2018 Academic Advising Topical Module were among the data sources consulted to shape the advisement model in the Student Success Center. Students reported that their advisors were not available when needed, and they did not feel they were receiving important information regarding program information, deadlines, and other support services available to them on campus. This information guided the development of the Student Success Team Model where every student is assigned:
- A professional academic advisor who is their advisor from entry through graduation. Advisors reach out to students several times throughout the semester just to check in and send regular emails utilizing their Education Advisory Board (EAB) system reminding them of important dates such as drop/add, advisement, and registration.
- A faculty mentor to have meaningful conversations about their field of study, research opportunities, and networking opportunities; and
- A career coach to guide them through the job process beginning when they enter the institution.