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New platform aims to democratize data, improve student success

Navigating college can be complicated. From registering for classes, understanding program requirements and paying for tuition to navigating high-fail courses, students face multiple critical steps and potential points of failure on their way to graduation.

The University of Utah’s Office of Academic Affairs aims to increase student success by launching a new platform to help identify these pain points and alleviate them. 

In partnership with EAB, a nationally recognized leader in the predictive analytics field, the U launched the EAB Navigate platform on Aug. 1. The software platform will be used to help implement a new student success initiative called “Navigate U” throughout campus. Navigate U is based on extensive research about the student journey here at the U and will guide how students move to, through, and beyond the U. 

“Every student at the U is unique, with different experiences, successes and challenges,” Provost Mitzi Montoya said. “Navigate U is a pathway toward providing individualized support to students, targeting their specific needs and helping them succeed.”  

By collecting data on not only the overall student experience but individual students’ journeys as well, the U will be able to provide the personalized resources students need to complete their degrees. In addition to adopting key data-collecting tools, university leaders will launch a proactive advising pilot program at the U this fall. With proactive advising, advisors initiate contact with students early and often, helping students develop academic goals, career paths, personal wellness and course planning. 

Last fall, the U joined the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a coalition working to dramatically increase the number and diversity of college graduates in the U.S. Proactive advising is a key tool supported by the alliance as colleges and universities work together to improve student access. 

“Much of this effort is focused on eliminating systemic and structural barriers students encounter in their journey,” said Jim Agutter, senior associate dean for faculty success and academic innovation in undergraduate studies.

The EAB Navigate platform will enable all academic advising offices to maintain student data in one platform across the institution. A key part of the data gathered will include systematically gathering regular feedback from a variety of students about their educational journey. Once the platform launches, units that support students directly will be onboarded to the program throughout the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Semesters.

“Navigate U creates a space in which all of our efforts—through shared responsibility—will build momentum and move the critical work of student success forward for every student,” said T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies.