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ISU Navigate Pilot Faculty Experience

November 8, 2021

What if you could, with a click of your mouse, do something real and immediate to intervene on behalf of a struggling student? 

Think about the student who seemed to start well, but whose grades suddenly take a nose-dive. What if someone could reach out to that student to identify the problem and offer support?

Think about that student whose name remains on your class list, but who never shows up for class. What if someone had the time to help that student address the issue before financial and academic repercussions were imposed? 

Think about those students who want to experience the kind of transformation that education can offer, but who may need just that bit of extra support to make it happen.

That is what is happening this fall via ISU Navigate! 

Our fall 2021 pilot is underway. We have completed two reporting periods, with encouraging levels of faculty participation and student support. In January, we will be welcoming phase II participants to the platform, so this seemed a good time to check in with some of our pilot faculty to ask how they are experiencing ISU Navigate. We spoke with Joanne Tokle and Julie Frischmann from the College of Business and Joanne Trammel from the College of Technology.  

Frischmann is an enthusiastic Navigate user: “It is very user-friendly. I love being able to see student schedules in their profile, to see the big picture of what a student is up against.” Trammel points to the level of connection Navigate facilitates: “The system is a clean and efficient way to identify students of concern. I submitted an alert for a student that wasn’t showing up to class, and one of our advisors was able to find out that the student’s job was interfering with pursuing a COT degree…. It is nice to get student services involved. I like that I can communicate with students through Navigate, and I like the idea of catching students before they ‘wander off.’”

We realize that every new technology comes with a learning curve, so we asked what advice our pilot users might offer to those joining the Navigate platform in January. Tokle is realistic about the work involved with integrating a new system, but she encourages patience: “I think we should give it a chance to have an impact. There will be glitches early on with any pilot program, but ISU Navigate is a worthy pursuit.” Trammel concurs: “The information is housed all in one place so using the system is crucial. It is great for tracking students for retention purposes in academic programs.”

Trammel correctly identified our ISU Navigate why: student retention. While it is a bit early to measure the statistical impact, we thought it would be important to ask why some of your colleagues have chosen to invest in Navigate. Tokle hopes that “it will get us to engage more with students, be better connected with them. The system has me ‘tuning in earlier’ to student concerns, and I see a really positive benefit of that.” For Frischmann, working with the new platform is all about “keeping our students and continuing to reinforce [the message] that students can and will graduate.” For Trammel, it’s about the student experience: “I hope that this helps fewer students get lost in the shuffle of navigating the university.  If students can feel that faculty and staff care, it will add to the likelihood that they will not leave.” 

Early results are promising. All it takes for a faculty member to initiate an alert is a mouse click on the Navigate platform, setting in motion an intervention by student services. Navigate tracks the interactions so that faculty can be assured their concerns are being addressed, and this partnership provides timely support for our students. 

Questions about ISU Navigate may be directed to navigate@isu.edu



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