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ISU Navigate Progress Update

April 12, 2021

What Will ISU Navigate Actually Do?

While our development teams are working to lay down the necessary infrastructure and connect to our ISU systems, we thought you might have questions about what ISU Navigate will actually do or why we think this platform could have a positive impact on our student retention. 

Rather than linking you to soundbites from a promotional webpage, we reached out to a few of our campus partners who have already been involved as development team members or who are going through the preparatory steps to participate in the pilot. Given what they have seen and learned about Navigate already, we asked them to share why they are looking forward to the platform rollout and how they anticipate putting it to work in their departments or programs.

Alex Bolinger, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management, Idaho State University College of Business

The ISU Navigate (early alert) platform has the potential to be an important tool complementing the College of Business's strategic emphasis on first-year student retention. The College of Business has redesigned Management 1101, Introduction to Business, to give students a personalized, engaging experience with running a simulated company and pitching a new product idea in their very first semester in the program. As such, instructors of this redesigned course work particularly closely with students during the critical first six weeks of their first semester, when research suggests that college students are at the highest risk of dropping out. 

ISU Navigate promises to give our Management 1101 instructors, and the entire College of Business, an integrated platform for partnering with student affairs to highlight the needs of those students and enable them to receive the support they need in order to successfully continue their academic journeys. 

Kandi Turley-Ames, Ph.D., Founding Dean and Professor, and John Gribas, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Professor

All of us here in CAL are excited about joining the roll-out of the new ISU Navigate system. One thing that we think distinguishes ISU is how much faculty care about their students--not just care about what they learn in courses and programs, but really care about them and their total well-being as individuals. Because of that, many faculty spend a good deal of time watching for students who are struggling in one way or another. Actually, that is the easy part--caring and noticing. But so often, these ISU faculty are not sure about what to do for struggling students or where to direct them for support and assistance. Still, they will try. And that often takes a good deal of time and sometimes asks them to try to help in ways they really aren't prepared or resourced to help. 

We see the Navigate system as a great tool that will allow our caring faculty to reach out to the people and places on campus that are fully equipped to provide what struggling students need when they need it. With the focus on first and second year students, and with all the General Education curriculum that the College of Arts and Letters provides, this tool will be a godsend. It will allow faculty to do what they do best--to teach, to care, to notice. It will also allow faculty to really follow through in helping students by effectively and efficiently directing them to real assistance. 

Tiffany Mitchell, M.Coun. Student Affairs, Director of Student Services, College of Technology

I am extremely excited about Navigate's implementation! Currently, our office utilizes two days of preparation to distribute our homegrown Early Alert System to faculty members and an additional day for data review and dissemination. Navigate will greatly reduce this workload with a click of a mouse and will streamline our current student outreach process, enabling our department to provide essential resources to students in an expedited manner. It will also enable departments such as counseling, tutoring, and Disability Services to receive referrals without manual processing, increasing productivity while simultaneously cultivating and fortifying the university's investment in our students. And there are other possibilities we are looking forward to. We have many anecdotal testimonials from students who have been lifted out of poverty using the training they received and are now leaders in their industry. These testimonials are validated by our job placement follow-up reporting. We believe the Navigate system will allow us to reach more students in a positive manner and improve our retention and graduation rates. Navigate will also allow us to analytically view data for patterns within our college. Being able to look at trends over time will allow us to preemptively identify students who may need resources as they enter ISU. 

Coming soon: We are currently working on an ISU Navigate microsite that we’ll be making available soon. You will be able to go directly to that webpage for the most current development updates, FAQs, information about the platform and its development teams, and--ultimately--training resources. In the meantime, please address questions to our email at navigate@isu.edu.