Create a free Diverse: Issues In Higher Education account to continue reading

Platform Assists Higher Ed Institutions in Retaining Students

An educational assistance platform is allowing higher ed institutions to better retain their students and help them succeed.

Military Student In Class E1604946909967Aviso Retention – founded in 2012 – describes itself as a “student retention solution that helps colleges and universities solve one of the biggest challenges in higher education: keeping students engaged, optimizing the chances of student success, and avoiding attrition.”

The digital platform does this by analyzing data from participating colleges and universities to identify factors for student success and risk.

“Our mission really is to provide opportunities for student engagement that are personalized, proactive and informed by real-time data,” said Heather Taynor, Aviso’s vice president for student success.

The platform allows for the categorization of types of students, such as military and veteran students, Taynor said.

“We can automatically tag those students, whether they’re active military, veterans, military spouse, family, whatever it may be. That can be customized by the institution,” Taynor said. “And that way, they have the ability to create targeted, personalized and relevant information, messaging and alerting and all the necessary functionality that we have in Aviso specifically for certain subpopulations.”

Veteran and military students face a number of different hurdles in higher ed than the traditional college student, such as added paperwork and different deadlines, Taynor said.

“We know that veteran students face many challenges when transitioning to college,” Taynor said. “Those students are traditionally older, with an average age of 34, and more likely to have family work and other responsibilities that may make it challenging for them to persist and complete their degree.”

According to a 2017 report, an average of 15% of full-time students at community colleges who receive GI Bill funds graduate with a two-year degree.

The platform allows faculty and student support staff to communicate with students more easily and vice versa, Taynor said.

It can also assign tasks – including action items such as meeting advisers, new student orientation, filling out paperwork – for students to complete and check off themselves, which has been shown to increase course completion rates by 26%, Taynor said.

Columbia College has been using the Aviso platform since 2018. The school has a military and veteran student population of 5,312 and 1,246 military spouses and dependents, said Erin Glover, senior program coordinator for location operations at Columbia College Global.

“Advisers across the country at all of Columbia College locations use the Aviso Retention platform to support, communicate and engage with students as part of their holistic advising approach,” said Glover. “Aviso Retention allows our location teams to easily access target subpopulations through tags and filters. It gives us the ability to tailor our messaging to these specific groups and quickly identify pertinent information relating to their status.

“Aviso Retention also provides location teams with current attendance and grade information so we can better assist students and their needs.”

Columbia has seen a 1.8% course completion rate increase – 81.8% to 83.3% – for veteran students since the school began using Aviso, which means more than 400 more completed courses each academic year, Glover wrote.

Other institutions that use Aviso include Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, Central Carolina Community College and Shawnee State University.

A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics
American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
Read More
A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics