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A Fresh Look at Student Success: Integrative Approach to Planning and Advising Services

Student progress and degree completion is driving higher education to take a fresh look at services that promote student success. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EDUCAUSE is leading efforts to explore both the promise and the risks of Integrated Planning and Advising Services ( IPAS).

IPAS is an integrative approach to student success that promotes shared ownership for educational progress among students, faculty, and staff. It encompasses services that help students formulate and advance toward educational goals, including advising, counseling, progress tracking, and academic early alerts. IPAS technologies can contribute in many ways, such as by documenting and tracking students’ educational plans, improving data analysis, offering self-service resources that reduce advisor workloads, and triggering interventions based on student behavior or faculty input. For a quick view of how IPAS is used, see 7 Things You Should Know about IPAS (November 2014).

Community Perspectives

In November 2013, a group of 32 invited academic, privacy and security, technology, administrative, and student support leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., for a one–day summit. View participants list.

The group met to explore issues associated with managing risk in student success systems and to identify opportunities for encouraging the development of these systems. This report and executive summary below capture key findings and discussion points, with the aim of extending this conversation to a wider audience of higher education leaders.

  1. Managing Data Risk in Student Success Systems: EDUCAUSE IPAS Summit Report, February 2014
  2. What Leaders Need to Know About Managing Data Risk in Student Success Systems, EDUCAUSE Executive Briefing, April 2014


Research and Analysis

EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) is conducting a two-phased research project on IPAS, focusing on benchmarking, data and systems integration, and best practices for implementation.

The first report Integrated Planning and Advising Services: A Benchmarking Study provides a snapshot of IPAS capabilities, needs, and concerns among a cohort of student success–oriented institutions. The report and supporting infographic and data tables are publicly accessible thanks to generous support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2014 IPAS Sessions


 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2013 IPAS Sessions


Schools Using Variations of IPAS

  • Arizona State University eAdvisor, Online advising and personalized student support.

Enabling the Data-Driven University, EDUCAUSE Review Online, August 13, 2012

Degree Compass: A Course Recommendation System, EDUCAUSE Review Online, September 4, 2013

  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System  – Direct2Degree

Direct2Degree: College One Course at a Time, EDUCAUSE Review Online, August 5, 2013

Personalizing Analytics through the Education and Career Positioning System, EDUCAUSE Review Online, August 5, 2013

Signals: Using Academic Analytics to Promote Student Success, EDUCAUSE Review Online, July 18, 2012

If You MAP the Way, They Will Follow, EDUCAUSE Review Online, August 5, 2013

  • South Orange Community College District Sherpa

Sherpa: Increasing Student Success with a Recommendation Engine, EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, November 8, 2012

  • Valencia CollegeLifeMap academic planning tool

Valencia College: LifeMap and Atlas--Planning For Success, EDUCAUSE Review Online, September 5, 2012

Federal Efforts

FACT SHEET on the President’s Plan to Make College More Affordable: A Better Bargain for the Middle Class, The white house effort highlights online learning communities and e-advising tools that encourage persistence and alert instructors when additional help is needed.

NGLC Resources


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