Universities and colleges across the nation are concerned with increasing the percentage of students who graduate in four to six years. In addition to the financial impacts from lost students, retention rates are tied to state funding and are an important factor in determining rankings of universities and colleges in annual publications.
The University of Southern California and Urban Insight devoted 18 months to determining how advisors and administrators can best use software to help increase student retention.
The result is UAdvise -- a software system that enables advisors to use a combination of 20 indicators to identify students at risk. Advisors use a set of online advising tools, such as electronic degree planning worksheets and course plans, and maintain an advisement history that follows students across multiple majors and academic units.
Since implementing this system, USC's 4- and 6-year retention rates have increased by an impressive 4%, placing USC within the the top tier of national universities.