Optimizing Your Use of Student Information Systems

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Developing a High-Performing and Productive Advising Department

  1. Assessing and Meeting Student Needs
  2. Assessing and Meeting Employee Needs
  3. Optimizing Your Use of Student Information Systems
  4. Academic Advising's Role in Change Implementation

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by Sue Ohrablo, author of High-Impact Advising: A Guide for Academic Advisors

In the first two installments in the series, “Developing a High-Performing and Productive Advising Department,” I’ve discussed strategies for identifying, assessing, and meeting student, staff, and advisors’ needs. In this installment, I will discuss best practices to successfully implement some of the key strategies identified in this series by maximizing the use of technology through creative use of student information systems (ERPs).

Understand Your Student Information System / ERP

I encourage advising administrators to learn, in as much detail as possible, their student database system. While we commonly rely on experts in our IT departments or super users within our departments to provide us the data we need, advising administrators are the only ones who can effectively articulate the needs of their constituents to the programmers who are to retrieve data. When there is a gap between the end user (academic advising department) and the programmers (who may be experts in the use of software but know little about the needs of the advising department), data is often inaccurate and unusable.

Understanding how to "speak the language" of the ERP system the institution uses allows advising administrator to creatively solve problems and achieve department goals, as well. Let me use some real-life examples that have led to success in my own experience.

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Get Sue Ohrablo's Book High-Impact Advising

High-Impact Academic Advising: CoverHow can academic advisors provide high-quality developmental advising in the face of diminishing resources and increased commitments? We brought this question to Sue Ohrablo, a nationally recognized speaker with 25+ years of experience working with diverse institutions and student populations. In this 300-page, comprehensive training guide, Sue offers practical guidelines for academic advisors.

“I highly recommend that all academic advising professionals read High-Impact Advising: A Guide for Academic Advisors, as it will help them to enhance key skills needed to establish positive relationships with students, appropriately assess students’ needs, effectively teach students, and efficiently provide high quality service.”
Jacqueline T. Hollins, Assistant Vice Provost/Director of Academic Advisement, SUNY at Buffalo (UB)

“As a department leader in academic advisement, I would use Sue’s book as a training resource and teaching mechanism for advisors. It allows advising professionals to understand today’s complex environment of advising students, beyond just selecting courses.”
Jake Shilts, Director, Advisement & Career Services, Miami Dade College

“Advisors will reap the benefits of this well-balanced, informative guide.”
Shari Saperstein, Associate Dean, College of Undergraduate Studies, Nova Southeastern University

"A student-centered, informative, and practical approach. Dr. Ohrablo presents powerful guidelines geared towards student success for 21st century academic advisors. The handbook offers indispensable information and engaging scenarios that mirror real life college instances that students experience. A key resource tool for academic advisors and higher education professionals."
Dr. DeLaine Priest, Associate Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Services, University of Central Florida