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Blue Hen Success Collaborative

Blue Hen Success Collaborative fully implemented

Advising system expected to help more students graduate

Academic advisers and faculty at the University of Delaware are now armed with rich data and a suite of tools to help them advise students. After several months of testing and refinement, the Blue Hen Success Collaborative (BHSC) is fully implemented on campus and accessible to all pertinent faculty and staff.

“We are committed to supporting and guiding every student from their first day all the way to graduation,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis when the program pilot launched last October. “The Blue Hen Success Collaborative will help us provide the excellent advising that is crucial for student success.”

Assanis is encouraging students to make informed decisions that will help them “finish in four.” Data from the BHSC reveals that students who complete 30 credit hours or more their first year are significantly more likely to graduate on time. The collaborative is intended to help advisers proactively assist students, some of whom may be at risk in less obvious ways and not even realize they are headed off track.

Though the University’s four-year graduation rate of 70 percent is above the national average, the enhanced advising is expected to help increase retention and graduation rates, particularly among those in underserved populations, which lag behind.

Approximately 350 users tested the BHSC’s tools and functionality last fall and spring, including faculty, staff advisers and department chairs from all colleges, staff from support offices and a select group of students from University Studies.

“This past year as a freshman, college could be tricky and confusing, but being able to easily get in touch and schedule appointments with my adviser helped me a lot along the way,” said sophomore Ilana Weiss.

The appointment campaign tool has been a popular feature with busy faculty, as well.

Joshua Enszer, assistant professor of instruction in chemical and biomolecular engineering, said, “The Blue Hen Success Collaborative syncs with my Google calendar, making advisee appointment scheduling fast and efficient. Students are automatically emailed a link to set up appointments during the times I am available, and the meeting then immediately appears on my calendar. Both my student and I get an email reminder the morning of the appointment, plus the system texts the student a message. I've had more than one student report that they would have missed their appointment if not for that text!” 

Extensive analtyics  

Beyond the routine functions, the BHSC provides UD extensive, customized analytics that identify the largest and most addressable pockets of risk unique to the University. Relying on 10 years of UD historical data, the analytics can suggest patterns of student behavior based on myriad variables, including everything from high school attended, standardized test score, major, cumulative GPA and much more.

On a programmatic level, department chairs can access stats that provide insight on their degree programs. For example, they can examine which courses have high drop, fail or withdrawal rates; what majors are seeing a longer time for degree completion; and at which point along their path students are leaving the University and how intervention efforts could help.

Advisers will also be able to tap into the Blue Hen Success Care Network, part of the system that allows users to guide students to other support services, such as tutoring, financial aid, career counseling or Blue Hen Success Grants (also known as “retention grants.”)

Chris Lucier, vice president of enrollment management, said, “We are entering a new day in our ability to support our students. With rich data and best practices to guide programmatic decisions, plus an overall coordinated care network, we can help more students not only graduate but finish in four years.”

Training is available for new users as well as those looking for advanced instruction. Visit the website for more information.  

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