20 Best Academic Advising Software in 2023

20 Best Academic Advising Software in 2023
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Data shows that students will find many benefits to having a good advisory program. Specifically, it presents the finding that effective advising can have a larger impact on college persistence and graduation rates (Center for Community College Student Engagement, 2018). Academic advising features are sometimes integrated with admissions and enrollment management software or other student support services to provide students with a well-rounded support experience, to enable them to concentrate on degree completion better and allow for optimum results. The best way to build this is by having a data-based outlook on how to address needs based on assessment. This can only be done with the help of digital solutions for educators such as academic advising software tools.

In this article, we list down the best academic advising software solutions for you and proceed to discuss what they offer and the problems they address. The end goal is to give you a clearer expectation of the features, benefits, and pricing of adopting such solutions.

Best Academic Advising Software Table of Contents

It was found that 47% of college presidents are concerned about the sufficient delivery of advisory services, tutoring, and general student support (Ellucian, 2022). The majority, at 91%, are concerned about the mental health of students. College leadership is right to be concerned with this, as graduation rates among full-time undergraduate students in their initial institutions leave much to be desired. In 2020, for example, only 64% of students completed their undergraduate degrees in six years at the same institution where they began (National Center for Education Statistics, 2022a).

concern of college presidents

There are, of course, several reasons why completion rates are low. All of them, however, fall into the bailiwick of academic advising and student support services. Be the issues mental health, financial aid, career readiness, or a mix of many, institutional counseling and support are expected to take point in improving this key metric.

Given that there are many sides to student support, institutions and student success professionals may feel that they are spread quite thin. This is largely due to the poor visibility and disintegration of support processes that prevent proper tracking and monitoring of support activities. There are many cases where support and advisory services simply do not work in cohesion. They are carried out separately in siloes with little to no collaboration between teachers and counselors.

When structured this way, a true integrated student support and advisory program cannot develop. Institutions cannot plan in a sound empirical data-driven manner how they can improve support services when the program is not, in any substantial form, recorded. This is why many leaders in education recommend adopting tested student success practices together with student support technologies that provide a real-time 360-degree view. For this, data show that benefits abound when this is implemented well.

Key Academic Advising Statistics

Merits abound for academic advising and planning, among them the many benefits they give students. In fact, the majority of both returning students (68%) and faculty (90%), find them very important (Center for Community College Student Engagement, 2018). However, there is a discrepancy there. Faculty members seem to find advisory services more important than students.

Furthermore, a good share of students has other main sources of academic advising, especially entering students. This can be quite unfortunate as this may cause confusion, leading to poor retention rates and non-completion risk. The potential risk is more pronounced in entering students.

It was found that only 47% of entering students reported that college staff or instructors as their main source of academic advice while 41% reported that they mainly get their academic advice from friends, family, and other students. Also, compared to the share of returning students (78%) who have reported to have met an advisor, only 62% of entering students did.

Given this, we can surmise that a good deal of work is needed to get students to take full advantage of institutional advisory services. Two important metrics lend credence to this view.

Completion and Retention Rates in the United States

Two key metrics for student success in postsecondary education are retention and completion. According to these indicators, there is still much left to be desired when it comes to student success in the United States. In 2020, only about 64% of all undergraduates earn their bachelor’s degree within six years with the same institution they started with (NCES, 2022a). Furthermore, while the retention rate among four-year degree-granting institutions is relatively high, at 82% in SY 2019 to 2020 (NCES, 2022b), among two-year degree-granting institutions, the retention rate is only 61%. Both, however, can still be improved.

The figures, of course, vary among institutions of different types. The completion rate within public four-year institutions is 63% with females having a higher completion rate of 66% than the 60% recorded for males. In private for-profit institutions, the retention rate is only 29% with males having 31% and females with 28%. So, the exact reasons for these poor numbers differ. Thus, in order to address them, making the right assessment is paramount. And, a data-driven approach tailored to a student’s need is required.

Case Study: Domestic vs. International Students and Factors of Retention

In one study, it was found that international and domestic students differ in how much importance they place on institution- and performance-centric variables (Haverila, Haverila, and McLaughlin, 2020). So, employing the same student support system for both groups may backfire.

It was found that poor quality of instruction was perceived to be significantly more crucial by domestic students (Haverila et al., 2020). On the other hand, it was found that international students perceive “social integration, ineffective study skills, difficulty adjusting to college life, poor extracurricular activities, and poor housing arrangements” as to be more highly significant to retention intentions. And, even though foreign-born students only account for 4.6% of the total student population in the United States, their total number reaches a total of 914,095 (Open Doors, 2022). The problem of minorities may not be that minor at all.

Getting to know nuances between groups can help student success leaders address the right things for the right person. And, to properly identify these, a sound empirical method is required. This is something that digital tools can offer. We will get to this later.

Of course, as Haverial and associates (2020) found, there are also variables where both international and domestic students were seen to have equal importance such as personal issues (e.g., medical and family difficulties). So, student success professionals could always build patented interventions for more common issues affecting student retention. Below are the four most common and general factors.

Factors Influencing Student Retention

Student retention, put simply, is “something the institution does in order to move the student closer to graduation Ericksen (2022).” And, there are four factors or issues that institutions need to address to help students along. These are:

  • Faculty Support. Students that feel that their instructors can prepare them adequately to succeed in the classroom typically have higher rates of retention.
  • Academic and Cognitive Skills. Students who lack academic, critical thinking, logic, and analysis skills are at risk of dropping out. This is where student resources become very important such as academic tutors, writing centers, libraries, and other student services. Digital solutions like the best academic writing software tools could take out some of the pains of dealing with academic writing projects.
  • Finances. Going to college is a big financial decision and the cost of attending really does affect retention rates. Ericksen (2022) pointed out two possible issues. Firstly, students may not have the ability to afford classes. Secondly, they may not have the confidence in the ROI of enrolling in these courses. To help students with this predicament, institutions may opt to offer alternative tuition pricing strategies to ease students’ financial burden (Ericksen, 2022).
  • Community Involvement. Typically, students who are active in the student community or in extracurricular activities have better retention rates. Activities such as study groups, clubs, athletics, and arts can help pique interests and maintain student engagement.

Addressing these, as implied, should be done in an integrated manner. Collaboration among advisory staff, faculty and other student support services is necessary to provide a holistic and cohesive student success program. With this approach, institutions can ensure that there is consistency in advisory programs.

In practice, as you may know, it can be messy. In 2021, a study found that 77% of participating institutions use a split model of advising using both faculty and professional advisors (Kapinos, 2021). Only 23% use a total intake model being advised first by professional advisors and then assigned to faculty advisors.  In community colleges, it was also found that responsibilities were split.

Source: Kapinos, 2021

Almost 40% of advising responsibilities are split between faculty members and staff (Carlstrom & Miller, 2013 in Kapinos, 2021). And, 22% of advising reporting lines are also split by student affairs and academic affairs. Thus, challenges are sure to happen (Kapinos, 2021). One way, however, to bring all of these efforts together is to keep a shared singular record of all student support efforts. This is where academic advising software solutions come in.

Why Academic Advising Software Is Important

Academic advising software solutions allow institutions to keep track of their advisory services and sessions. These platforms act in, more or less, the same way CRM software does for non-academic business organizations. They maintain student records, allow for updates and notetaking, and enable collaborative planning. A lot of these solutions are standalone programs that work together with other systems and leverage school records to assess needs, plan interventions, and execute student success programs.

Some of these software solutions come as modules in student information systems or education management software suites. Given the level of SaaS technology nowadays and the stringent market requirement for the right mix of ease-of-use and high functionality, academic advising modules today do not feel like extra appendages to the whole suite. They are seamlessly integrated into the whole platform. As they leverage the records, features, and capabilities of the whole suite, they are quickly able to help student success leaders plan and execute support programs in a data-driven fashion.

foreign-born students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities

Moreover, these platforms connect users to other student success leaders in their vast community for professional advice and technical support. Hence, they are not just basic software tools but are also a portal to models of best student success practices today.

Key Benefits of Academic Advising Software

These programs are known to positively affect key student success performance areas like retention and completion. Academic advisory and student success software solutions have been known to help institutions improve retention rates by 2% to 12% and graduation rates by 3% to 15% (EAB, 2022). Hence, many are getting convinced to adopt.

how student success software can improve retention and graduation rates

However, administrations may feel that there will be new costs with a new comprehensive system in tow. Also, as adopting new technology may also entail recruiting new talent, hiring new staff can be an indirect cost of adoption as well. It is good to note, however, that there can be financial benefits on top of productivity benefits.

One audit found that using such software increased the productivity of administrative and academic teams by 12% which, in three years, reached more than a composite of $6.7 million (Forrester, 2020). And, improved recruitment, admissions, and enrollment contributions summed up to $2.1 million in the same span as well. Hence, when used right, digital software tools, together with the accompanying best practices can ultimately benefit institutions economically.

Key Features of a Good Academic Advising Software

  • Integration. A good academic advising software should integrate seamlessly with other educational software solutions, especially the ones your institution already uses. In this way, it can leverage your existing data instead of forcing you to manually migrate, or worse, enter your records to your new platform. Moreover, an integration also enables your platform to generate real-time reports.
  • CRM. The best academic advising software solutions function as your very own internal CRM system. You should look for software that allows for omnichannel communications and also a platform that has communication continuity across channels. In this way, advisory staff will always stay in context.
  • Collaborative Profile and Case Management. This feature allows you to create and update student profiles. The best platforms out there have actionable features within this module to schedule appointments, make notes, layout course plans, and many more. Also, look for one that allows multiple users to collaborate on a single profile. In this way, different advisors (e.g. career advisors, academic advisors, coaches, mentors, etc.) can collaborate and have better overall visibility.
  • College and Career Readiness Resources. For K-12, it is important for an academic advising solution to have self-service college and career readiness resources. These include discovery and exploration tools for careers and postsecondary options. With these, you can empower your students and instill some ownership in their journey and choices. The best platforms have an interactive profile builder that students can create and share with their advisors. In this way, a collaborative atmosphere is induced and maintained.

It is good to note, however, that not all academic advising software solutions are created equal. Some are just better than others, especially in terms of important core features. And, if you are shopping for a good platform, it can be pretty hard as there are many capable software solutions out there. So, to help you expedite the process, we present to you (in alphabetical order) the 20 best academic advising software solutions available today.

List of 20 Best Academic Advising Software

1. AdvisorTrac: The All-Around Student Support Services Solution

AdvisorTrac dashboard

AdvisorTrac by Redrock Software Corporation is a comprehensive student support services solution for colleges and universities. It provides institutions with end-to-end tools to manage and track services, especially advising and counseling. The software supports complex multi-location operations and offers custom permission options for enhanced security. In this way, administrators can assign advisors to students, schedule appointments, record every student contact, and automate custom reports.

The program also links with other platforms such as student information systems to maintain up-to-date records, from contact details to student demographics. All of this is through its easy-to-use cloud-based platform.

Key Features

  • Allows for online scheduling of advisory and other student support activities
  • Provides customizable reports
  • Has a campus portal support
  • AdvisorTrac has task automation capabilities.
  • The software has a collaborative writing feature.
  • Keep users in the loop on updates via text notifications
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Custom emails
  • Provides custom access tools with different levels and security
  • It has multi-person study table help.
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Workshop enrollment and management
  • Allows users to set center-specific preferences
  • It includes testing center support
  • Allows the use of ID card readers

Price

  • Custom pricing

2. Naviance by PowerSchool: The College, Career, and Life Readiness Platform

Naviance by PowerSchool dashboard

Naviance by PowerSchool is a unique academic advising software solution that leverages research related to student success. These include the latest understanding and findings in areas of college choice, career readiness, social and emotional learning, and academic readiness. Hence, it is used by institutions to prepare students for postsecondary education and success.

Naviance offers students tools for college research and application, career exploration and planning, and reporting. Lastly, the platform integrates with other PowerSchool products to extend its capabilities and provide a more well-rounded offering to students. It works seamlessly with PowerSchool Unified Classroom Schoology Learning and PowerSchool SIS.

Key Features

  • Uses its proprietary College, Career, and Life Readiness (CCLR) Framework with research related to student success
  • Allows for holistic counseling by connecting faculty, students, and family
  • Provides high-quality resources to achieve milestones and postsecondary goals
  • Offers students career exploration and planning tools
  • Task management and performance tracking
  • Has college research and application tools
  • Includes shareable reports and dashboards for tracking and measuring the performance of CCLR initiatives
  • Connects with the whole PowerSchool ecosystem
  • Has an active community and is known to provide great customer support

Price

  • Custom pricing

3. Skyward Student Management Suite: A Comprehensive Student Management Solution

Skyward Student Management Suite dashboard

Skyward Student Management Suite combines features found in classroom management, office management, student services, and family engagement systems to offer an integrated SIS experience for all users. It covers all advisory bases, from appointment scheduling to college and career readiness efforts. And, it does this by involving all stakeholders.

Additional tools in the suite include mobile applications for online course requests and family access. Also, unlike other academic advising software programs, it includes a classroom management module with features for teachers to track behavior, attendance, and grades. Other software providers make these capabilities available via products separate from academic advising per se. Hence, by including this and other modules Skyward Student Management Suite is one of the most comprehensive student management software around.

Key Features

  • It has classroom management tools for attendance, behavior tracking, and grading
  • The suite has a Family Mobile App for tracking, complete with online course request features
  • It allows for easy scheduling of appointments, including counseling and other advisory needs
  • Fee and curriculum management
  • Create and store report cards and transcripts
  • Management enrollment and registration workflows
  • Manage food and health services
  • Has a module to promote college and career readiness
  • Provides features needed for student intervention

Price

  • Custom pricing

4. Achieve: The CRM for Student Success and Retention

Achieve dashboard

Achieve Student Success Hub is a CRM software for student success and retention. It sports six core modules, namely, appointment management, kiosk and cue management, case management, campaign and survey management, reporting and analytics, and early alert and retention management. These provide institutions of higher education with end-to-end tools to recruit, retain, and have students graduate on time.

The product is also known for its ease of use. Moreover, the software provider also offers strategic consultation, implementation, project implementation, and IT support. Lastly, it also integrates well with other systems such as learning management systems (LMS) like Canvas LMS, among others.

Key Features

  • Its appointment management feature allows for online student booking and appointment scheduling.
  • The product includes a module for operating an on-site kiosk for advising centers.
  • Student ID card reading and barcode scanning
  • Simplifies check-ins using QR codes
  • Has surveys and electronic forms
  • Provides a case management module with chronological session continuity and support
  • Send text messages on demand
  • Has progress campaigns for retention
  • Provides an enrollment outreach module to increase recruitment KPIs
  • Predictive analytics

Price

  • Custom pricing

5. Anthology Beacon: Collaborative Team Approach to Individual Student Support

Anthology Beacon dashboard

Anthology Beacon is an academic advising software solution that allows institutions to employ a collaborative team approach to provide individual student support. The platform provides users with the tools to approach student support services in a systematic way. These include automatic insights and recommendations, customizable dashboards, a comprehensive profile builder, and powerful data analytics, among others.

With these, institutions can take advantage of their campus-wide data to gain valuable insights and form effective intervention programs for a wide variety of support needs. Also, given that the system access these data in real-time, institutions will also be able to provide support whenever a student needs it. The program, of course, works seamlessly with other Anthology products.

Key Features

  • The platform provides proactive assessments and predictive analytics.
  • It provides advisor-centered functionality to manage both individuals and cohorts.
  • Anthology Beacon is known for its collaboration capabilities for both faculties and advisors.
  • Student relationship management tools to provide resources or simply keep in touch
  • Flexible early alerts
  • Use cohort-level information with additional data sets to find new opportunities for support
  • Shareable visualizations

Price

  • Custom pricing

6. Navigate: A Leading Student Success Management System for Higher Education

Navigate dashboard

Navigate is a student success management system designed for higher education. In fact, it is one of the most popularly-used products available today. This is because it is the first to provide an enterprise-level student success platform that unites students, administrators, advisors, staff, and faculty in a collaborative network for improving student support efforts. It is being used by more than 850 schools and has helped institutions increase their graduation rates from 3% to 15%.

This is not only due to the powerful comprehensive features that Navigate provides. The company also connects institutions with dedicated Strategic Leaders who get to know organizations deeply to help them steer their student support efforts in a better direction.

Key Features

  • Empower students by providing self-service tools via the web and its mobile app.
  • Virtual student onboarding
  • Provides access to peer support communities
  • Offers workflow solutions to streamline day-to-day operations
  • Multi-modal student communications
  • In-app appointment scheduling
  • Provides access to actionable student data
  • Campaign management
  • Provides student success analytics and predictive modeling tools
  • Standardized reports and performance monitoring
  • Provides opportunities to learn from peers and experts

Price

  • Custom pricing

7. Jenzabar SONIS: A Powerful Yet Cost-Effective Student Information System for Smaller or Specialized Schools

Jenzabar SONIS dashboard

Jenzabar SONIS is designed specifically for the needs of smaller or specialized schools. These include career and technical schools, international schools, and smaller colleges or universities. The program provides end-to-end solutions such as managing all administrative tasks while providing integrated services, from admissions and registration to course management and billing. With these, both students and teachers can perform all school-related transactions via the web on any device.

The product is also fitted with automatic reports for actionable insights. It also provides advanced query tools. These enable users to make data-based decisions. The platform also works well with other solutions and partner services. These include DocuSign, CollegeBoard, and Authorize.Net.

Key Features

  • Designed specifically for smaller and specialized schools
  • Connects stakeholders using a centralized database
  • Provides end-to-end solutions, from enrollment and registration to course management and billing
  • Provides advanced query tools and reporting capabilities for data-driven decision making
  • Has personalized, automated communications to engage students and applicants
  • Workflow solutions to automate manual tasks
  • A powerful student information system module
  • Financial aid management module
  • Provides advancement capabilities useful in campaign development and alumni engagement
  • Continuing education management

Price

  • Custom pricing

8. ConexED: Student Services Management from Enrollment to Graduation

ConexED dashboard

ConexED is a student services management platform that helps institutions ensure the success of students from enrollment to graduation, regardless of location or ability. It provides students with access to “ConexED cards” that serve as virtual doors for teachers, advisors, and staff. These allow students to interact with whom they need to at the right time. Possible actions include instant chat, “knocking,” event registration, and appointment scheduling.

The platform also includes a modern case management module, complete with early alerts and progress tracking. It has cohort-centric management capabilities as well. Together with workflow automation tools, ConexED also provides smart dynamic scheduling capabilities that avoid any conflicts and prevent no-shows. The platform works best with other ConexEd products. And, lastly, it is a certified SBA Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB).

Key Features

  • ConexED cards act like virtual doors for staff, advisors, and faculty
  • The platform provides virtual meeting tools that are equipped with shared whiteboards, polls, and signature forms
  • Virtual room breakout groups
  • A Virtual Lobby for the counseling office
  • Passing on of records to the next staff on duty for service continuity
  • Self-scheduling and automatic SMS reminders
  • Scheduling automations with real-time calendar integrations
  • Modern case management module with customizable milestones
  • Integrates with ConexEd Kiosk and Campus Anywhere Solutions
  • Works best with ConexED Business Intelligence

Price

  • Custom pricing

9. Ellucian Colleague: An ERP Software for Campus Communities

Ellucian Colleague dashboard

Ellucian Colleague is an ERP platform that allows users to streamline their processes and keep information unified under one roof. The platform also allows users to customize their own workflows to increase agility and efficiency. Moreover, it provides rich self-service capabilities and multiple delivery options. It is known for its easy-to-use collaboration tools that connect processes, information, and people across an institution.

The Colleague platform has five other modules. These help users automate financial processes and tasks, manage student lifecycle, manage financial aid processes, and manage human resources. The product also works well with other platforms and solutions, including ADVIZOR Solutions, Oracle, and PayPal.

Key Features

  • Provides ERP tools to streamline processes and unify information
  • Has customizable workflows with rich self-service capabilities
  • Collaboration tools connect people, information, and processes easily
  • Has an active user community for support
  • Student lifecycle management
  • Financial aid management features can help remove obstacles in processes, from application to reconciliation
  • Create efficient hiring processes to attract and retain talent
  • Personnel management, including payroll and benefits
  • Automate financial tasks and processes

Price

  • Custom pricing

10. Watermark Student Success and Engagement: Helps Users Understand How to Make the Biggest Impact

Watermark Student Success and Engagement dashboard

Watermark Student Success and Engagement, formerly Aviso, is a student success and engagement platform focused on providing users with a data-driven framework to make the biggest impact possible. The platform, an AI equity and student success solution, is designed to improve student outcomes using predictive modeling. Through predictive modeling, the platform identifies underserved students and provides institutions with action policies to engage them and increase retention.

It also provides other end-to-end solutions such as attendance tracking, collaboration, early alerts, guided pathways, and advanced intuitive reporting. Moreover, it seamlessly integrates with other third-party solutions, including Ellucian, Jenzabar, Blackboard, and Tableau, among many others.

Key Features

  • Provides institutions with actionable insights using predictive models and robust analytics
  • It uses AI and modeling to identify underserved students and recommends action policies for engagement
  • The platform provides guided pathways with access to related research to ensure success
  • Has end-to-end student lifecycle management solutions, from onboarding to graduation
  • Provides communication tools that connect students with their success team
  • Easily schedule appointments and keep appointments on schedule
  • Has early alerts that provide automated notifications on solutions and recommendations
  • Advanced intuitive reporting module to create custom reports without IT intervention
  • Prioritization using predictive models

Price

  • Custom pricing

11. Salesforce Education Cloud: Integrated Solutions to Support the Learner Lifecycle

Salesforce.org Education Cloud dashboard

Salesforce Education Cloud is a comprehensive management platform for higher education. It is basically the education version of the Salesforce platform. The platform is CRM-based and it allows users to unify their data to form a single source of truth across an institution. This, then, allows organizations to provide a consistently personalized journey to students—from admission and counseling to graduation and alumni relationships.

On top of being highly customizable, the product also integrates well with more than 4,000 apps from the Salesforce AppExchange. This allows users to tailor-fit their deployment according to their evolving needs. AppExchange Partners include platforms such as DocuSign, Asana, and Map Plotter, among others.

Key Features

  • Provides a CRM-based solution for creating a unified source of truth for personalized services
  • Streamline recruitment and admissions with tools that engage and retain students
  • Tailor services according to a holistic view of the student via data
  • Build lifelong alumni and donor relationships using its advancement module
  • Deliver campus-wide communications across campus
  • Create marketing campaigns
  • Has collaboration tools for administrative tasks and counseling services
  • Streamline lifelong learning journeys

Price

  • Custom pricing

12. Ellucian CRM Advise: An Academic Advising CRM Built for Students

Ellucian CRM Advise dashboard

Ellucian CRM Advise is Ellucian’s specialized academic advising CRM solution. It is designed to help students to focus primarily on their degree completion while generating support from their institution. This is, firstly, by assembling all departments and communications into a single accessible view for students. For support staff, the product provides them with tools to identify at-risk students and intervene using various approaches.

The product, of course, works best with other Ellucian solutions. It also seamlessly integrates with other third-party applications, including Amazon Web Services, Blackboard, and IBM, among many others.

Key Features

  • Personalized advising through one-on-one communication and proactive advice
  • Provides users with a comprehensive view of their students
  • Monitor advancement from day one to graduation
  • Create personalized dashboards
  • Has cross-campus, multilocation support
  • Observe and measure trends, including high-priority issues
  • Provides users with useful research-based resources
  • Connects users to advisors and consultants
  • Has an active community that provides peer support

Price

  • Custom pricing

13. Workday Student: Allowing Institutions to Put Students First

Workday Student dashboard

Workday Student is a student system designed to help institutions to put students first. The platform unifies institution data and processes to help serve stakeholders better, including students and teachers. Workday Student also makes it easy for students to better understand their academic eligibility and progress to help them plan courses and be engaged throughout their academic journey. Self-service tools are also available to teachers, advisors, and counselors.

The platform is also designed for interoperability. This means that it can integrate seamlessly with other third-party solutions to extend its capabilities, thanks to its industry-standard API framework. The platform is known to allow a team of five users to manage more than 150 integrations. Of course, the platform works with other Workday products, including Workday Financial Management and Workday Grants Management.

Key Features

  • Single user experience from admission to graduation
  • Provides dashboards and end-user reports
  • Self-service and mobile application capabilities
  • Provides a flexible foundation for agile changing of requirements
  • Empowers both student and teacher users via on-demand mobile access
  • Integrates with other Workday products
  • Provides API and can seamlessly connect with virtually all third-party solutions

Price

  • Custom pricing

14. Xello: Student-Centered College and Career Readiness Software for K-12 Institutions

Xello dashboard

Xello prides itself on its academically-researched and scientifically-validated K-12 program that puts students at the center of their own planning experience. The platform allows students to take the helm and document their own journey as they explore post-secondary options and build self-knowledge. It also allows for continuous assessment as students can update their profiles as they take in new experiences, build new skills, and accumulate new knowledge.

These features allow advisors and counselors to engage their students in the right context and level. Moreover, it provides them with the right tools to approach this in a data-driven fashion. Lastly, the platform also integrates with other software solutions, including PowerSchool, Intellisark Pro, and Method Test Prep, among others.

Key Features

  • Student-centered academic journey documentation
  • Allows students to plan courses from right inside the platform
  • Provides personalized learning plans, including those from extra-curricular programs
  • Includes student tests and career-readiness assessment and recommendations
  • It is easy to use and is accessible to all students using any type of device.
  • Has powerful integrations with other SIS platforms
  • Designed for grade school to high school use
  • Has a work-based learning deployment available
  • Built-in reporting solutions with actionable insights
  • Collaborate using two-way messaging and other communication tools
  • Ready-made curriculum for college and career readiness

Price

  • Custom pricing

15. GradSnapp: Empowering the Student Management CyclE

GradSnapp dashboard

GradSnapp is a student management software solution that empowers the student management cycle, from engagement and data collection to data analysis and advising. Like many top solutions, it values a data-driven approach to student support. Moreover, it also provides useful resources about student management cycle practices that users can try out for themselves. These include tips on how to use text campaigns and social media to increase student engagement.

These are all taken from real-life experiences within the GradSnapp community. This is because, in its essence, GradSnapp is a technology-based community platform that also allows advisors to learn from each other. In this way, both technology and technology practices can evolve together.

Key Features

  • Customizable surveys to collect student and sentiments data
  • Create holistic student profiles
  • Has National Student Clearinghouse integration
  • Minimize manual data entry and monitor student status easily
  • Provides quick data analysis and identifies key risk areas at a glance
  • Zoom in on student profiles or zoom out to identify larger trends
  • Streamline advisory task management and step-by-step interventions
  • Shared case management for better collaboration
  • Manage student engagement efforts under one digital roof
  • Texts and emails are automatically logged in every profile for quick reference and to keep within context

Price

  • Custom pricing

16. uConnect: All-in-One Virtual Career Center Platform

uConnect dashboard

uConnect is a virtual career center platform for both students and alumni. uConnect enhances career services management by putting all highly-regarded tools on one platform. Hence, it provides institutions with a way to centralize all career services virtually. The product also comes with tools for personalized engagement and performance measurement to cater to individual needs.

The product integrates seamlessly with other platforms, including Symplicity, Gradleaders, Handshake, WayUp, and Anthology, among many others. Moreover, the platform provides users with a robust analytics module to help them monitor performance and measure ROI.

Key Features

  • Platform engagement measurement
  • Capture monthly and yearly platform activity for better optimization
  • Provide curated digital experience to students
  • Engage partners across campuses
  • Enhance the usage of current tech stacks
  • Integrate career pathway tools from the career center
  • Provide a one-stop-shop for career services
  • Provide a branded experience to students complete with white label treatment

Price

  • Custom pricing

17. Starfish: Scaling Student Success by Targeted Engagement

Starfish dashboard

Starfish by EAB provides institutions with a way to connect students to their larger campus community. In this way, they will not only be informed of the available services but also feel connected and engaged with what the community affords them. The platform does this by analyzing student data to generate actionable insights and recommendations for proactive interventions while examining institutional capacity for support. This makes targeted engagement and interventions possible.

Moreover, the platform is also active in bringing equity within institutions. It supports Moon Shot for Equity, which is focused on eliminating equity gaps by the year 2030 and provides curated content via its Equity Resource Center. So, if you are keen on addressing student rights issues, then Starfish could be a good bet for you. Also, because Starfish boasts of a wide network of members, users get to connect with fellow success leaders around the country for community support and knowledge exchange.

Key Features

  • Connect with other success leaders across the country
  • Guide students in their degree planning using proactive advising tools
  • Provides off-track notifications when students veer away from long-term plans
  • Uses strategic analysis to identify risk factors and generate relevant action policies
  • Operational analytics is used to connect institutional strategy to tactical approaches
  • Examines institutional capacity and aligns it to advisory and support needs
  • Easy alerts and appointment scheduling
  • Modernized digital case management module

Price

  •  Custom pricing

18. Panorama Education: Student Success Platform for Public Schools

Panorama Education dashboard

Panorama Education is an easy-to-use student success platform used primarily by public schools across districts in 50 states. The solution is known for its highly-visual interface and robust district-wide reporting tools. Panorama Student Success builds on student and school data to provide teachers and advisors with insights on how to guide advisory and student support efforts. Tools included for this data-driven approach include behavioral analytics and a quick district-wide interventions summary.

Also, thanks to its district-wide reports, districts can also use the platform to form strategic student support goals across their jurisdictions. The software provider also actively supports both MTSS and RTI frameworks and helps organization users roll out their support structure using such frameworks.

Key Features

  • Strategic prioritizing and planning
  • Data-driven approach for insights
  • Behavioral analytics for student success
  • District-wide reports
  • Small group sessions support
  • Interactive learning experiences
  • System-level advising
  • District strategic goals reporting
  • Track intervention success through its district-wide intervention summary

Price

  • Custom pricing

19. Overgrad: Customizable College and Career Readiness Solution for School Communities

Overgrad dashboard

Overgrad is specifically targeted at K-12 institutions that want to provide their students with high-quality postsecondary education options. It provides students with tools to explore options, including those for securing financial aid. Counselors, using the system, can track exploration activity and student eligibility quite easily. This is thanks to the program’s sleek and intuitive design.

The product is also widely praised for the level of customization it provides clients. This allows users to stay in compliance with both state and district requirements while allowing them to create their own workflows and KPIs.

Key Features

  • Consolidate all processes under one roof
  • Student exploration and eligibility tracking
  • Increase student data visibility
  • Allows contacting of students from right inside the app
  • Coordinate a support network using collaboration tools such as notetaking and shared tracking
  • Has powerful filters and allows tags for colleges to customize postsecondary choice journeys
  • Provides customization capabilities for defining, storing, and tracking important data
  • Streamlines application management and document requests
  • Send multiple applications in one click
  • Connects users to Overgrad’s vast network of colleges

Price

  • Custom pricing

20. OpenEduCat: Open Source Cloud-Based Education Management Solution

OpenEduCat dashboard

OpenEduCat is an open-source education management solution for schools, colleges, and universities. It is prized for its easy deployment and the active support users get from its user community. The platform is essentially an ERP solution that helps users manage end-to-end processes in virtually all aspects of managing an educational institution. These include modules for managing exams, admissions, students, faculty, and finances.

The platform also has advanced modules available. These include those for payroll, sales, recruitment, email marketing, and even stock management. Moreover, OpenEduCat is also accessible via its native mobile applications. Hence, users can access their information on the go. Furthermore, OpenEduCat also allows on-premise deployments.

Key Features

  • Student management for counseling and success
  • Faculty management features
  • Course scheduling with curriculum and lesson planning features
  • Allows for online enrollment
  • Seat management
  • Provides users with a choice of advanced features
  • Has support management features for student transportation and canteen management
  • Has an open-source architecture
  • Modular deployment

Price

  • Pricing starts at $249 per year for the OpenEduCat Core features. Other apps and modules are charged separately. Integrations are also charged separately.

Which academic advising software fits you best?

You can really do well with any of the top academic advising software solutions listed here. It is, however, good to note that there are different types with different target users and support scales. For instance, there are products here that are meant for K-12 schools. Others have versions for K-12 and postsecondary. There are also solutions that are made specifically for special schools. So, it is up to you to create a short list of the ones that fit your situation.

However, it is best to really look for a platform that integrates well with your current architecture, including critical systems like your school administration platform. In this way, you will enjoy high out-of-the-box usability and interoperability. Moreover, do remember that choosing a solution is also entering your organization into a partnership with the software provider. Hence, choose a company that you share values with and that has a reputation for providing great customer service and technical support. This is because user experience does not start and stop at software use. It also extends into other touchpoints with your software provider.

Lastly, you should also see whether your current software providers have academic advising software solutions or modules available. This is because if you adopt their platform, you are ensured that it will work seamlessly with your current digital software stack.

 

References:

  1. Center for Community College Student Engagement. (2018). The power of advising in community colleges: 2018 national report. CCSSE.
  2. EAB. (2022, March 9). Navigate | Student success management system. EAB.
  3. Ericksen, K. (2022, May 26). 8 overlooked factors affecting student persistence and retention. Collegis Education.
  4. Forrester. (2020). The total economic impact of Salesforce Education Cloud. Salesforce.
  5. Haverila, M., Haverila, K., & McLaughlin, C. (2020). Variables affecting the retention intentions of students in higher education institutions. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 358-382. JIS.
  6. Kapinos, B. (2021). The perceptions community college advising coordinators have of their institutional advising models: An exploratory study. NACADA Journal, 41(1), 80-93. NACADA.
  7. National Center for Education Statistics. (2022a). Fast facts: Graduation rates (40). National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from NCES.
  8. National Center for Education Statistics. (2022b, May). Undergraduate retention and graduation rates. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from NCES.
  9. Open Doors. (2021, April 27). Enrollment trends. IIE Open Doors.

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