For the second year in a row, a program in The University of Texas at Austin’s Student Success Initiatives (SSI) has won a National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) award — this year in the technology category. The Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) team was honored with the Advising Technology Innovation Award at the 2018 NACADA Annual Conference awards ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 30, in Phoenix. NACADA also accepted for presentation at the conference a paper written by members of the MAAPS team and Student Success Initiatives Executive Director Dr. Cassandre Alvarado.
“We are so excited to receive this award and to honor the amazing work done by the MAAPS team,” Dr. Alvarado said. “The innovation of advising dashboards, coupled with texting capabilities, means that we can reach students quickly, supporting their timely graduation and student success.”
NACADA’s Advising Technology Innovation Award winners are selected for their use of technology to support and enhance students’ academic advising experience and are evaluated for clarity, content, creativity, interactivity, and overall impression. In MAAPS’ case, the team worked to develop data dashboards to quickly visualize student records and provide timely assistance to students. The academic advisors then strategically deploy both one-to-one and group texting to support their students and provide timely reminders to encourage and improve student success.
MAAPS advisors have more than a 96 percent engagement rate with their students via text — a number that far exceeds the typical engagement rates for other methods of communication. MAAPS’ use of these data dashboards and texting has been so successful in reaching and communicating with students that the tool was expanded to serve students and staff in SSI’s University Leadership Network. SSI hopes to expand this tool to all success programs in the near future.
SSI is participating in the MAAPS federally funded First In The World grant as part of the university’s participation in the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). UIA is a consortium of 11 large public research universities committed to graduating an additional 68,000 students by 2020.
“NACADA is the national leader in innovations in academic advising. We are honored to receive this award and join other colleagues across the country who are bringing technology to the academic advising process,” Dr. Alvarado added.