Building a one-stop shop to improve student outcomes
Odessa College

Building a one-stop shop to improve student outcomes

Challenge

Improve enrollment, completion, and financial aid attainment through enhanced advising, academic monitoring, and course planning

Results
  • 74% increase in the number of graduates over five years
  • 15.3 point increase in success over five years (students earning a C or better)
  • 28.7% increase in fall enrollment over five years

Texas lawmakers have set an ambitious statewide goal for higher education: that by 2030, at least 60 percent of Texans aged 25–34 will have a certificate or degree.

As a community college located in oil- and gas-rich west Texas, Odessa College is committed to achieving its share of the goal. So the college recently overhauled its campus and program offerings, with a sharp focus on increasing academic planning and advising support.

Focused on improving its rates of enrollment, completion, and financial aid attainment, Odessa’s key challenge “has been creating and sustaining a college-going, college-completing culture in an under-resourced, under-educated region,” says Stephanie Sigler, director of pathways advising at the college. To succeed, Odessa knew it needed to offer stronger support and better course planning and monitoring throughout their students’ academic journeys.

To that end, Odessa implemented Ellucian Colleague Student Planning, which includes academic planning tools to help students, student success coaches, and faculty members determine what courses students need to complete to stay on track and graduate.

By applying mainstream guided pathways principles and maximizing the features of the solution, Odessa developed clear pathways featuring clear pace and progress indicators. Those pathways have helped the college map course offerings more effectively and offer the courses students want and need. The college also redesigned the practices of its Student Success Coach office to create a more collaborative environment between coaches and students.

Odessa has also found success with Colleague Self-Service—or, as Odessa College students know it, the Wrangler Portal—which serves as a one-stop shop that lets students access their student planner, financial aid information, transcripts, and tax information.

The live data eliminates frustration and wait times for the students while saving our staff time by helping them work smarter.

Stephanie Sigler, Director of Pathways Advising, Odessa College

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