Campus
Mercer County Community College

Students chart their own course to a degree

Challenge

Provide students a better way to see and manage their path to a degree

Results
  • Students get a real-time, complete picture of their progress toward a degree
  • Registration is faster and easier than ever
  • Advisors have more time to make deeper connections with students

With Ellucian Colleague® Student Planning, students play a larger role in degree planning.

Hear a board member, a student, and a dean share their perspectives on how Ellucian Colleague Student Planning helps Mercer County Community College guide their students to on-time graduation. 

Alexandra Salas, dean of the division of innovation, online education, and student success at Mercer County Community College:

Some of the benefits of Colleague Student Planning is that it gives us the flexibility to help students help themselves. Whether you're a part-time advisor, a student success coach, whether you're a faculty member, whether you're new in this whole scheme of advising, if you talk to a student, you can note-take that interaction.  

And then the appropriate person will be able to go back and see exactly when the student was taken care of, what they discussed, and then they can immediately address those students’ concerns. It's a great tool to keep our internal communications in one place in terms of advising.  

It's a wonderful tool for retention, and also for the student because it gives them that level of independence where they can begin to see what their academic plan is going to look like a couple of semesters out. Plus, they can track their progress. 

Oscar Trigueros, student, Mercer County Community College: 

Colleague Student Planning is good to see where you're at, at Mercer. What's your GPA? What classes are you currently enrolled in? What classes are still left to be taken? Let's say I don't want to be a liberal arts major anymore. Maybe I want to do business administration. I could just see the new program.  

It'll tell me, OK, you've already satisfied English 101, 102. You just need to take these remaining courses. It's very useful when it comes to that. It also helps you register courses. It tells you what needs to be taken according to the major. So, it already tells you what needs to be done.  

If I wanted to register before, I would need to get in the line at enrollment services, maybe wait 30 minutes. Whereas now I could just go online and find that out in a minute. It's a lot easier. 

Rob Schreyer, dean of health professions, Mercer County Community College:

Colleague Student Planning has had a significant impact on students that I've worked with, and one that really sticks out—where a student had come to me very frustrated and concerned because she thought that she might be running out of financial aid, and that she wasn't necessarily close to achieving her degree of choice. And through using Student Planning, I was able to show her that she could not only look at the track that she was on with her current major, but also be able to switch majors and see how many of those courses would apply to different majors and related fields.  

She actually identified that she was only a few courses away from graduating in a field and a major that she actually would have preferred to have from the start. So, she was really empowered by that, and was then able to go on and complete within the next semester. Those examples are on a regular basis at this point. I think a number of students being able to look at the information on their own, identify the areas of need, identify whether or not they're on track, is something that they're accustomed to doing in other areas of their life. And now to have that in education will truly empower them and motivate them to be able to complete their degrees.  

The impact that Colleague Student Planning is going to have on faculty is really giving them the opportunity to engage with the student, to be able to show the student their progress, and utilizing Student Planning, and Ellucian as a whole. The faculty will have the ability to be truly autonomous in helping implement those changes without necessarily having to go through the process of calling and emailing multiple people. Just doing it automatically, putting notes in, so that everybody's aware and ultimately serving the student in the best manner.  

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