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What is Proactive Advising in Higher Education?

Proactive advising is a strategy academic advisors use to help students stay on track during their academic journey. Find out more about its benefits in this guide.

What is Proactive Advising?

Proactive advising is a type of intervention whereby academic advisors offer guidance and support at the first sign that a student is having difficulty with their studies or acclimation to college life – if not before. This preemptive strategy aims to prevent a student’s potential struggles, whether academic, financial, socioemotional, or otherwise, from escalating into major obstacles that could impact retention and completion.

What Are the Benefits of Proactive Advising? 

The primary benefit of proactive advising is to address barriers to success early on, allowing advisors to build strong and lasting relationships with students that keep them on the path to success. When students know they are valued and supported, they have a greater sense of belonging at the institution. They also become more focused on achieving their academic and career goals, persevering when faced with adversity.

Through proactive advising in higher education, academic advisors can help students in areas such as:

  • Academic Planning: Advisors guide students in course selection, ensuring they take classes that align with their major and career goals and will lead to timely graduation.
  • Decision Making: Advisors help students make informed choices about courses, majors, and careers, ensuring their choices align with their interests, abilities, and aspirations.
  • Belonging at the Institution: Proactive advising in higher education helps students become more immersed in their college experience by overcoming obstacles and fostering connections to faculty, staff, and peers across campus.
  • Problem Resolution: Advisors work with students to actively address academic or personal issues, providing timely solutions and guidance. Problems could range from financial issues to conflict at home.

Proactive advising also benefits the institution by ensuring the school maintains its enrollment through a strong student retention rate. For advising teams, proactive advising allows staff to operate at scale by adjusting their support based on students’ varying levels of need, focusing on the right students at the right time.

EAB’s Navigate360, the leading student CRM, is a comprehensive platform that helps academic advisors implement proactive advising strategies to support students in overcoming obstacles and achieving their academic and career goals. By leveraging data and analytics along with comprehensive workflow and communication tools, Navigate360 enables advisors to identify students in need of support early and provide tailored interventions to ensure student success. With Navigate360, advisors can implement a proactive caseload management approach and focus more time on building strong relationships with students to drive retention and graduation rates.