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Partner Stories

Student Success Case Studies

Navigate is higher education’s leading student CRM, built based on a decade of research to improve recruitment, student success, and the student experience. Trusted by more than 850 colleges and universities—and serving more than 10 million students—Navigate unites administrators, faculty, staff, and students in a collaborative network to measurably improve outcomes across the entire student journey.

Explore the 2023 Navigate Case Study Compendium to see how 40 of our partner institutions are transforming their student success strategy in these key areas:

  • Optimizing guided onboarding
  • Elevating faculty engagement
  • Transforming academic advising
  • Coordinating student interventions
  • Leveraging data-driven insights
  • Engaging students with technology

Download the Compendium

Optimizing Guided Onboarding

Automating Admission Process Eliminates Common Enrollment Barriers

  • About: Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is a public community college with over 33,000 students across three campuses. The six-year graduation rate is 21%.
  • Challenge: Prior to fall 2017, 68% of students were lost between application and registration. This high attrition rate was due to a number of outdated workflows. The college’s admission process was manual, tedious, and lacked coordinated processing, which resulted in delayed application review and student ID generation.
  • Solution: In 2015, MHCC leadership cleared up an IT backlog and transitioned new leadership into key roles. A year later, MHCC partnered with EAB to address their admission workflow, automate their enrollment process, and instill a student success culture across campus.
  • Impact: As a result, the turnaround time for acceptance dropped to less than two hours, and MHCC saw a 3% increase in percentage of applicants who registered within three days.

Read the Full Partner Story

Non-Enrolled Students Provide Key Insights Into Reducing Applicant Loss

  • About: Pikes Peak Community College (Pikes Peak) serves approximately 20,000 students across three campuses. Only 20% of students matriculate directly from high school, and 25% have a military affiliation. In 2015, 60% of applicants were lost prior to the first day of classes.
  • Challenge: After discovering that 93% of non-enrolled applicants did not go on to enroll at another institution, college leadership decided to survey lost applicants. Student responses revealed numerous communication breakdowns, including long turnaround times, unclear messaging, and inflexible practices.
  • Solution: Once clear about the challenges that applicants were facing, Pikes Peak utilized Navigate to streamline their onboarding process. Key services, such as advising and placement testing, were also redesigned to be more applicant-friendly.
  • Impact: Through its partnership with EAB, Pikes Peak was able to increase their applicant yield, resulting in $72k in additional tuition revenue. Pikes Peak also saw a marked uptick in advising appointments for new students; 7% increase from 2016 to 2017.

Read the Full Partner Story

How a Technical College Improved Grad Rate with Tech- Enabled Academic Planning and Streamlined Onboarding

  • About: York Technical College, part of the South Carolina Technical College System, enrolls 5,819 undergraduate students in 108 academic programs. They have an 18% FTFT graduation rate and 64% fall-to-fall retention rate.
  • Challenge: Faced with several years of stagnant persistence and completion rates, York Tech undertook a large-scale approach to improving student success utilizing a Guided Pathways framework. They focused on addressing their fragmented onboarding process and inconsistent advising experience that failed to provide adequate support to undecided students, a population with higher attrition.
  • Solution: York Tech partnered with EAB in 2017 and launched Navigate to empower and better guide students inside and outside the classroom. York Tech leveraged Navigate’s Academic Planning module to help students craft better plans. They also streamlined onboarding, implementing the Navigate Student app to engage students in their first year.
  • Impact: The implementation of various improvement efforts to onboarding, major exploration and pathways, and academic planning in conjunction with other initiatives contributed to a 4.4% increase in the overall graduation rate across two years, as well as $1.39M in preserved tuition revenue.

Read the Full Partner Story

Timely and Personalized Onboarding Guidance Results in Revenue Gains

  • About: Part of the 22-member Technical College System of Georgia, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) serves over 4,100 students across four campuses. Of all GPTC students, 62% are Pell-eligible, 90% are first-generation, and the six-year graduation rate is 23%.
  • Challenge: GPTC was losing a significant number of students between application and enrollment, with many non-enrolled applicants enrolling at others colleges. Feedback from the call center revealed that students were confused and frustrated with the onboarding process.
  • Solution: With EABs help, GPTC reevaluated their onboarding experience from the student perspective and identified three key areas where they could make improvement: acceptance communication, orientation, and faculty and professional advising.
  • Impact: As a result of this work, students now have a clear understanding of how to transition from admission to enrollment. From 2016-2017, GPTC saw a 26% increase in summer enrollment, and received $48k in additional tuition revenue.

Read the Full Partner Story

Elevating Faculty Engagement

Navigate Interventions Lead to Increase in Advising Appointments and Much-Needed Funds for Students

  • About: Arapahoe Community College, with three campuses and 9,600 students, is part of the Colorado Community College System. The three-year graduation rate is 20%.
  • Challenge: Prior to partnering with EAB, Arapahoe struggled to gain traction with other early alert systems and faculty were wary of new student success technology. Departments and offices operated in silos, which led to uncoordinated and overwhelming communication to students. Advising appointments were also difficulty to manage and track, and advisors found it challenging to maintain their caseloads.
  • Solution: Arapahoe introduced Navigate’s early alert feature to streamline the process for faculty and ensure all student cases are properly triaged and addressed. Additionally, email and text message campaigns encourage students to schedule and attend advising appointments, lowering the no-show rate.
  • Impact: The volume of early alerts increased 225% with Navigate compared to the previous system, which led to increased distribution of much-needed emergency funds. Following the outreach campaigns, the no-show/cancellation rate for advising appointments was just 7%.

Read the Full Partner Story

Leverage Faculty Partnerships and Technology to Address the Community College Enrollment Crisis

  • About: Pueblo Community College(Pueblo) is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with over 5,000 students across three campuses. Approximately 70% of Pueblo’s students are part-time, and 34% are first-generation.
  • Challenge: Two years into the pandemic, Pueblo faced serious enrollment challenges. Higher-than-expected summer melt in Fall 2021 led them to investigate causes that could threaten future semesters. Cross-campus communication issues, limited access to faculty during summer, and a lack of buy-in to student success initiatives were among the most pressing contributors.
  • Solution: Pueblo leadership identified a two-pronged approach to address their enrollment problem. First, they created clearer advising processes powered by Navigate. They also leveraged Navigate’s student app to engage students throughout the advising process.
  • Impact: Pueblo’s initiative empowered faculty and staff to clarify their roles in the advising process, limit time spent on wrong-fit tasks, and develop mutually agreed upon strategies for more effective student care. The faculty progress report response rate—a measure of active use and collaboration with staff advisors—increased by 11.2% and faculty advising appointments increased 191% in the 2021-22 academic year. The new process increased student engagement as well, yielding a 42% increase in Navigate app usage across the same timeframe.

Read the Full Partner Story

Clear Pathways and Course Guarantees Allow Students to Plan Ahead

  • About: Cerro Coso Community College (Cerro Coso) is a rural school with an enrollment of over 5,000 students across five campuses. 60% of Cerro Coso students are enrolled part-time.
  • Challenge: In several surveys, students were expressing dissatisfaction with the college due to the high number of cancelled classes. The applicant conversion rate was below 45%, and students who enrolled favored online classes over in-person classes.
  • Solution: Cerro Coso leadership launched a college-wide initiative for pathway redesign and long-term scheduling. Navigate set the transition in motion and enabled the college to complete critical pathway components before launching the technology to students.
  • Impact: The improvements helped Cerro Coso achieve a 16% increase in applicant conversion, resulting in $524k in additional enrollment fees in fall 2017.

Read the Full Partner Story

It Starts With the Faculty: Improving Campus-Wide Engagement in Advising

  • About: Samford University is a private Christian university with 3,000 undergraduate students and a six-year graduation rate of 73%.
  • Challenge: A communication gap existed between faculty advisors and student support staff due to inconsistent tools and processes for monitoring and supporting student progress. Faculty were aware of student issues but lacked the time to fully address them, while student support staff had the capacity to intervene but didn’t know which students needed help.
  • Solution: Faculty leadership established new policies requiring midterm grade submissions, while student support staff began using EAB’s holistic student data to strategically intervene with students in need of support.
  • Impact: First-year retention increased 2% within one year of EAB Navigate implementation with no additional investment in tutoring, supplemental instruction, or other student success measures.

Read the Full Partner Story

Standardized Advising Workflows and Early Alert Timeline Drive Student Outcome Improvements

  • About: Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) enrolls 2,338 undergraduate students and has a 54% retention rate and a 34% graduation and transfer-out rate.
  • Challenge: Over the past several years, SWCC saw a concerning decline in GPA and completion rates, even as overall enrollment grew. Non- standardized advising practices, as well as the lack of a comprehensive early alert platform, exacerbated these trends.
  • Solution: SWCC leadership knew they needed a technology partner to address these concerning trends. The Virginia Community College System selected Navigate as a system-wide partner, offering an ideal solution. They now leverage Navigate advisor workflow tools to standardize and simplify required advisor tasks such as appointment scheduling and grant-mandated effectiveness reporting and leverage its early alert functionality to respond to faculty-initiated alerts within a short turnaround time.
  • Impact: Navigate’s advising workflow solutions and comprehensive early alerts helped students at SWCC increase average GPA and credit completion by 20.6% and 12.8 percentage points, respectively, for the Fall 2019 FTIC cohort. Across all students, they saw a 4.8 percentage-point increase in students retained or graduated between fall and spring from 2019 to 2020.

Read the Full Partner Story

Transforming Academic Advising

Creating Efficiencies and Increasing Completion Rates Through Data-driven Advising

  • About: Broward College (BC) is a public community college that serves over 60,000 students. BC utilizes a centralized advising model to coordinate the efforts of over 100 advisors across six campuses.
  • Challenge: Despite transitioning to a centralized advising model and assigning advisors to specific pathways, BC was still experiencing challenges with their advising process. Inefficient case management and manual data tracking absorbed a great deal of advisors’ time and students continued to make appointments with non-assigned advisors. BC was particularly concerned about their First Time In College (FTIC) students, as this population is tied to critical state funding.
  • Solution: Through the use of technology and guided by a diverse advising council, BC was able to reset their advising expectations and increase the
    efficiency of their entire staff. Advisors began running targeted appointment campaigns for critical student populations and students were able to easily identify and access their assigned advisor.
  • Impact: In just over a year, BC was able to see wide-spread adoption of Navigate by both students and staff and saw a 5% increase in completion rate for their Fall 2015 FTIC Cohort.

Read the Full Partner Story

Providing Exceptional Support to First-Generation Students Beyond the First Year

  • About: Florida State University (FSU) enrolls 31,000 undergraduate students and has a six-year graduation rate of 80%. The Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) is FSU’s central office for preparing, recruiting, and ensuring the success of first-generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged students. CARE currently serves approximately 1,500 students.
  • Challenge: In analyzing the progression of CARE students, FSU recognized a significant drop-off in the retention of sophomores. FSU needed to more effectively and efficiently integrate student academic information into the individualized attention CARE provides.
  • Solution: FSU now requires all CARE sophomores to participate in College Life Coaching. Coaches use EAB’s Navigate platform to enhance their impact and improve the overall experience for these students.
  • Impact: The most dramatic outcome of College Life Coaching for CARE sophomores has been a significant increase in retention from sophomore to junior year, with the largest gains coming in the last two years as FSU began using EAB technology.

Read the Full Partner Story

How a High-Performing University Improved the Student Experience with Navigate

  • About: The University of South Carolina (USC) enrolls 25,556 undergraduate students and has a six-year graduation rate of 73%.
  • Challenge: Despite strong institutional performance, USC’s advising structure was fragmented and advising practices were non- standardized. As a result, students’ experience (and satisfaction) varied widely across colleges, departments, and individual advisors.
  • Solution: USC joined EAB’s Student Success Collaborative to coordinate different offices and improve the student experience. USC established an advising taskforce and implemented recommendations based on EAB’s best practice guidance, and connected advising and student services together in a Coordinated Care Network.
  • Impact: During a time of considerable enrollment growth, USC saw a 3.7% increase in their four-year graduation rate, as well as a 1% increase in their six-year graduation rate.

Read the Full Partner Story

Milwaukee Area Technical College Closes Equity Gaps With Retention Grants and Process Innovations

  • About: Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is a public two-year vocational-technical college serving 25,000+ students. Their Fall 2021 fall-to-spring persistence rate for first-time degree-seeking students is 65%, and 55% of all enrollees during AY21 self-identified as students of color.
  • Challenge: In Fall 2021, MATC found that registration holds and small account balances were creating persistence barriers for thousands of students. These barriers disproportionately impacted first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minority students. MATC partnered with EAB’s Moon Shot for Equity initiative to eliminate equity gaps in retention and ultimately graduate more students.
  • Solution: In Fall 2021, MATC activated a cross-departmental Retention Grants Team to develop and deploy a program that would incentivize students close
    to graduation to register for the following term. A Hold Reform team also worked to improve persistence outcomes by eliminating the deregistration process, removing a registration hold based on low account balance, and providing one free transcript despite an unpaid account balance.
  • Impact: 1,586 students were awarded micro-grants. The recipients persisted at a 10% higher rate than the general student population from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. Further, an additional 467 students were able to register when MATC eliminated the registration hold.

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Promoting Equity and Improving Completion Rates at a Large Public University

  • About: University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is an open-admissions public university serving 15,090 undergraduates. At UAA, 94% of
    students are commuters, 57% are 25 or older, and 34% are ethnic minorities, including many Alaska Native students. Overall, UAA has a 32% six-year graduation rate and a 67% retention rate.
  • Challenge: Many incoming UAA students are underprepared for college, leading to excess credit attempts and low retention and completion rates. Concerningly, Alaska Native students are at even greater risk of not completing than their peers.
  • Solution: To better support all students as they transition to college life, UAA developed a new first-year advising program that uses degree maps based on placement test data to help students choose the right courses. They implemented Navigate to ensure staff and students have the tools they need to succeed.
  • Impact: Alaska Native student outcomes have improved markedly over five years—this student population’s six-year graduation rate increased by 13.8%, and their retention rate increased by 5.9%. More freshmen are taking appropriate credit loads and passing lower-division courses. Additionally, UAA now has a 5% higher first-time, full-time (FTFT) overall retention rate compared to peer institutions.

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Coordinating Shared Advising Around Technology Improves Student Satisfaction

  • About: Trident Technical College (TTC) is a public associate college with a total enrollment of approximately 13,000 students across seven campus and site locations. The six-year graduation rate is 10%.
  • Challenge: TTC’s faculty advising model was increasingly strained due to high student demand. The recent introduction of a compressed mini-semester schedule further reduced faculty availability. Many students indicated via survey that they were either unable to schedule appointments or their interactions didn’t further their academic goals.
  • Solution: In 2016, TTC partnered with EAB Navigate to improve the student onboarding experience, which included replacing their traditional orientation with Navigate MyPath. Navigate also supported TTC’s transition to a shared advising model, which allows students to readily access Navigators (onboarding and enrollment experts) and schedule appointments with faculty advisors (program experts).
  • Impact: With the help of Navigate, student satisfaction increased. Additionally, 87% of students used MyPath, and student usage of the HUB doubled, allowing advisers to provide guidance and support.

Read the Full Partner Story

Navigate Technology Streamlines Admissions and Registration to Drive Enrollment Growth

  • About: Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, part of the Technical College System of Georgia, has 5,900 students with a retention rate of 71%.
  • Challenge: With staff spread across four campuses, communication between departments was inconsistent and uncoordinated. This led to students making repeated, unnecessary office visits for common tasks like changing majors. In addition, limited support for students during the registration process prevented Wiregrass from reaching their enrollment and retention rate goals.
  • Solution: Wiregrass partnered with EAB and integrated Navigate into several essential processes on campus, allowing them to more efficiently process student applications and major changes. Additionally, Navigate registration campaigns ensured hundreds of students returned for the next semester.
  • Impact: Overall fall-to-fall retention increased 10 percentage points in two years. Total enrollment increased 15 percentage points in one year and applicant-to-enrollee conversion increased 8 percentage points in the same time period.

Read the Full Partner Story

Improving Student Outcomes by Focusing on Deep and Broad Technology Adoption

  • About: Grand View University (GV) is a private liberal arts college in Iowa with 1,800 undergraduate students, a 50% six-year graduation rate, and a 68% retention rate.
  • Challenge: Academic advising was disjointed, with inconsistent plans of study, unconnected silos of support, and students expressing confusion about where to seek assistance. Previous efforts to impact student success were not effective in mitigating these issues.
  • Solution: In Fall 2017, GV launched a new advising model to coordinate student care via a network of professional advisors and campus support. After partnering with EAB, GV strategically brought faculty and support units onto the platform through trainings that started with a strong foundation of necessary knowledge and grew from there based on a user’s role and needs.
  • Impact: Since joining the Collaborative in early 2017, GV has seen a 5.6% increase in students registered for Fall 2018, as well as a 3.6% increase in fall-to-fall first-year retention.

Read the Full Partner Story

 

Coordinating Student Interventions

Seeing Early ROI by Targeting Discrete Pockets of Risk

  • About: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) enrolls 23,000 undergraduate students and has a 59% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: VCU has steadily improved its first-year retention rate, but needed a new way to identify and address the less- obvious needs of populations who are unlikely to complete, especially those beyond the first year.
  • Solution: In fall 2014, VCU advisors used Navigate predictive analytics to run targeted advising campaigns that proactively intervened with 12 student subpopulations.
  • Impact: Persistence-focused campaigns resulted in the retention of an additional 65 students in the spring of 2015 and $346,000 in spring tuition and fees revenue. Momentum from campaigns and other initiatives has positively impacted four- and six-year graduation rates.

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University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Successfully Recruits Back More than 100 Students with EAB

  • About: The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) is a public research university with a total enrollment of 22,674 and a 41% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: UWM is a large, complex, urban institution featuring a decentralized advising structure made up of 11 different school/college advising offices with additional support units. After joining EAB, it was clear there needed to be a structure and engagement framework to enable coordinated university-wide actions involving targeted campaigns and advising best practices.
  • Solution: UWM established an advising “SWAT team” as a central forum for sharing ideas, and developed ongoing stop-out campaigns to register students who might otherwise have slipped through the cracks. The EAB Consultant provides ongoing support, information, and feedback.
  • Impact: A total of 123 students returned to campus following EAB campaigns targeting unenrolled students, amounting to over $604,000 in additional revenue.

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Integrating Navigate into Campus-Wide Policies and Practices for Quick Wins and Long-Term Change

  • About: The University of South Alabama (USA) is a public research university with a total enrollment of 16,211 and a six-year graduation rate of 36%.
  • Challenge: Since 2005, USA had experienced declining retention in the midst of enrollment growth. With six- and four-year graduation rates plateauing at 36% and 17%, respectively, USA sought to help students graduate on time and improve overall student performance.
  • Solution: USA developed a four-pronged strategy to help more students graduate in a timely manner with the right major. They used Navigate data to identify areas of focus. USA then launched two campaigns in 2016, one to encourage high credit-hours students to graduate and the second to enroll students in need of additional support in intensive academic coaching.
  • Impact: Through its partnership with EAB, USA was able to increase retention by 12% across four years and graduate an additional 126 students in 2016.

Read the Full Partner Story

Collaborating to Support and Reenroll Vulnerable Students Leads to $5M in Additional Revenue

  • About: The University at Albany, part of the SUNY system, has 13,500 undergraduate students, a 65% six-year graduation rate, and an 83% retention rate.
  • Challenge: In recent years, Albany has experienced enrollment growth, a new president, and a new strategic plan emphasizing student success. More than half of Albany students receive financial aid through the New York State Grant Programs and 45% are Pell recipients. Albany had achieved some success enacting a variety of practices to improve retention, but the impact was not what they hoped due to poor coordination among student-facing offices across campus. They needed a driving force to create a more collaborative culture.
  • Solution: Albany partnered with EAB in 2015 and implemented Navigate in student-facing offices across campus. Advisors use Navigate to work with Grant students to keep them in compliance, and advisors also reach out to unenrolled students to get them back on campus.
  • Impact: Navigate allows Albany’s various offices to collaboratively support students and keep them on track to graduation. Through multiple campaigns, Albany has re-enrolled thousands of additional students resulting in over $5M in tuition revenue.

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Connecting the Entire Campus to Improve Student Success at a Regional Private University

  • About: National Louis University (NLU) is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a nontraditional population of approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. NLU has a 48% four-year graduation rate and a 72% annual persistence rate.
  • Challenge: Historically, NLU’s undergraduate student body was primarily part-time, online, and/or evening transfer students. In 2015, they launched a new full-time daytime program serving largely first-generation, low-income students. In 2018, NLU merged these populations, building the Undergraduate College with the mission of improving equity in degree attainment and employment. However, siloed and reactive departments using multiple technology systems prevented students from getting proactive support and progressing toward a degree.
  • Solution: NLU’s Undergraduate College hired a team of success coaches (high-touch academic advisors) to collaborate with faculty to support students. They then implemented Navigate to strengthen coordination between faculty, coaches, and additional support staff, facilitating holistic support and improving student outcomes.
  • Impact: NLU students now have 13% higher first- to second-year retention compared to Chicago students with a similar academic profile. 90% of faculty responded to progress reports in Navigate, and 98% of students surveyed reported that faculty and success coach outreach was helpful.

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Using Navigate to Foster Black Male Student Success

  • About: North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) with 4,748 degree-seeking undergraduate students, a 52% six-year graduation rate, and a 76% retention rate.
  • Challenge: Male students, who make up just a third of NCCU’s enrollment and graduate at a lower rate than their female peers, lacked a place on campus to build community and belonging. With limited resources, NCCU’s Men’s Achievement Center needed to engage, support, and retain male students.
  • Solution: NCCU launched the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) in 2009 to help create a space for men on campus that offers programming, coaching, and support to foster personal, academic, and professional growth. AAMI staff use Navigate, EAB’s Student Success Management System, to monitor the progress of all students, collaborate with faculty and other offices to flag and address student needs, and analyze data that informs interventions and bolsters grant applications.
  • Impact: Men participating in AAMI have a 90% retention rate compared to a 72% retention rate of Black male students that attend NCCU but are not part of AAMI. AAMI students also have a 57% four-year graduation rate, compared to a 23% rate for all Black male students at NCCU.

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How EAB’s Navigate Helped a Small Private College Support Students and Redeploy Staff During a Pandemic

  • About: Concordia College is a small private Christian school with 2,010 students, an 83.6% retention rate and a 75% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Concordia was forced to cease in-person operations. Their emergency response team worried that many students wouldn’t have the necessary resources or support to access their online courses and finish the semester.
  • Solution: Concordia College has been part of EAB’s Student Success Collaborative partner for six years, going live with Navigate in 2015. While ceasing in-person operations, Concordia emailed all students a departure form to assess immediate needs and used Navigate to reach unresponsive students. Additionally, faculty submitted Navigate Progress Reports to flag students struggling with remote learning. Leveraging the Coordinated Care Network they built with Navigate in the months prior, Concordia redeployed support staff to quickly act on students’ challenges and concerns.
  • Impact: Using Navigate to reach students, Concordia saw a 16% increase in departure form submissions, and 93% of faculty participated in a campaign to identify students struggling in online courses. Additionally, Concordia redeployed more than a dozen staff to follow up on student concerns and better meet time-sensitive student needs.

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UNC Medical School Efficiently Supports Students with Navigate

  • About: The University of North Carolina School of Medicine (UNC Med) is one of the top-ranked medical schools in the country. UNC Med enrolls 896 students.
  • Challenge: Prior to launching Navigate, UNC Med struggled to provide holistic student support. Advisors had to look in many different places to get a full view of students’ backgrounds, course schedules and goals, and ongoing challenges and potential concerns.
  • Solution: UNC Med launched Navigate in 2020 and has already seen a positive impact. Advisors no longer need to manually track students with flags or attendance issues, and all relevant staff can easily and centrally access the full picture of their students to provide holistic, comprehensive support.
  • Impact: Since launching Navigate in Fall 2020, 96% of UNC medical students have been contacted via Navigate, and 89% have appointment activity logged in the platform.

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Leveraging Data-Driven Insights

How a Large University Narrowed Their Achievement Gap and Saw a $29.4M Return on Student Success Investments

  • About: California State University Fullerton (CSUF) is a large public university serving 34,305 undergraduate students with a 67.8% six-year graduation rate and an 88% retention rate.
  • Challenge: At CSUF, decentralized advising and support offices lacked standard processes to train staff or direct students to needed resources. Faculty were not sufficiently engaged in collaborating with success staff to fully support students. Additionally, achievement gaps between traditional and underrepresented student populations were concerningly wide.
  • Solution: CSUF built new Student Success Centers across campus, where staff use Navigate to monitor and connect with students, as well as engage and supplement faculty in supporting students outside the classroom.
    They also assessed procedural inequalities that disproportionately affect students of color and hired new specialists that use Navigate to improve key outcomes.
  • Impact: By working to understand and remove barriers to completion, CSUF lowered the achievement gap between underrepresented minority (URM)1 and non-URM students by 7 percentage points. CSUF also used Navigate campaigns to see a $29M+ return on investment in three years.

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Improving Student Outcomes with Data-driven Advising and Institutional Transformation

  • About: Georgia State University is a public research university with a total enrollment of 25,945 and a six-year graduation rate of 51%. GSU has historically served large populations of low-income and underrepresented minority students.
  • Challenge: Ten years ago, GSU’s six-year graduation rate hovered around 32% and was especially low for their growing population of Pell students. When Georgia joined Complete College America in 2011, GSU was required to implement a plan to improve student outcomes, with state appropriations tied to these improvements.
  • Solution: GSU saw an opportunity to target resources through structured, data-driven interventions such as course redesign, supplemental instruction, freshmen learning communities, and fee-drop grants. In 2012, GSU joined the Student Success Collaborative and extended this data-driven approach to academic advising.
  • Impact: GSU’s advisors use Navigate daily, helping students make smarter decisions, reduce time to degree, and increase their likelihood of success— contributing to a 3% increase in six-year graduation rate since 2012.

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How a High-Performing Institution Improved the Experience and Retention of Students in a Selective Major

  • About: Auburn University is a high-performing institution serving 25,000 undergraduate students in 13 colleges and schools, including the College of
  • Challenge: Auburn’s College of Engineering has a rigorous curriculum. Some pre-engineering students struggle to maintain the minimum required GPA and are referred outside of Engineering to select another major. Auburn wanted to reduce the number of students referred outside of Engineering by identifying students who are at risk of not qualifying for the major and providing them with intensive tech-enabled advising support.
  • Solution: Auburn partnered with EAB in 2014 and implemented Navigate across campus. Within the highly selective Engineering program, advising leadership uses Navigate alerts and cases to flag and support students at risk of not qualifying for the major to retain them within Engineering. A dedicated counselor then advises these students, enforcing positive academic behaviors.
  • Impact: Through these efforts, in just three years Auburn decreased the portion of students leaving the Engineering program as a result of mandatory referrals by 73 percentage points. In 2018, they retained 94% of pre-Engineering Success Contract students at the university, thus generating $2M in estimated tuition and fee revenue.

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Strategic Interventions Generate Rapid Results and Ongoing Impact

  • About: Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is a public research university with a total enrollment of 21,913 and a six-year graduation rate of 52%.
  • Challenge: In response to state-wide pressure to improve outcomes, MTSU created the “Quest for Student Success” plan, but needed a way to track and move the dial on metrics across the institution. MTSU’s advising units were also severely understaffed and under-resourced to serve a challenging student population on the ground.
  • Solution: MTSU set out to drive rapid gains through changes informed by data and best practices. Joining the Collaborative in spring 2014 allowed MTSU to empower staff with data and execute a campus-wide strategy focused on persistence.
  • Impact: Through its partnership with EAB, within the first 120 days of launching the platform, MTSU was able to increase overall persistence by 1.5 percentage points, retaining an additional 390 students for $1.5M in spring tuition revenue. They also improved four-year graduation by 4.3%.

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Rallying Campus Around Data-Driven Best Practices to Improve Retention by 2% in Less Than One Year

  • About: Salisbury University is a public master’s university with an undergraduate enrollment of 7,900 and a four-year graduation rate of 46%.
  • Challenge: Advising at Salisbury was owned by faculty and housed within each school, with no shared information about goals or outreach efforts. Many students were not well-prepared for critical courses in their degree path, with some stopping out as a result, or delaying their time to graduation. As enrollment increased, Salisbury “outgrew” its faculty advising model but lacked sufficient resources and buy-in to move to a hybrid professional-faculty model.
  • Solution: Over the course of one year, Salisbury’s AVP of Academic Affairs and Assistant VP of Enrollment Management led the charge to rally campus around new, data-driven best practices. They conducted a large-scale retreat that brought together advising, student affairs, and enrollment management to collaborate and build a campus-wide targeted campaign calendar.
  • Impact: As a result of these efforts, Salisbury saw a 2% increase in first- time, full-time retention and successfully made the case to transition to a hybrid advising model for the fall of 2016.

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Technology and Cross-Campus Initiatives Help Solve Retention Crisis at a Small Private University

  • About: Buena Vista University (BVU), a small private Christian university with 1,959 undergraduate students, has a 74% retention rate and a 62% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: Between 2017 and 2018, BVU was unable to retain 40% of their freshman class. They identified various contributing factors, including a decline in the average high school GPA and test scores for incoming students. While they understood why students weren’t retaining, BVU lacked an efficient process to identify, intervene with, and monitor students in need of help to keep them on track.
  • Solution: BVU partnered with EAB in the Spring of 2018 to address their retention problem. They hired four new staff members focused on retention and launched progress reports campus-wide so faculty could flag disengaged and struggling students. In the Fall of 2019, they expanded EAB’s Navigate to additional offices beyond advising, who used the platform to contact students with registration holds, connecting them with the support needed to reenroll.
  • Impact: Over the past four years, the portion of BVU freshman with a 2.5+ first-semester GPA increased by 15.3 percentage points, and fall- to-fall persistence increased by 13.2 percentage points.

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Engaging Students with Student-Facing Technology

How a Highly Selective University Increased Their Four-Year Graduation Rate by 15%

  • About: Waverton State University (pseudonym) is a public research university serving about 15,000 undergraduates with a 74% six-year graduation rate and a 90% retention rate. It is part of a state-wide university system.
  • Challenge: Despite a strong first-year retention rate, many students were failing to graduate in four years. In 2014, Waverton’s president set a goal to increase the four-year graduation rate by 12 percentage points by 2019. But with student caseloads approaching 800 in some advising units, advisors were stretched too thin to give all students the attention they needed to succeed.
  • Solution: Waverton leveraged EAB’s student success platform, Navigate, to improve cross-campus collaboration, implement new data-driven strategies, and improve their organizational structures. They leveraged EAB’s student-facing app, Navigate Student, to provide their undergraduates with a comprehensive, personalized advising experience.
  • Impact: Waverton successfully launched Navigate Student to more than 12,000 users, including 77% of first-year and transfer students. With this and other strategies implemented since 2014, Waverton’s four-year graduation rate increased 15 percentage points.

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Using Navigate to Standardize Dynamic Academic Planning and Retain More Students

  • About: Marshall University enrolls 9,415 undergraduate students and has a 78% retention rate and a 51% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: Across Marshall’s 60+ undergraduate degree programs in seven colleges, advising and academic planning processes varied greatly. With siloed and inconsistent student support, retention rates remained stagnant over several years. Marshall needed an innovative strategy to keep students on track and improve outcomes.
  • Solution: Marshall expanded their existing Navigate partnership by implementing Academic Planning (AP) and One-Click Registration. Meanwhile, the Office of Undergraduate Studies used this as an opportunity to establish standardized processes, procedures, and plan formats to ensure every student on campus enjoyed the same comprehensive, dynamic plan-building experience.
  • Impact: Students who created plans in Navigate retained at a 21.1 percentage-point higher rate than their peers without plans. This higher rate indicates that Marshall retained about 90 additional students, equating to more than $360K in estimated tuition revenue.

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Eliminating Barriers to Onboarding and Making Academic Planning More Accessible for Students

  • About: Germanna Community College (GCC), part of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), has 7,207 credit-earning students, a 68% retention rate, and a 37% graduation rate.
  • Challenge: Prior to VCCS’s system-wide implementation of EAB’s Navigate, GCC struggled with a muddled onboarding process that left students confused and inefficient advising that didn’t focus on long-term academic planning. In the words of GCC’s Assistant Dean of Student Development, “Students were more confused than they were educated.”
  • Solution: GCC automatically provides all student applicants with access to Navigate as a checklist for onboarding. GCC also integrated Navigate’s Academic Planning tool into its freshman orientation course, allowing students and advisors to easily collaborate on academic plans across students’ first term and beyond.
  • Impact: GCC’s applicant-to-enrollee rate increased by 14.5% in one year. Additionally, students with an academic plan in Navigate enroll in 3.4 more credit hours per semester on average and are 12.7 percentage points more likely to persist, equating to a combined $507,770 in additional and preserved tuition revenue each semester.

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Navigate Helps Students Take Ownership of Their Academic Paths and Graduate on Time

  • About: Washburn is an open-access university with 5,472 undergraduate students, nearly half of whom are first-generation. Washburn has a 69% retention rate and a 51% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: Many students, especially first-generation students, found the university catalog confusing and intimidating. Washburn experienced challenges guiding students through multi-semester course planning and faced stagnant student outcomes, including their four-year graduation rate. They sought a way to help students better understand course offerings and requirements so they could chart their own academic paths.
  • Solution: Student success leaders at Washburn know that for students to graduate on time, they need to create a personalized path that evolves with them across their time on campus. By implementing Academic Planning within EAB’s Navigate, Washburn incorporated informed course planning into their first-year seminar, allowing students to envision an achievable and adaptable path to graduation.
  • Impact: Washburn’s Navigate partnership, and the Academic Planning tool in particular, have had an outsized impact: their four-year graduation rate increased 21 percentage points since launching Navigate. Additionally, they’ve seen $413,000 in tuition revenue from higher average retention and credit loads for students using building academic plans in Navigate.

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RMU Improves Retention by Making EAB’s Mobile App an Integral Part of the Student Experience

  • About: Robert Morris University (RMU is a private doctoral university with 4,385 undergraduate students, a 61% six-year graduation rate, and an 80% retention rate. They strive to embody their motto, “Big enough to matter, small enough to care.”
  • Challenge: Prior to collaborating with EAB, RMU’s students and advisors lacked the tools to coordinate and communicate a plan to stay on track. Advisors needed insight into students’ involvement and engagement on campus, and students needed a clear checklist to follow.
  • Solution: RMU partnered with EAB in April 2017 with the goal of achieving 50% first-year adoption on EAB’s student-facing mobile app. First, they created a first-year seminar syllabus that requires students to complete in-app assignments, driving both downloads and ongoing utilization. Second, they used in-app Quick Polls to help keep students on track, and provide advisors and administrators with powerful insights about student interests, needs, and concerns.
  • Impact: RMU dramatically exceeded their adoption goal, with 94% of first-year students downloading the app. This contributed to a 2% increase in first-year retention compared to 2016.

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Improving Retention Despite Limited Resources with Academic Planning in EAB’s Navigate

  • About: Danville Community College (DCC) is a small campus serving 4,000 transfer and technical students in a very rural, socioeconomically depressed part of south-central Virginia. DCC, one of 23 campuses in the Virginia Community College System, has a 31% graduation rate, 9% transfer-out rate, and 63% retention rate.
  • Challenge: At DCC, full-time teaching faculty handle all academic advising but have limited time to devote to it and lack logistical support. Additionally, an inconvenient scheduling process required students to sign up for advising appointments in person. Students also lacked information on course requirements, so appointments focused on course planning without time for more holistic conversations.
  • Solution: DCC partnered with EAB and integrated the Academic Planning (AP) tool in Navigate into their required Student Development course (SDV 100), giving students deeper insight into course requirements and empowering them to plan their own schedules, saving advisor time and effort.
  • Impact: Students who completed an Academic Plan in Navigate retained at 25 percentage-point higher rate than those who did not. After integrating AP into SDV 100, DCC saw Navigate adoption increase by a factor of six.

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Guiding Students and Improving Advisor Visibility with Academic Planning in EAB’s Navigate

  • About: Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is a historically black public university with 1,695 students, a 73% retention rate, and a 39% six-year graduation rate.
  • Challenge: When creating academic plans for multiple semesters, students at ECSU often didn’t have full knowledge of degree requirements, and advisors lacked visibility into course availability. There was no standard process for collaboration between students and advisors and no way to encourage long-term planning.
  • Solution: ECSU launched EAB’s Navigate platform in 2016 and piloted the Academic Planning (AP) tool with all freshman advisors in 2019. AP provided a shared workspace where students could build plans based on their major, and advisors could add comments and flag errors. ECSU also used Quick Polls in Navigate’s student app to identify students in need of extra support. During the transition to virtual learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ECSU relied heavily on Navigate to understand and act on urgent student needs.
  • Impact: After launching AP in Navigate, ECSU saw a 35% increase in preregistration1 over the previous year. The extensive use of Navigate among staff and students since 2016 has contributed to a 4% increase in the four-year graduation rate, and 5% and 12% growth in freshman and sophomore retention, respectively.

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How Navigate Fostered Student Belongingness to Improve Retention at Gallaudet University

  • About: Gallaudet University (GU) is a bilingual private university that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing students through both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. With an enrollment of 1,427 students, GU’s retention rate is 74.3% and six-year graduation rate is 43.6%.
  • Challenge: GU leveraged a basic student success platform for several years to address stagnant retention rates. However, Gallaudet quickly hit a retention plateau, and had limited capability to truly engage students and allow staff to provide holistic support.
  • Solution: GU migrated to Navigate in 2018 with the goal of improving retention and engaging students to foster stronger sense of belongingness. Navigate allows GU to connect advisors, faculty, and support staff across campus in a coordinated network with students at the center. Additionally, Navigate’s student-facing app empowers students to easily access the resources and support they need.
  • Impact: Since migrating to Navigate, GU’s retention rate has increased 11.4 percentage points. With 92% of students using it, the Navigate student app is an essential retention tool for GU. Students using the app retain at a 1.7 percentage-point higher rate than the cohort average, generating over $130K in additional tuition revenue in just one semester.

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