Nov. 18, 2019
Dear faculty and staff,
As faculty and staff, we strive to engage our students in important content discussions, provide them with opportunities to grow as professionals, support them during transformational times and empower them to become successful alumni. When students leave UNT before earning a diploma, great potential is lost. Our mission is to help our students thrive, and by better helping them persist to graduation, we enable them to achieve their dreams.
Your hard work and commitment during the last two years have led to incredible increases in student retention. First-year retention increased to 79.3 percent, our four-year graduation rate is just short of our FY22 goal of 40 percent, and 57.3 percent of our students are graduating within six years. These are significant gains worthy of celebrating, but we still have work to do.
To accelerate our retention efforts and better support students from enrollment through graduation, UNT is implementing Navigate, a student success management system created by the Education Advisory Board (EAB) and currently used by more than 500 universities. Navigate’s predictive analytics engine is powered by 10 years of UNT student data and will provide our faculty, staff and advisors with student-specific academic performance and persistence information that will help us more quickly identify struggling students and connect them with interventions and resources for success.
Navigate’s implementation will begin with student advising, as outlined below:
- January 2020: A small pilot team of advisors from the College of Science and North Texas Athletics are trained to use Navigate.
- March 2020: College of Science and North Texas Athletics advisors use Navigate to advise students for summer 2020 and fall 2020 registration.
- Late April-May 2020: Professional and faculty advisors are trained to use Navigate ahead of summer orientations.
- Summer 2020: All new students are advised using Navigate.
- Early Fall 2020: Navigate training continues.
- October 2020: All advisors use Navigate to advise students for winter 2020 and spring 2021 registration.
It is also important that we integrate into Navigate our highly utilized student services offices, such as the Learning Center, Student Money Management Center and Career Center. By including student services in Navigate, we will have a more holistic view of our students, and be able to better serve them. We anticipate training student services staff and integrating them into the platform in conjunction with the advising rollout.
We want Navigate to work for UNT and be customized to serve our unique needs. We will engage faculty, staff and student users in continuous feedback that will help us learn, grow and improve the platform throughout the spring semester. With the help of you, our caring community, Navigate will become a transformational tool that is efficient, easy to use, practical and equitable to afford our students the best opportunities for success here at UNT.
The Navigate implementation is a major presidential initiative that will enable us to harness the power of big data to better support students and help them realize their career goals. While there are always challenges as we tackle new ideas and technologies, I hope you will help us implement Navigate to provide the most positive outcomes possible, so our students can realize major gains as other institutions around the country have seen. If you have any questions or feedback, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Debbie Rohwer, vice president for planning, is leading our campus integration team and she wants to hear your successes, concerns and fears so we can improve the platform to best serve our students. If you are familiar with Navigate or have previously used EAB products, let Dr. Rohwer know – your experience can inform the ways we create UNT’s custom Navigate experience.
By using Navigate, I believe we will be able to make an even greater impact on retention, provide our students with tailored help and rise into the ranks of elite public institutions. Thank you in advance for your commitment to helping our students succeed.