Personalized guidance from academic advisors is a cornerstone of the student experience at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. The institution supports roughly 3,200 students from around the world using a uniquely hands-on approach to finish their degree in 4-years – as required by the University’s time allotment for enrollment. While students are assigned a primary advisor, they can receive guidance at any time from any advisor. The centralized model makes sure that students get the assistance they need, whenever they need it.
Looking to allow students to chart their paths – while giving advisors a way to stay closely connected to students – BYU-Hawaii sought out Stellic. Since its introduction to campus, the platform has empowered students to map their journey in a way that facilitates close collaboration and responsiveness between them and their advisors.
“We’re very proactive with advising because of the four-year allotment policy, but with Stellic we’ve been able to make it a really interactive process where the student is part of planning. We would struggle if we didn’t have it.” - Marilee Ching, Academic Advising Manager
Below we share the impacts that Stellic has had on advising at BYU-Hawaii, honing in on two key areas: collaboration and responsiveness.
Today’s BYU-Hawaii students are visualizing their journey from start to finish on a modern, intuitive platform. Using Stellic to see the journey ahead, plan their path, and experiment with different scenarios, students remain confident that they are staying within the boundaries of their program’s requirements and graduation timeline — even if they decide to switch majors, take multiple electives, or study abroad. The platform has encouraged students to take robust ownership over this process, so much that BYU-Hawaii has seen a 90% student adoption rate of Stellic.
“Stellic is streamlined, making it easier for students to get involved in the planning process and see where they are. Students are becoming much more hands-on in their own planning than before.” - Kailee Tropia, Academic Advisor
In turn, the increased ownership has paved the way for greater collaboration with advisors, who are able to see a student’s plans and progress in precisely the same format. When students feel ready, for example, they will request an advisor review their plans right in Stellic. The mutual transparency gives advisors the opportunity to offer their input and course-correct if necessary, which has allowed academic planning to become more of a partnership, and has strengthened the student-advisor rapport.
“We’ve been able to transition to a ‘double-check’ advising office. Students have more control, but we are there to give them the confidence that 'yes, what you planned was right, or no, this needs to change', and we can help redirect their plans.” - Karess Purcell, Academic Advisor
“I use the yellow, gray, red, and green signaling system with students all the time. I tell them, ‘Look, you’re getting there. As soon as it’s green, you’re good.’ The visual for being on track with plans is so easy to understand. And it’s a way for them to feel like, ‘Yes! Things are getting done.’ It helps me motivate my students.” - Karess Purell, Academic Advisor
Sharing the same workspace is also keeping students and advisors on the same page at all times. In particular, note-taking within Stellic has been especially impactful. As both advisors and students are leaving and sharing notes in the platform, advisors are reminded of specific questions they want to ask a student, and the notes alert them to potential obstacles that students have flagged themselves. The shared workspace reinforces a culture of trust and partnership between students and advisors, allowing for deeper conversations and swift mitigation if potential problems arise.
“I had a student whose notes in Stellic indicated that she was trying to take a class that might push her graduation back a semester. That prompted a conversation about her thought process and whether she wanted to finish as early as possible. Seeing these notes is especially important for juniors and seniors who are further along in their paths and want to make changes.” - Kailee Tropia, Academic Advisor
In sum, students and their advisors at BYU-Hawaii are collaborating on a deeper level – spending less time discussing graduation requirements and more time discussing topics related to their career growth, academic challenges, and personal and spiritual development.
BYU-Hawaii’s advisors support a range of students — international students, students who have just returned from a mission, and students who matriculate straight from high school. Advisors need to be responsive in order to keep all students on track – and Stellic has been key to help them do this.
Specifically, real-time reporting has helped advisors immediately identify sub-populations of students, filtering on specific criteria such as GPA, incomplete plans, or unmet requirements. From there, they cater their guidance according to the circumstance, having the choice to message students, leave a note, or save their search results for future reference. The ability to easily identify students has helped advisors at BYU-Hawaii stay attuned to students who may require more support. What's even more, multiple offices across BYU-Hawaii are leveraging this feature to enhance their responsiveness and support students from multiple angles across campus.
“Our international student service office uses Stellic to check statuses, our program leads use it to check majors, and our financial services office uses the platform to check what students are enrolled in. So there’s big adoption — not just from students, but also from staff.” - Marilee Ching, Academic Advising Manager
Anticipating the needs of students one step further, BYU-Hawaii’s administrators and advising team are harnessing Stellic to forecast course demand and allocate their resources accordingly. They’re ensuring that classes are being offered when students want and need to take them, and in some cases, advisors are bringing the data from students’ plans to department leadership, drawing from the aggregate data to recommend more course sections when necessary.
“One semester, the math department canceled a math section. I was able to say, ‘we have X amount of students that planned for it and X number of freshmen that need it' — so they actually brought the section back, and it was full.” - Danielle Kinikini, Academic Advisor
All in all, BYU-Hawaii employs Stellic to help their students thrive. Enabling advisors to engage more deeply with students and encouraging students to take an active role in planning for the future, the University is empowering their students to complete their journey in 4-years — knowing that help is always around the corner when they need it.