How Colorado College transformed advising through student-centered degree management technology

When Colorado College was looking to improve student-advisor interactions and provide all students with equitable access to successful academic planning, they turned to Stellic’s holistic degree planning and advising system. By empowering students with seamless tools for planning, registering, and tracking progress, Colorado College advisors now save hundreds of hours in lost advising time each year—ensuring that more students can get the personalized help and mentorship they need to stay on track.

Before adopting student-centered technology

When Pedro de Araujo transitioned from his faculty role to Associate Dean five years ago (now he is Vice President and Dean of the College), one of his first mandates was to improve advising on campus. Looking at the data on advising loads and time spent with advisees, he uncovered that student-advisor conversations were largely transactional, with advisors sitting down with students using paper and pen to plan their pathway, giving students a code and sending them to register for their classes.

"The majority of time we were spending with students was on transactional conversations, talking about classes and if they have fulfilled the right requirements. It wasn't the best use of our time with students. We wanted to shift the conversation towards mentoring and major questions that faculty are much better at answering." - Pedro de Araujo, Vice President and Dean of the College, Colorado College

Even more reason for change, Colorado College’s rich liberal arts curriculum and block schedule made it challenging for faculty advisors to help students track and understand requirements on top of their teaching and research priorities. The path forward, Colorado College decided, was to de-couple advising and mentorship from the degree planning process and provide students with a next-generation degree planner that would ensure all students had equitable access to support. With tools in place that would empower students to chart out their own journey, there could be co-ownership in degree planning and advisors could dedicate more time towards meaningful conversations with students.

"The system before Stellic was not necessarily tailored towards student agency and was more tailored towards the advisor guiding the process, which can create inequalities because you’re going to have faculty that devote more time to advising than others. It was important to change the model to become more student-centered." - Pedro de Araujo, Vice President and Dean of the College, Colorado College

After adopting student-centered technology

Colorado College ultimately chose Stellic’s Degree Management Platform for its fast integration, seamless user experience and comprehensive set of tools for the whole campus. The benefit of the platform is highlighted in the high rate of adoption amongst students, advisors and administrators. In addition to achieving 90% student adoption in the first year of deployment, CC students report a significant improvement in their experience compared to before Stellic.

"It's really helped me be able to see all the classes I need to take laid out, see all of the requirements, and plan ahead. It’s super helpful. Being able to find new classes, plug them into my schedule - it’s a bit more fun honestly. It moves the process away from being a tedious one and to one where I can explore and see what I actually want to do." - Deksyos Damtew, Student Body President, Colorado College

Pedro de Araujo, Vice Provost at Colorado College, is also seeing significant impacts on the administrative side, where department chairs are utilizing Stellic to automate a lot of previously paper-based degree audit processes.

"We're really excited to be seeing a very high rate of adoption amongst department chairs and administrators. These new tools allow them to not only easily see degree progress and proactively plan for course demand, but seamlessly collaborate with the registrar's office on things like degree audit conversations and processes in a way they haven't been able to before having technology like Stellic. It's a game changer." - Pedro de Araujo, Vice President and Dean of the College, Colorado College

Collaboration has become more efficient and effective for advisors as well, with Stellic enabling students to have more agency to plan their path towards degree completion and then review with their advisors through one holistic system. Advisors are able to spend more time on mentorship and less on paperwork, while most importantly, students are more confident in their success.

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