In an effort to increase student retention, I-Plan is offering new features to help guide students through their educational journey. Since 2014, BYU-Idaho has utilized the online program, I-Plan, to provide students with enhanced ability to focus on their career and academic futures. The first component released was the tutoring module, which allows students to schedule tutoring appointments. Between February 2016 and May 2017, developers added a host of other components. One of these components is the graduation planner–a means for students to map their required courses to graduation. Students can now also explore potential majors and view academic paths towards future careers.
Freshman retention is a driving force for the recent I-Plan changes. According to Student Success and Retention Director James Gordon, “A student who doesn’t have a clear picture of where they’re going, is at-risk of dropping out. If they don’t know where their classes are leading them, it can be hard for students to stay committed to showing up to class. So, it’s important that students get into exploring early, so that they know what they want for their future and how their classes will get them there.”
Advisors, faculty mentors, and instructors are also able to utilize I-plan to more effectively help their students. They can now use the newly-created Mentoring Dashboard within I-Plan to keep a running record of interactions with a particular student. This new function allows all those involved in the student’s progress to be on the same page.
Mentors and advisors can view the student’s problem which contains information that could indicate that the student needs more individualized help. In this way, faculty and staff can more proactively reach out to students before they start thinking about leaving the university prematurely.