See what advisors using Pathways have to say about their experiences with the program.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was an early adopter of the Pathways (Navigate) advising system after it had been used by the Freshman Engineering Program in the Swanson School of Engineering for one year. This advising system is amazing because it has increased my productivity, making my job as an advisor easier and allows me to provide better and more knowledgeable service to the students during their advising appointments. I even get to see a picture of the student and all of their previous classes. This feature is invaluable during Zoom meetings. Pathways also allows me to link the PeopleSoft and PeopleSoft AAR just in case the student has a detailed question about graduation.
Finally, Pathways allows me to communicate with individual or multiple students via email or text message. Last Spring Term I decided I need to check on my 300 advisees to make sure they were enduring COVID-19. I sent all of them a text message asking them if they were having any academic problems and encouraging them to check in with me. The majority of the students appreciated the text message after they determined that I had not bee hacked by a third party. If anyone has any questions about the benefits of using this system, please email me (email@example.com).”
— Leonard W. Casson, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, ENV SP, Associate Professor/Undergraduate Coordinator
Pathways has made life in Advising easier in several ways. Because
of the automatic reminders that students receive, we have had far
fewer missed appointments, which has likely been a cause for
increased retention. Students are able to select their own
appointment time, which automatically takes into account their class
schedule. Students are no longer missing appointments because
they forgot they had class, or skipping class to make an appointment in Advising. The
appointment summaries in Pathways help keep a streamlined note system which, being
visible to all faculty/staff users, is helpful to keep everyone on the same page. The Campaign statistics show us what percentage of students we've met with, which students have not yet made appointments; we can resend a campaign to those who have not yet made appointments, and students can write notes to us about what they'd like to discuss in their meetings.”
— Karen Ricco, Academic Advisor, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
The Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department is the largest engineering department in the Swanson School of Engineering and with this size comes a lot of advising appointments. As the Advising Coordinator for the department, I typically advise around 250 students in a given semester.
Before Pathways, tasks like scheduling meetings, organizing files and tracking students was tedious and time consuming. Not to mention I was using multiple software programs and at times had numerous files open during my advising meetings. Pathways provides a one stop shop for most of my advising needs. I can schedule advising appointments, send reminder emails, look up student information, document meetings, upload pertinent files and keep track of important statistics. All in one place. The mobile app also provides advising information while I am on the go.
Not only has Pathways saved me a lot of time and frustration, but my advisees have also provided positive feedback. One of the most common comments that I hear from them is that they like when Pathways reminds them of scheduled advising meetings. This feature has greatly reduced the number of missed meetings from my perspective too. My experience with Pathways has been nothing but positive and I look forward to learning about and integrating other capabilities into my daily workflow.
— Tony Kerzman, Associate Professor & Advising Coordinator
In the Academic Success Center at Pitt-Johnstown, we know that maintaining eligibility for financial aid can be an important factor in student retention. Yet, each year we work with students who are not aware of how the financial aid requirements affect them until it is too late. This year, we were able to use Pathways to design an intervention to provide the necessary information to the students who are most at-risk of losing eligibility for aid.
With the Pathways search engine, we identified first-year students with low credit completion ratios and low credit accumulation. Then with an informational campaign, we encouraged these students to meet with a financial aid counselor to evaluate their eligibility. We strategically completed the initiative during add/drop so that students could make changes to their Spring semester. As a result, some students added credits to their Spring course load which we hope will put them in a better position to maintain financial aid eligibility without the extra costs of taking summer classes.
Pathways made it easy to find the nearly 100 at-risk students and gave us the tools to provide them with valuable information that could affect their financial aid eligibility.
— Kristin Helms, Academic Counselor, Academic Success Center
"Here in SCI, we were fortunate to be able to adopt Pathways as part of the development of our new Advising Center. During a time of transition that could have been confusing for students, we were glad to offer them a system that made their advisors so easily accessible.
I have especially appreciated the campaign feature, and the sync with my Outlook calendar. I can target specific student groups, invite them to schedule an appointment, and they are provided with my accurate and up-to-date availability. I also maintain general availability, so students can schedule an appointment even if they aren’t in a campaign. Either way, I never have to worry about scheduling conflicts!
We are excited to learn more about what Pathways can do, and continue integrating it into our practice".
— Rachel Parkes, Undergraduate Academic Advisor, School of Computing and Information
"Pathways makes scheduling advising meetings easy. All I need to do is link my Outlook calendar to Pathways, set the available times I want to have meetings, and it’s ready for students to schedule with me. I can use Pathways to send out emails for advising meetings or even have students sign up for drop-in hours. Best of all, when students schedule a meeting with me, Pathways automatically sends out a meeting reminder -- the first semester I used Pathways to schedule my advising meetings was the first semester I had zero no shows!"
— David Hornyak, PhD, Assistant Dean, Honors College
"I have responsibilities related to the administration of Academic Advising, and Pathways not only has helped me with easier appointment scheduling and documentation, but now I am also beginning to explore reporting functions that help me track our appointments, cancellations, and advisement reports for our unit. Feedback about Pathways from our advising team has been very positive, and using the software has been straightforward and easy. I look forward to learning more about what it can do as we continue to move past our first year and become more seasoned users."
— Jill G. Harvey, MEd, Associate Director & Coordinator of Advising, First-Year Engineering Program, Swanson School of Engineering
"I was fortunate enough to be part of the Pathways pilot group during my first year as a full-time Academic Advisor fresh out of graduate school. The campaign function made my life so much easier. I was able to input my availability which synced seamlessly with my Outlook calendar, so I never had to worry about double-booking myself. Pathways created automated lists of which of my students had already scheduled appointments and allowed me to send reminder notifications in bulk to the students who had not yet scheduled an appointment with me. Pathways also kept track of which of my appointments were missing advising notes so I could go back in and add my notes at a later time. With an advising load of 160+ students, I am extremely thankful that I had a tool to monitor each of these moving parts for me. The time this software saved me was time I could use to better serve my students."
— Abby Kincaid, MEd., Academic Advisor, First-Year Engineering Program, Swanson School of Engineering
"In general, the Pathways software has definitely helped me as an advisor to stay organized and document the interactions I have had with my students. After a large number of students were added to my advising case load, I was able to use the notes the previous advisor entered in Pathways to become informed about the students. Also, the software gave my students the autonomy—and the responsibility—to schedule an appointment with me when they needed me. This gave the students a chance to learn when they needed me, but also know that there was someone there to help.
In one specific instance, the Pathways tool helped me to keep documentation of the interactions I had with a student who was struggling academically during the semester. Using the case/alert functionality, I was able to contact the student’s resident director, who was able to have the resident assistant check in with the student. I was also able to add reminders and notes for the different interactions the student had with me. It was helpful to have multiple checkpoints. Plus, I was able to use the system to schedule appointments with the student when I knew we were both available, rather than having to email back and forth several times."
— Devin Kiska, MEd, Academic Advisor, First-Year Programming Office, Swanson School of Engineering
"When my predecessor was here, she spent the majority of her day on three things: transfers, processing declaration forms, and manning the front desk. A large portion of her day was devoted to transfers. She told me before she left that she spent anywhere from four to six hours on transfers—primarily because she was trying to contact them via phone. I experienced that for a short time before creating a [Pathways] campaign for transfer students to schedule their appointments. Now, I spend about an hour each day on transfers. That’s a savings of three to five hours a day! Campaign’s work!"
— Margaret J. Schneider, Assistant Director, Advising Center, The Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences
"Pathways was a huge help for me this past school year. I work with two different student bodies and Pathways really assisted me in separating the two. Previously, I was only able to do this using different excel spreadsheets. Using Pathways, I was able to keep my student bodies under different watch lists. I could then use the sort function, notes section, schedule function, and much more to not only keep track of these students, but to ensure I was obtaining all of the information that I needed to help them.
Overall, I was impressed with how easy the system was to use. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to 'pick up' pathways, but I got the hang of it very quickly. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to continue using it!"
— Kaitlyn Washko, Academic Advisor, First-Year Engineering Program, Swanson School of Engineering