Christy Riddle

Christy Riddle, Student Success Center, Executive Director

Use Automation To Enhance Success

  • Using technology to automate early alert systems can help increase retention and completion rates.
  • Patience and a thorough understanding of the institution’s needs are key when implementing a student success/ advisement application.

“The new system will enhance the efforts of academic advisors by providing readily available online data regarding their advisees, expand the tracking and monitoring capabilities of the Student Success team, and streamline campus-wide retention efforts.”

Stay Okra Strong. Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of the Student Success Center at Delta State University (DSU), says that this motto is the center of the retention-related technology advances on her campus. The Fighting Okra is DSU’s unofficial mascot, chosen because okra is a hard, prickly vegetable that has strong roots and stems. Shortened, the saying becomes SOS, an early alert when students struggle and might need a little extra help. “Anyone can alert someone. So, for example, if a student has missed three classes, a faculty member can submit an alert. Our SOS coordinator receives the alert, and then, depending on what the SOS is, determines how to follow up,” Riddle says.

This is an excerpt from The Future of Higher Education. The eBook was generously sponsored by Ellucian.