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Exploratory Advising Assessment


Mission Statement

Exploratory Advising (EA), a division of Student Affairs, assists students in actively exploring and identifying majors to match their career interests. EA strives to help facilitate a smooth transition to the appropriate Departmental Advising Office. This is accomplished through assistance in major/career exploration, individual and group advising sessions and workshops as well as with assistance from our highly skilled student Advising Aides.

To assist in the academic success of Exploratory, Aggie Prep, Pre-Business, and Pre-Health students, Exploratory Advising will:

  • Promote the purpose of general education.
  • Provide opportunities for critical self-reflection.
  • Facilitate major and career exploration by directing students to appropriate tools.
  • Cooridinate the Exploratory Advising Bridge Program and Aggie Prep Program.
  • Colloborate with Division of Student Affairs personnel to providing fitting referral services.

Exploratory Advising adheres to the guidelines identified by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) Advising Standards. As such, Exploratory Advising endorses the core values of responsible academic advising.

As a department within the Division of Student Affairs, Exploratory Advising abides by the professional competencies established by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Exploratory Advising Assessment Plan, 2017-2018
(Objectives and Learning Outcomes)
Assessment Tool
Data Source
Timeline Responsible
Map to
Division Goals
Exploratory Advising Center
Implement revisions to the process for students in less than good academic standing. The revisions include a shortened academic standing acknowledgment, positive nudges to aid in student success, mandatory advising appointments, and providing appropriate resources.
Secondary data review. Argos reports using Banner data. One to three months after end of term academic standing processing. Niki Weight
Stephanie Hamblin
Student Affairs Goals 1, 6, and 8
Develop an understanding of high credit Exploratory students in an effort to reduce the number of students in Exploratory with more than 45 earned credits. This will be accomplished by:
  • Identifying number of students with over 45 credits for each semester beginning Fall 2015 (semester center was renamed Exploratory Advising).
  • Surveying students with 45 or more earned credits to determine why they are still Exploratory
Secondary data review.
Student survey.
Argos reports using Banner data.
Students with 45 or more earned credits.
One to three months after end of term. Niki Weight
Stephanie Hamblin
Student Affairs Goals 1, 6, and 8
Exploratory Advising Bridge Program
Develop a communication plan between Exploratory Advising, Admission’s Office and students seeking readmission with regards to readmission referral process.
Focus group or survey. Representatives from Exploratory Advising, Admissions Office, and referral applicants. Summer 2018 Ryan Braeger
Stephanie Hamblin
Student Affairs Goals 1, 2 and 6
Aggie Prep Program
Create an annual report of the Aggie Prep Program to evaluate admission criteria for participants and success of the Aggie Prep Program. We will Establish Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 program cohorts and evaluate the following factors:
    • Demographic data
    • Admission Index, ACT, and High School GPA
    • Students admitted versus attended
    • Students met or not program requirements
    • Student GPA and academic standing at end of each term in program
    • Students who eligible, applied, and earned an Associate Degree
    • Students who have declared a major
    • Full time vs part time attendance
    • Enrollment in USU 1730 vs USU 1010
    • Campus location RC vs Logan.
    • Date of mandatory Aggie Prep Appointments
Secondary data review Argos reports using Banner data.
Appointment Manager data.
September 1, 2018 publication date. Niki Weight
Annette Petersen
Student Affairs Goals 2 and 6
Prehealth Advising
Develop written materials to supplement Prehealth workshops. Specifically, create an ‘Application Strategies’ packet with information for students applying to medical school.
Student survey. Prehealth students applying to medical school in their application year. June 2018 Yvonne Kobe Student Affairs Goals 1, 6, and 8

For 2016-2017, Exploratory Advising examined the graduation and retention rates of Exploratory (formerly Undeclared) students compared to students who entered the university with a declared major. Using the Fall 2011 first time, first semester freshman cohort attending at the Logan campus for the review, it was found that students who start as Undeclared had lower retention and graduation rates compared to students with a declared major. This data prompted additional analysis into tracking retention and graduation based on the time when Undeclared students declared their major. We found that Undeclared students who declared a major within their first year had graduation rates for a Bachelor degree comparable to the overall cohort graduation rate. See Table 1.

 table 1. Graduation Rates of 201140 Cohort Students that started undeclared

As part of this anylsis, we learned that students who began at the university as Undeclared changed their major less often compared to students who entered the university with a declared major. See Table 2.

 table 2. comparison of Major Changes between Student that start Declared vs Undeclared

Based on these findings, we conducted anaylsis on Exploratory students who met with an advisor in Exploratory Advising during the 2016-2017 academic year to identify why they were Exploratory. After these appointments, advisors provided data regarding why the student was Exploratory. These responses were categorized into eleven unique areas. See Chart 1. These results sparked a learning objective for the 2017-2018 academic year to develop an understanding of high credit Exploratory students in an effort to reduce the number of students in Exploratory with more than 45 earned credits.

 Chart 1. Why are you Exploratory? 2967 student interatctions

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the Aggie Prep Program coordinated by the Exploratory Advising Center implemented several programmatic changes to better implement the program goals and assist students in achieving success. These changes included

    • Passing grades for the required courses were clearly defined as:
      • English 1010: C- or higher
      • USU 1010/1730: C- or higher
      • Math/Stats course: C- or higher unless a general math course in which a D is considered passing
    • Students admitted into the program after Fall 2016, were required to maintain a 2.0 USU overall GPA to continue in the program.
    • The two semester mandatory advising appointment was only required for students if they received below a 2.5 GPA semester GPA during their first semester.
    • The notation “Mid-semester Check-in” used for the mandatory advising appointment was renamed to “Aggie Prep Advising Appointment.”
    • Admission into the Aggie Prep Program was restricted to new freshman or students transferring with less than 24 credits.
    • Students will no longer be transferred from the Aggie Prep Program into the Exploratory program.