WWC review of this study

Integrating Technology and Advising: Studying Enhancements to Colleges' iPASS Practices

Mayer, Alexander,Kalamkarian, Hoori Santikian,Cohen, Benjamin,Pellegrino, Lauren,Boynton, Melissa,Yang, Edith (2019). MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail: publications@mdrc.org; Web site: http://www.mdrc.org. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED597581

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    8,011
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: May 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

66.60

70.30

No

--
More Outcomes

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

24.70

25.20

No

--

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

43.00

44.20

No

--

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

41.60

42.10

No

--

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

35.80

35.80

No

--

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

15.90

13.70

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

44.80

49.50

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

9.50

11.30

No

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

32.80

33.50

No

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

15.60

15.90

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

23.70

24.20

No

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

32.40

32.30

No

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

26.60

26.20

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

6.90

6.40

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

17.00

15.70

No

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

52.10

49.20

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

19.60

17.20

No

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

10.90

9.10

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

23.40

22.89

No

--
More Outcomes

Registered in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

89.00

88.00

No

--

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

25.77

25.54

No

--

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

8.66

9.19

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

11.97

11.72

No

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

11.52

11.29

No

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

13.37

13.26

No

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

11.47

11.48

No

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

2.98

3.16

No

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

5.31

5.60

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 52%
    Male: 48%

  • Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
  • Race
    Black
    14%
    Other or unknown
    35%
    White
    51%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    17%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    83%

Setting

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) entails using technology to increase the amount of advising postsecondary students receive throughout their entire college experience. iPASS includes providing advice about career goals and challenges faced while in school. Advisors use iPASS technology to detect early warning signs of academic and non-academic challenges and intervene as needed. The study was conducted in three different postsecondary institutions: (1) California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), (2) the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), and (3) Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). Both Fresno State and UNCC are large four-year institutions, serve mostly full-time students, and have graduate schools. In contrast, MCCC is a two-year college located on two campuses in suburban Pennsylvania and about two-thirds of its students attend school on a part-time basis. The three institutions also differ with respect to the number of students who were awarded a Pell Grant at the time of the study: 27.5 percent of students at MCCC were awarded a Pell grant, whereas 37.3 percent of students at UNCC and 57.4 percent of students at Fresno State received this support.

Study sample

The study sample included 8,011 students who were randomly assigned to either an Enhanced iPASS group or an “unenhanced iPASS” group. Over half of the students in the total sample were White and less than one-fifth (14 percent) were Black. Seventeen percent of the overall sample was Hispanic. Fresno State is designated as a Hispanic-serving institution and nearly two-thirds (62.5 percent) of the participating students from Fresno State were Hispanic. Slightly over half of the total sample was female (52 percent). Approximately one-fifth of the students at MCCC and Fresno State were the first in their family to attend college.

Intervention Group

Students assigned to the Enhanced iPass group received two semesters of the program. Enhanced iPASS enables advisors to follow up with students as they progress through college, refer students to tutoring and other support services, and offer personalized guidance. Each of the three institutions had a slightly different approach when implementing Enhanced iPASS. Fresno State used early alert surveys completed by faculty, and required peer mentors to contact students who appeared to be dealing with challenges. Advising at Fresno State entailed mapping out educational plans, discussing strategies for staying on course to complete a degree, and addressing any early warning alerts. MCCC used Enhanced iPASS to reach students who were considered to be at-risk for not completing a degree program and who were not already required to meet with an advisor. MCCC included a faculty early alert survey, a student self-report on academic and non-academic issues that could affect their academic progress, and a career assessment. The UNCC model entailed first identifying at-risk students and then reaching out to them to offer advising support. Advisors held sustained communication with students and used a toolbox to guide advising sessions. UNCC's model also included early alerts, including notifying students in the program group if they were enrolled in a "critical progression" course for their majors. Finally, the UNCC model included both warnings and positive feedback, as appropriate, which were sent through the early alert system. The study includes two cohorts; however, this WWC review focused primarily on the first cohort since the second cohort had less intervention exposure at the time of the study.

Comparison Group

At all three institutions, students in the comparison group participated in "unenhanced iPASS," which included some of the same features as Enhanced iPASS, such as early alerts, and more advising than what is believed to be offered at a typical college. The “unenhanced iPASS” program was described as being less well-integrated, less consistently applied, and included fewer components than Enhanced iPASS.

Support for implementation

iPASS is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support postsecondary institutions with incorporating technology into advising and student services.

Reviewed: April 2020

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

66.60

70.30

No

--
More Outcomes

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

24.70

25.20

No

--

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

43.00

44.20

No

--

Cumulative - Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

41.60

42.10

No

--

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

35.80

35.80

No

--

Cumulative - Withdrew from any course over two semesters

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

15.90

13.70

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

44.80

49.50

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

9.50

11.30

--

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

32.80

33.50

--

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

15.60

15.90

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

23.70

24.20

--

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

32.40

32.30

--

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

26.60

26.20

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

6.90

6.40

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

17.00

15.70

--

--

Received a D or F in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

52.10

49.20

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

19.60

17.20

--

--

Withdrew from any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

10.90

9.10

--

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Registered in any course

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

89.00

88.00

No

--
More Outcomes

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

23.40

22.89

No

--

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

8.66

9.19

No

--

Cumulative Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

25.77

25.54

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

CSUF;
1,219 students

11.97

11.72

--

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

MCCC;
2,989 students

5.31

5.60

--

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

1 Semester

UNCC;
3,803 students

13.37

13.26

--

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

CSUF;
602 students

11.52

11.29

--

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

MCCC;
2,075 students

2.98

3.16

--

--

Total credits earned

Ipass vs. Ipass

2 Semesters

UNCC;
2,567 students

11.47

11.48

--

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 52%
    Male: 48%

  • Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
  • Race
    Black
    14%
    Other or unknown
    35%
    White
    51%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    17%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    83%

Setting

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) entails using technology to increase the amount of advising postsecondary students receive throughout their entire college experience. iPASS includes providing advice about career goals and challenges faced while in school. Advisors use iPASS technology to detect early warning signs of academic and non-academic challenges and intervene as needed. The study was conducted in three different postsecondary institutions: (1) California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), (2) the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), and (3) Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). Both Fresno State and UNCC are large four-year institutions, serve mostly full-time students, and have graduate schools. In contrast, MCCC is a two-year college located on two campuses in suburban Pennsylvania and about two-thirds of its students attend school on a part-time basis. The three institutions also differ with respect to the number of students who were awarded a Pell Grant at the time of the study; 27.5 percent of students at MCCC were awarded a Pell grant, whereas 37.3 percent of students at UNCC and 57.4 percent of students at Fresno State received this support.

Study sample

The study sample included 8,011 students who were randomly assigned to either an Enhanced iPASS group or an “unenhanced iPASS” group. Over half of the students in the total sample were White and less than one-fifth (14 percent) were Black. Seventeen percent of the overall sample was Hispanic. Fresno State is designated as a Hispanic serving institution and nearly two-thirds (62.5 percent) of the participating students from Fresno State were Hispanic. Slightly over half of the total sample was female (52 percent). Approximately one-fifth of the students at MCCC and Fresno State were the first in their family to attend college.

Intervention Group

Students assigned to the Enhanced iPass group received two-semesters of the program. Enhanced iPASS enables advisors to follow up with students as they progress through college, refer students to tutoring and other support services, and offer personalized guidance. Each of the three institutions had a slightly different approach when implementing Enhanced iPASS. Fresno State used early alert surveys completed by faculty, and required peer mentors to contact students who appeared to be dealing with challenges. Advising at Fresno State entailed mapping out educational plans, discussing strategies for staying on course to complete a degree, and addressing any early warning alerts. MCCC used Enhanced iPASS to reach students who were considered to be at-risk for not completing a degree program and who were not already required to meet with an advisor. MCCC included a faculty early alert survey, a student self-report on academic and non-academic issues that could affect their academic progress, and a career assessment. The UNCC model entailed first identifying at-risk students and then reaching out to them to offer advising support. Advisors held sustained communication with students and used a toolbox to guide advising sessions. UNCC's model also included early alerts, including notifying students in the program group if they were enrolled in a "critical progression" course for their majors. Finally, the UNCC model included both warnings and positive feedback, as appropriate, which were sent through the early alert system. The study includes two cohorts; however, this WWC review focused primarily on the first cohort since the second cohort had less intervention exposure at the time of the study.

Comparison Group

At all three institutions, students in the comparison group participated in "unenhanced iPASS," which included some of the same features as Enhanced iPASS, such as early alerts, and more advising than what is believed to be offered at a typical college. The “unenhanced iPASS” program was described as being less well integrated, less consistently applied, and included fewer components than Enhanced iPASS.

Support for implementation

iPASS is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support postsecondary institutions with incorporating technology into advising and student services.

 

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