One-stop Information Shop Benefits Advisors and Students

American University of Beirut

Students

Faculty/Staff

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

The Challenge

Advisors at the American University of Beirut (AUB) wanted to improve the way they were serving their students, especially those with special needs. Specifically, they wanted to be able to set academic goals with students, ensure those goals were achieved, and provide confidentiality for any and all counselling that occurs along the way. They were using Banner CAPP for degree evaluation as well as the Banner 9 Advisor Profile tool, but realized they had additional needs that weren’t being met. Such needs included an intuitive interface, self-service capability, and the means to provide a more complete view of student information.

Regarding the complete view of student information, advisors wanted to be able to answer key questions to better identify and communicate with individual students (e.g. “Which students have low GPAs?”). Then, advisors required a method of incorporating notes from their appointments so that they could better engage with students and motivate them to use the Banner 9 Student Profile tool.

The Solution

The advisors determined they needed a one-stop information shop in order to counsel AUB students effectively. However, for the AUB IT department to develop an application to address this need, they would have had to acquire deep development experience in the Grails application framework, which would have taken a long time. This option would therefore have delayed the benefit to the AUB students.

So, to accomplish their goal, the American University of Beirut partnered with Naseej, a consulting partner of Evisions in the Middle East, to implement Argos as their enterprise reporting tool. AUB attended a Naseej presentation on Argos at an Ellucian users group conference in Dubai. Making it clear that Argos could bring together information from multiple places in Banner, Naseej explained how an Argos dashboard could include updatable fields. It was evident that Argos could facilitate better communication and could also be used to insert, update, and delete data from the Banner tables. These capabilities addressed AUB’s needs.

AUB worked closely with Naseej to determine the best way to take advantage of Argos’s capabilities and give advisors what they needed. Together, they decided to create a dashboard for those who counsel students, or what they call their Advisor Profile Dashboard.

With the Advisor Profile Dashboard in place, AUB advisors have the critical functionality they desired:

  • A more intuitive, uncluttered display of admissions info, academic history, and CAPP degree evaluation information for a given student
  • The ability to set specific goals for students and track them by category
  • The ability to filter groups of students for faster, more targeted communication
  • A tool for counselors to record and track communication with their counselees (either confidentially or via email) throughout the student’s life on campus

Also, students can now use the Student Profile Self-Service Banner 9 tool to communicate notes back to their academic advisors.

AUB’s technical staff appreciate Argos’s interactive forms, which enable the dashboard solution to update and store all that data in Banner, avoiding the need to maintain silos of information. Functional staff also appreciate being able see the Advisor Notes feature in the Self-Service Banner 9 Advisor Profile tool.

The collaboration among AUB, Naseej, and Evisions not only provided the university with a robust solution but empowered them to better serve their students.

Since I joined American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2012, I served as an academic advisor and experienced first-hand the issues related to advising. Despite the tremendous effort of the higher administration to improve advising, it kept falling at the bottom of all the surveyed student services at AUB. A key issue was the lack of a platform to monitor and track students’ performance over the years. The IT unit at the American University of Beirut suggested the use of Argos as a potential platform to solve those issues. During the 2019 Fall academic term, Argos-based advising tool was deployed. It provided access to a wealth of information which facilitated the work of advisors; it gave access to the academic records of students. It allowed advisors to be aware of any special needs their advisees might have and to keep record of their advising sessions. Probably one of the most significant benefits was the possibility to check the degree requirements in a user-friendly interface. Advisors were pleasantly happy with the new portal.
Pierre Karam

Assoc. Dean, Head of Advising

The unique partnership between AUB (business driver), Naseej (an implementation expert with experience in education services), and Evisions (a world-class higher education solution provider) resulted in just the right deliverable at the right time.
Walid El-Khazen

Associate CIO

I found the portal very useful. It provides access to all the information needed by advisors. Thank you.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Faculty of Arts & Sciences

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