Proactive Student Support Starter Kit

A step-by-step workflow for delivering holistic advising & student services at scale

You know proactive, holistic support is the right approach. Still, poor visibility into student needs, capacity constraints, and disconnected student services make it challenging to consistently deliver this level of service. Your student success teams need the right information and integrated tools to quickly identify student needs and diversify engagement.

Regardless of the advising and support service model, we’ve observed that Civitas Learning partners are most successful at scaling proactive support when implementing a data-activated workflow. Advisors and student success professionals use analytics and engagement tools to segment and tailor strategies to create transformative interactions with students.

Here, we share a step-by-step process your student success teams can use to provide the proactive services they strive for.

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– Step One –

Organize Outreach Efforts Based on Immediate Student Needs

The first step to implementing a proactive workflow is using up-to-date, actionable insights to “signal” which students require immediate support.

Early and efficient identification of struggling students is critical to effective student engagement and improved retention. Advisors and success professionals need real-time information to identify which students need assistance and when.

Actionable analytics enable you to move beyond one-size-fits-all services driven by the registration cycle. Instead, real-time insights like changes in persistence likelihood from last week allow advisors to organize their outreach efforts based on more immediate needs rather than demand throughout the term.


Explore how your team can consistently monitor all students, easily identifying those in immediate need, and better organizing proactive outreach with the Civitas Learning Advising Dashboard.

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– Step Two –

Communicate with Students in Ways that Resonate

The next step is to connect with students by selecting resonant communication channels and well-crafted messages that match specific needs.

Despite best intentions, getting students to seek help before it’s too late can be tricky. If those who need help don’t seek support or respond to outreach, it becomes nearly impossible to support them. To overcome students’ hesitation about asking for help, you need various ways to connect with students who need support.

Managing multiple modes of communication across a large student caseload can be difficult without the right tools. In a data-activated workflow, intelligent case management tools help manage and track diversified student outreach. For instance, advisors might use a one-to-many approach like general nudge campaigns to reach students who are likely to persist. In comparison, students with a lower likelihood of persisting might benefit from more personalized interventions like direct phone calls.


Find out how your team can craft timely messages that match specific student needs using integrated communication capabilities within the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform.

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– Step Three –

Diversify Meetings to Boost Student Engagement

The third step in a proactive workflow is to make accessing help easy by offering a variety of meeting styles and modalities.

Busy schedules and competing commitments can make finding time to attend a meeting difficult. Advisors and student success professionals can help their students balance life and learning by making accessing the support they need to succeed as easy as possible.

Capacity constraints and poor visibility into student needs can make it nearly impossible to offer individualized service. In combination with analytics, intelligent case management capabilities enable you to tailor support to differing student needs. Engaging throughout the term and interacting multiple times across different modes creates time for proactive support. For instance, students likely to persist might benefit from group services, while students with a lower likelihood of persisting might need personalized interventions like one-to-one meetings.


Find out how to remove barriers to student appointments by offering meeting modalities that fit students’ complex needs and schedules using the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform’s integrated calendaring capabilities.

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– Step Four –

Prepare for Meaningful Interactions with Holistic Context

The fourth step in a data-activated approach is to prepare for student interactions with comprehensive information and insights.

One appointment is barely enough time to assist with course registration, let alone uncover a student’s story to provide holistic support. In a proactive approach, all relevant information is easily accessible in one place to inform guidance. Comprehensive information gives advisors and student support professionals a complete picture of the student’s journey. It also preserves precious time by limiting the effort spent collecting disparate information across multiple systems.

Access to all relevant information, such as academic background, current engagement, related notes, and faculty alerts, enables meaningful discussion with students. Uncovering and documenting the student’s story in one place enables professionals to work together to wrap services around the student. For example, analytics cannot reveal that a student was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Still, they can surface a change in behavior and signal a need for immediate support. Intelligent workflow tools allow professionals to uncover what’s happening in the student’s life and connect them to the appropriate resources.


Find out how easily accessing comprehensive information and insights in one place enhances human intelligence and professional experience to help students in transformative ways.

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– Step Five –

Providing Ongoing Student Support at Scale

In the final step of a proactive student support workflow, advisors and other professionals use intelligent case management systems to provide sustained engagement.

One interaction rarely fully resolves a student’s questions, concerns, or underlying challenges. Instead, ongoing follow-ups are often necessary for many students. Capacity constraints and poor visibility into the student experience can make it challenging to provide the ongoing services most students need, especially for those without assigned caseloads.

Establishing ways to deliver ongoing engagement can be difficult in many student success systems without centralized views or reminders. In a data-activated approach, integrated capabilities like static groups and unified notes enable progress tracking and strategic engagement throughout the term. For example, professionals can use static groups to track students fit for a leadership opportunity. Unified note-taking systems provide centralized information as students interact with different faculty and staff. This context gives immediate insight into student behaviors, like following through on recommended actions or campus referrals.


Explore how your team can easily keep track of students in need of ongoing support throughout the term with the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform’s static group capabilities.

Empowering Student Success Professionals to Be Proactive

Effective advisors and student success professionals have the power to impact students significantly. However, they often face barriers like capacity constraints and poor visibility into which students need help that prevent them from reaching the right students at the right time. With access to actionable student success analytics and integrated workflow tools, advisors, career counselors, success coaches, and other professionals gain visibility and capacity to effectively support all students along their academic journey. Ready to have a consultative conversation about empowering your student success teams to deliver proactive support?

Get in Touch
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Applied Practice: Organize Your Team to Deliver Proactive Student Support at Scale

This live webinar discusses putting a five-step framework into practice to implement and scale a proactive support strategy.

This interactive conversation shares approaches for using student data and designing workflows to create capacity while reaching the students who need it most. We also share how some institutions have applied this framework using the Civitas Learnings Student Impact Platform to improve student outcomes.

Watch On-Demand