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How Colleges Use Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) to Transform Student Support

By: Melinda Mechur Karp, Hoori Santikian Kalamkarian, Serena Klempin & Jeffrey Fletcher

This paper examines technology-mediated advising reform in order to contribute to the understanding of how colleges engage in transformative change to improve student outcomes. The authors conceptualize transformation as occurring along three interrelated dimensions of organizational functioning—structural, process, and attitudinal—and identify conditions that encourage or discourage transformation using pre/post data from six colleges deploying integrated planning and advising for student success (iPASS).

Three of the six colleges made steps toward transforming their student support delivery. Four contextual features appear to underpin colleges’ likelihood of transformative reform: technology and vendor relationships, reform vision and rationale, leadership, and the college’s orientation toward student success. These findings support Karp and Fletcher’s (2014) hypothesis that technology is necessary but not sufficient for transformation, and that project-level and organizational factors are perhaps more important. Moreover, technology can spur substantial institutional change, but only under certain circumstances.