tc columbia

Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS): State of the Literature

By Jeffrey Fletcher, Markeisha Grant, Marisol Ramos & Melinda Mechur Karp

This paper examines the current state of the literature on Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS), an increasingly popular approach to technology-mediated advising reform. The authors limit their analysis to 60 relevant documents that have been released since 2010 and categorize these items into four different groups based on their aim and rigor: (1) descriptive documents (39 items) that describe processes and challenges of iPASS implementation, (2) output reports (12 items) that examine usage data to better understand iPASS implementation, (3) correlational studies (5 items) that examine non-causal associations between different functionalities of iPASS tools and student outcomes, and (4) rigorous outcomes studies (4 items) that employ experimental or quasi-experimental methods to provide causal or near-causal estimations of iPASS-oriented interventions. iPASS is a relatively recent reform approach, and while few studies are available that rigorously evaluate its effects, early findings suggest that individual components of iPASS interventions may have a positive impact on student outcomes, including persistence and credit accrual. This paper also offers suggestions on how colleges can use non-causal research to support and improve iPASS.