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Community College Taps Open Source Software for Student Success

Stanly Community College is using Student Success Plan (SSP), open source case management software from Unicon, to better engage at-risk students and promote student success. The Albemarle, NC, institution serves 10,000 curriculum, continuing education and basic skills students.

SSP is a set of academic planning and advising tools designed to improve retention, academic performance, persistence, graduation rates and time to degree. Using the My Academic Plan (MAP) tool, advisers can build a course schedule with their students to help them stay on path toward program completion or a degree. SSP can be used with any targeted population of students, such as at-risk students or athletes.

Unicon integrated SSP with Stanly's Moodle learning management system, allowing faculty and staff to send early alerts about students who may be struggling. The alerts include reasons and recommendations to guide the appropriate intervention staff. The Early Alert tool also provides a feedback loop to the originator to encourage long-term engagement. Because SSP is open source software, SCC can customize the system as needed.

"We are pleased with the positive results we are seeing with the Student Success Plan," said Joel Allen, vice president for information technology services at the college, in a press release. "SSP will help our students meet their academic goals by removing obstacles and enabling an early alert system so intervention staff knows when students are at risk."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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