A Tarleton State University academic advisor, Diane Rodriguez, has received one of three national Advising Excellence Awards from the Education Advisory Board.

Nominated by Tarleton’s Student Success and Multicultural Initiatives (SSMI) area, Rodriguez was selected by EAB for her exemplary commitment to students and integration of EAB technology into her work.

The university uses EAB’s Student Success Collaborative (SSC@Tarleton) technology, an academic communication and advising tool to help students succeed scholastically, improve study habits, stay on track and graduate on time.

The technology makes it possible to customize automated text messages to fit the needs of individual students. Academic success coordinators, like Rodriguez, send just-in-time reminders for academic advising appointments and tutoring sessions, as well as notices to apply for financial aid.

“As an academic communicator, Rodriguez incorporates marketing messages to craft ‘action item’ campaigns through SSC@Tarleton with A/B testing to discover the most effective types of messages,” said Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, SSMI assistant vice president. “She works tirelessly to develop campus-wide campaigns to reach all students, especially first-generation, Pell eligible and those from underrepresented ethnic populations.”

This semester, Rodriguez developed numerous academic communication campaigns, including a three-day, campus-wide early alert initiative resulting in 2,699 alerts from Tarleton faculty. She also launched a 24-hour advising campaign for students in developmental education courses, resulting in 175 students scheduling advising appointments.

As an SSC@Tarleton facilitator, Rodriguez hosts in-person training sessions and helps faculty incorporate EAB technology like early alerts for their students.

Dr. Teresa Davidian, executive director of Academic Advising, said, “Through SSC, students receive a reminder to attend the advising appointments they scheduled through the software. Our attendance rate at academic advising sessions has increased significantly.”

Tarleton is one of only four Texas A&M University System institutions to use the Student Success Collaborative tool. On Friday, Dec. 1, Tarleton hosts a drive-in conference, the Texas Student Success and Technology Meetup, in Fort Worth.

This meetup will include individuals like Rodriguez who use the technology on a daily basis and who seek to develop best practices in communicating with students.