Advising with Canvas at MCLA


MCLA has developed an innovative use of our online course management system, Canvas, to build online communities for advising. The result? Our retention rates are rising as we continue to use this powerful method to support student achievement while we develop and maintain deep and sustained advising relationships with students.

According to Monica Joslin, dean of Academic Affairs, "Using tools and spaces designed for academic coursework, advisors participating in this pilot program have expanded their points of contact with advisees, making advising an everyday part of students' college experience from their first semester through graduation."

In the first year alone, 100 percent of students who were advised through Canvas returned to campus, compared to a 75 percent return rate for students who were not advised in this manner. During the second year, we increased the number of faculty using Canvas for advising and saw a retention rate of 83 percent among participants, compared to 74 percent for non-participants.

To date, approximately 40 percent of MCLA faculty use Canvas for advising. We continue to track these promising rates with the aim to have all academic departments and majors represented in advising with Canvas, including undeclared students.