The university relied on Platinum Analytics’ predictive capabilities to analyze their fall and spring schedules, and to guide course offerings and estimate likely fill rates. Ad Astra mined enrollment “snapshots” from ESU’s student information system and fed the data into Platinum Analytics so that the university could adjust course capacity in the schedule and registration progressed.
“Ad Astra’s real-time analysis of fill ratios down to the course and section levels allowed us to open more sections and accommodate more students immediately so they didn’t wait another semester for courses critical to their programs,” Brilhart said. The most critical bottlenecks were occurring in the sciences, where basic course requirements that serve many majors were in high demand year-round. “We knew we had capacity and access issues, but we weren’t sure where or to what extent,” Brilhart said. “The Platinum Analytics dashboards were critical in quantifying student needs and guiding us to possible solutions.”
REMOVING OBSTACLES AND INCREASING VELOCITY TO COMPLETION
With new data-driven scheduling recommendations, ESU was able to add new sections for overloaded courses and reallocate current resources for improved student access. Today, student demand and course supply are better matched at ESU, and enrollment ratios overall are at a manageable 88 percent, rather than the overloaded 92 percent.
Other highlights include:
• Average student credit hours are up 5 percent (from 13.37 to 14.04 credits per student.)
• Average graduation timelines have decreased by 5 percent (from 4.5 years to 4.3 years per student.)
Ad Astra’s key scheduling metrics from peer institutions (The Higher Education Scheduling Index) have provided benchmarks and measurable goals that guide each schedule planning session. Personal preferences and intuition are still discussed, but real data carries the most weight. “Platinum Analytics is helping to change our culture and perspectives on scheduling,” Brilhart said. “Student credit hours are up by five percent, which graduates our students at a faster rate. Now we have another good measure to tell us how we’re doing, and more importantly, how our students are doing.”