Advising tools

The systems described here are considered essential for advisor use. The access required for advising functions is described for each application. While basic training for use of these tools may be provided informally within the advising unit during a new hire's orientation, additional online training and guides are suggested here along with contact information for more structured training and support.

Advising Works

Advising Works is the WSU configuration of the Student Success Collaborative (SSC). It is a complete academic advising appointment system that allows for regular advising appointments, drop-in advising times, and specialized appointment "campaign" initiatives for unique groups of students. Advising Works contains student academic records and other critical information for use in advising appointments. In addition, Advising Works allows advisors to run searches within the WSU student population by various academic, socio-economic, or WSU-specific criteria. In this way, advisors can identify at-risk populations within their advising caseload to target for support.

Advising Works stores the academic advising notes and reports for all undergraduate students and allows for the use of "Alerts" to be issued for a student for specific reasons with the goal of providing the attention and support the student needs to persist at WSU. Advising Works is supported by a dedicated WSU website and email address ( for questions and support. An Advising Works Access Request Form can be found on the site to be used by advisors and other appropriate staff to request access. Training can be requested through the Advisor Training Academy (ATA) by contacting Kate Bernas,

Student Tracking Advising System (STARS)

STARS is a web application that allows advisors to conveniently access a student's academic information from a variety of WSU databases. It not only displays an unofficial version of a student's WSU academic record and transfer credit information, but it provides critical advising information from Banner, Testing, Early Academic Assessment, Academica, and the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), among others. STARS also stores the electronic record of advising notes and other administrative comments helpful in an advising session.

In addition to individual student profiles, advisors can also access the reports function of STARS to run aggregate data for college or departmental reporting or lists of enrolled or admitted students within certain populations for use in outreach or intrusive/proactive advising initiatives.  Past training presentations on various STARS functions can be found on the STARS homepage under "Stars Presentations."  Advisor access must be requested through the advisor's Business Affairs Officer according to department protocol.

Degree Works

Degree Works is degree auditing software that provides students with a powerful source of degree and graduation planning information.  In addition, it allows advisors to provide a clear outline of missing requirements, compare requirements and time-to-degree information for alternate plans, and assist in semester by semester planning of courses and prerequisites.  Most important of all, the efficiency of using Degree Works frees up time during appointments that can be used toward developmental advising and other relational aspects of the advising encounter.

All advisors are granted access to Degree Works which is accessed through the Faculty Instructional Resources on Academica. Links to multiple training documents and instructional videos for advisors can be found on the Advisor Information portion of the WSU Degree Works site.


Academica is Wayne State's portal for most WSU systems and services for employees and students including Wayne Connect, Blackboard, One Card, HR information, and financial aid and application status information for students. Advisors can also access student transcript information as well as Degree Works Advising. Academica also features a powerful social messaging tool for all of Wayne State.

Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) provides help for common asked Academica questions on their Knowledge Base support site under the "Administrative Services" category. Personal assistance can be provided through the C&IT help desk (313-577-HELP).


Banner is the database system used at Wayne State University to coordinate and manage student information and business processes throughout the University. Advising functions in Banner include course overrides (for approved courses), mandatory advising hold placement and releases (if appropriate), and the retrieval of archived WSU or non-WSU transcripts. Other Banner processes may be assigned as necessary for certain departments or schools/colleges.

Banner training is generally done within the advising unit during the on-boarding process. Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) also provides help for common asked Banner questions on their Knowledge Base support site under the "Administrative Services" category. Personal assistance can be provided through the C&IT help desk (313-577-HELP). Additional training can be found by looking in the Employee Resources menu on Academica and choosing "Other Resources" and then looking for Banner training sessions on "Training, Seminars, Workshops."

Noel Levitz

The Ruffalo Noel-Levitz College Student Inventory (CSI) is an online survey administered to entering freshmen prior to them beginning their college coursework. The 20 minute inventory is designed to assess non-cognitive indicators of student success along various scales and clustered in 3 areas:

  • Academic motivation
  • General coping
  • Receptivity to assistance and support

The survey also has questions related to student demographics as well as 15 that are specific to WSU. The goal of the CSI is to help identify incoming students, and groups of students, who are at risk with respect to the measured scales in order to provide them with the interventions they need to persist. 

Advisors who work with freshmen students can receive access to the students in the school or college in which they advise. Contact Ken Smith,, in the University Advising Center for assistance with this access. Training on the CSI is offered by request through the Advisor Training Academy. Contact Kate Bernas,, for training information.

University Advising Center