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.


The Stars 2.0 platform is an academic advising platform that allows advisors to access student academic information from a variety of WSU databases including Banner and Degree Works. The platform stores advising, tutoring, Banner, and other administrative notes within student profiles. It is also a communication tool and an appointment system that allows for advising and other student success appointments, drop-in advising, and appointment campaign initiatives. Finally, Stars 2.0 is a reporting tool that allows advisors to run, and save, searches and lists within the WSU student population using a wide variety of academic and student success criteria. In this way, advisors can identify populations within their advising caseload to target for support.

Access to Stars 2.0 must be requested through the advisor's Business Affairs Officer according to department protocol. Stars 2.0 is supported by a dedicated WSU website and email address ( for questions and support. Advisor training resources can be found on the advisor help center page. Additional training information can be requested through the Advisor Training Academy (ATA) by contacting Kate Bernas,

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."

Slate and Xtender

Slate is a Customer Relationship Management tool designed and developed exclusively for higher education to be the solution that can handle the breadth and depth of modern admissions and advancement. Slate enables users to review all applications, relationships, test scores, materials and interactions from a unified platform. Often advisors need to review transcripts before they are evaluated by transfer credit or at any point prior to matriculation. Xtender is the function within the Banner platform that allows advisors to access transcripts for matriculated students once they have been scanned and processed. Access information and walkthroughs on how to locate transcripts can be found below.

Slate - Remote advisors will need access to Slate when working with newly admitted FTIACs or transfers from other schools. Complete for advisors access only.

Xtender - The Xtender tool in Banner will allow advisors to retrieve imaged transcripts for transfer student admits. Access is generally included with advisor Banner access. 

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 Dennis Schwartz,, 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