CMU Streamlines Communication and Reporting with Advocate

 In Student Conduct

Central Michigan University (CMU) is a public, research-intensive institution with over 20,000 students. Of those 20,000 students, over 35% live on college-owned, operated, or affiliated housing. For more than 10 years, Symplicity has helped CMU manage, track, and streamline its reporting as it handles over 1,000 student conduct cases every year from roommate conflicts, Title IX incidents, to housing code violations reported by residential life. CMU’s campus community depends on Symplicity Advocate to ensure that student affairs are being handled both on and off campus.

Highlights:

  • CMU’s CARE Team, comprised of staff, actively utilize Advocate’s CARE Network module across campus to proactively handle student conduct cases across campus and departments.

  • Residential Life staff members utilize Advocate to file daily reports which, if an incident or violation has occurred, then automatically notifies the appropriate area director to follow up.

  • CMU has been a proud Symplicity partner for over 10 years.

Communication Through the CARE Network

Advocate is used by CMU’s unique CARE Team, a small group of staff and faculty that meet throughout the academic year to “help develop individualized plans to support students who are struggling or having a difficult time.” The group is comprised of representatives from all aspects of a student’s lifecycle: Residence Life, CMU Police, Office of Student Conduct, Student Disability Services, Counseling Center, Veterans Resource Center, Sexual Aggression Services, Athletics, Office of Student Success, and the Office of Student Affairs. Using Advocate’s CARE Network module has allowed the CARE Team to accurately track contacts, meeting notes, and capture data on students that previously would have gotten lost. This allows for the CARE Team to provide early intervention and proactively identify students who need support. In addition, student athletics, hearings officers, disability services, ombudsmen office, residential life professionals, and others all have access to various aspects of Advocate that allows for full communication across the entire campus and improving the campuses record management by being able to document everything which enables CMU’s staff to connect the dots when handling a student incident.

“The CARE Team has been utilizing all of the CARE actions and tracking all of the contacts in terms of the type of notes that we’re putting in there. They’re capturing a lot of data that used to be a very basic report. Now they can go back and track how many times someone needs to contact a staff member and what the primary concerns are.”

Joe Finney
Assistant Director of Student Conduct, Central Michigan University

Residential Life

While Advocate is used by CMU’s CARE Team to proactively handle student conduct cases, CMU’s residential life team is the biggest user of Advocate. Student residential assistants (R.A.s) conduct their nightly campus rounds across all four of CMU’s areas and are responsible for filing incident reports. R.A.s enter their reports, file notes, and documents into the system each night. If an incident report is filed the information in the report is automatically disseminated to the right people that need to contact and meet with the students, notes from meetings are uploaded, and a violation is able to immediately be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for further action.

“It does everything that we need it to do… Being able to just to pull up that student profile and see: Are there any incident reports? Are there any sanctions? Are there any CARE reports? Being able to see all of the information related to a student enables staff members to take necessary action quickly and efficiently.”

Joe Finney
Assistant Director of Student Conduct, Central Michigan University

Streamlined Reporting

CMU is able to rely on Advocate for unmatched reporting for campus data used for federal reporting requirements. For filing Clery Act reports, Advocate has been a game-changer for CMU where they use the federal reporting module to automatically track necessary reporting required annually by the Department of Education. Additionally, using the quick notes feature in Advocate, CMU is no longer stuck copying and pasting emails and documents from one system to another which Advocate eliminates by housing everything in one place from emails, tracking, incident reports, code violations, etc. The ease of Advocate means that CMU has more accurate information for the school and office to utilize.

“The more information we put in [Advocate] gives us more accurate picture of what is really going on with the student. If a student has incident reports and they have CARE reports, that affects how we respond and where we need to direct the student to. Advocate does a good job of keeping all stakeholders updated and involved.”

Joe Finney
Assistant Director of Student Conduct, Central Michigan University

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