Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SupportNET helps strengthen campus communication

Monday, February 18, 2019
Screenshot of SupportNET logo from the website.

SupportNET is a new online program that connects Southeast students with faculty, staff and other services on campus such as the Writing Center and Textbook Rental.

Coordinator of online advising Leah Michel said she would describe SupportNET as software that helps the faculty and staff organize information to allow students to be successful — she said the program is a communication device to help everyone stay on the same page.

SupportNET automatically connects students to all of their professors through their online account, available through the student portal. According to director of advising Carol Heisserer, the faculty is able to sync their OneDrive calendars to their SupportNET accounts — this allows students to see when their professors are available to meet. Students are able to email their professors through SupportNET as well as find their office hours on the site.

According to the SupportNET webpage, Southeast is about to be entering Phase 3 in April, which includes expanding the use of its many features. Phase 1 of the program happened in August 2018 — it was then that the training for faculty and advisors occurred as well as the soft roll-out for the incoming freshmen. Phase 2 of SupportNET consisted of student success plans as well as introducing additional offices, departments and staff to the program, and it happened in December 2018.

Michel said she thinks SupportNET helps the faculty remain conscientious in taking steps to help students “and letting them know there are other teams like Student Support Services that are also here to help.”

She explained how faculty can raise a flag if a student is having psychological problems and refer them to Counseling and Disability Services, or refer a student is having trouble with their major or career choice to Career Services.

“So they’ve got those different tools that are easily available to them that they can refer to different departments so we can all help support the student together,” Michel said. “In a way, it’s kind of reducing the ‘Southeast Shuffle.’”

The Southeast Shuffle, Michel said, happens when a student is sent from one office to another typically due to a lack of communication.

The program has not been fully introduced to Southeast students. Michel said not everybody on staff is using the software since it’s not mandatory.

“It was deemed that if something was sent out to all students saying that this was available and their particular advisor was not using it that that was going to cause a lot of confusion,” Michel said.

One byproduct of the system, Michel said, is the professional advising center has gone paperless because of it, and while that is not the main purpose of SupportNET, she said it is a positive.

Heisserer said the program has helped streamline Academic Advising’s front desk operations due to its many features.

“It's a platform for all university employees that have a part in student services to communicate to the student and with each other,” she said.

To learn more about SupportNET, students can visit the webpage or contact the database administrator Verona Lambert for more info.

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