Early Warning Systems for More Effective Student Counseling in Higher Education – Evidence from a Dutch Field Experiment

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Abstract

Early Warning Systems (EWS) in higher education accommodate student counsellors by identifying at‐risk students and allow them to intervene in a timely manner to prevent student dropout. This study evaluates an EWS that shares student‐specific risk information with student counsellors, which was implemented at a large Dutch university. A randomised field experiment was conducted to estimate the effect of EWS‐assisted counselling on first‐year student dropout and academic performance. The results show that the EWS accurately predicts at‐risk students. Yet, EWS‐assisted counselling did not reduce dropout, nor improved academic performance. Solving the underlying problem of poor academic performance might require additional actionable feedback and recommended counselling practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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