Navigate Guidelines for Notes and Appointment Summaries


In the Student Success Collaborative Navigate platform, notes and appointment summary reports are recorded by faculty, professional advisors, athletic coaches, academic coaches and tutors in the Center for Academic Success and Accessibility Services, staff from the Summer Educational Opportunity Program, Residence Life, Veteran’s Affairs, Financial Literacy, and other university officials. All such university employees documenting in the Navigate platform will be referred to as “advisors” below. Further, all notes and appointment summary reports submitted in the Navigate platform will be referred to as “appointment summaries” below.

All student records maintained in the Navigate platform are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as part of students’ official university records. Academic records are property of the student, may be requested for review, and are subject to subpoena.

Family and Education Privacy Act (FERPA)

University officials may access student educational records via SSC Navigate if they are preforming one or more of the following:

  • A task related to a student’s education or discipline
  • A task pertaining to assigned duties at the University
  • Maintenance of security and safety on campus

For more information on FERPA, please see the U.S. Department of Education FERPA Guidance and Notices.

Comprehensive Reports Submitted in Navigate Offer the Following Benefits:

  • Provide a factual summary of an advising contact that occurs in person, via phone, or through electronic communication

  • Improve advising efficiency and effectiveness by documenting observations, interventions, and academic progress sequentially

  • Provide continuity to student advising experiences by helping advisors understand the advice a student has previously received

Sensitive Information

Academic advisors and support staff should exercise prudence and professional judgement when document topics that contain sensitive information. Subjects considered sensitive include disability, religious and/or political affiliation, perceived or disclosed sexual orientation, any medical diagnoses, or information that could be potentially detrimental to the student if it were revealed to a third party. If a student does disclose personal information of a sensitive nature, do not include the details in a note or appointment summary. Instead, write that “personal information” or “personal circumstances” were disclosed.

  • When recording information about conversations or interactions of a sensitive or personal nature, care should be exercised with the language employed; report academically relevant facts. Focus on steps already taken or steps that are necessary to address the circumstance. Do not diagnose, asses or offer judgement upon the student or circumstances.

  • When referring students to campus resources, always list the office(s) involved (e.g. Counseling Services, VPAS, Career and Professional Development, etc.) as this information can be used as a cue concerning the issues and a prompt for future follow-up or check-in. Indicate date when referred and if you called the office ahead of time, or walked the student over when applicable. Do not include information about why you are referring the student, simply just include that you referred them and to where.

  • Keep the records fact-based and if you are in doubt about what to include, it is always best to leave information out, than to include too much.

Meeting Contact Types

All meetings/contact with students should be documented and summarized to include any information that could potential assist current or future advisors and academic support staff in guiding the student to successful degree completion. This applies to meetings held both in-person and virtually.

All phone contacts should also be documented electronically. When writing an appointment summary, the advisor has the option to select a meeting type. Phone conversation is one choice. Phone contact of substance should be summarized, including general purpose and recommendations made within an appointment summary. If the phone contact was not that of a meeting, but a general record you would like to record, this information should be entered in a Note.

  • Emails of substance should be recorded in SSC Navigate. The date, topic and summary or a copy of the email communication should be included/attached to an appointment summary if the email contained meeting conversations. If the email conversation is just a general contact with the student, it can be recorded through a note.

  • In evaluating whether or not an email communication should be recorded, the same threshold of value or significance should be used for email as for regular appointment summaries/notes. If the information in the email communication has a bearing on the student’s progress towards their career/degree, it should be recorded.

General Guidelines

All substantial contacts with or about a student must be recorded electronically in Navigate either through a note or appointment summary. Appointment summaries should be used to document any type of scheduled/drop-in meeting with a student, whether that be via email/phone/in-person/virtual. Notes should be used to document any general record not associated with a specific meeting.

All notes and appointment summaries in SSC Navigate are accessible within the university system, so discretion should be exercised in this documentation.

  • When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Describe. Do not evaluate, judge or include your opinion in this documentation.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Do not include sensitive information (see ‘Sensitive Information’ section to determine whether or not your case falls into this area).
  • Leave out information that is not part of the educational record (i.e. law enforcement records, medical records, etc.).

When entering your appointment summaries/notes, assume others will read your reports and ask yourself:

  • Is this something you think the student would want other people to know during their academic endeavor at SCSU?
  • Is this something another advisor would need to know? Why?
  • Are the details in my reports based on fact and not self-perspective or hearsay?
  • Documentation of actions a student plans to take relating to academic progress

  • Documentation of actions taken by the advisor (e.g. permission submissions; catalog term changes)

  • Indication of specific university processes, policies and deadlines discussed with a student

  • Listing of recommended courses for upcoming registration periods

  • Indication that a student missed a scheduled advising appointment

  • Indication that a student was given their Alternate PIN for registration

  • Documentation of a referral to university resources (i.e. “Referred to Counseling”)

  • Personal life circumstances students report affecting their academic performance

  • Subjective statements or opinions about a student, behavior, or attitude

  • Specific financial records

  • Specific information/circumstances disclosed by students regarding the following areas:

  • Disability Resource Center or a student’s self-disclosed disability

  • Counseling Service or mental health concerns, on-campus or off-campus

  • Student Health Services

  • The Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center (VPAS), the Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) or the Title IX Coordinator

Examples of Effective Documentation in Navigate Reports

  • Discussed Good standing/warning/probation

  • Explained academic standing rules

  • Discussed strategies for calendaring, time management, and study tips

  • Identified upcoming deadlines

  • Discussed pros & cons

  • Discussed Implications of dropping or adding course(s)

  • Explained how to use and/or interpret

  • What if Analysis

  • Monitor current degree progress

  • Discussed LEP Tier 1-3 requirements, course sequences, prerequisites, co-requisites and requirements to complete degree program

  • Discussed post bachelor’s degree study intentions

  • Reviewed requirements for admission, Graduate Record Exams, deadlines, personal statements, and letters of recommendation

  • Determined status of degree requirements

  • Reviewed process to apply for graduation

  • Provided information about commencement ceremony

  • Discussed role of study abroad in professional, educational, personal development

  • Discussed courses to be taken while studying abroad

  • Discussed how courses taken abroad will apply to academic program

  • Referred to the Office of International Education

  • Discussed opportunities to complete courses during winter and summer sessions on campus and online

  • Discussed academic interests and majors

  • Identified courses in intended major

  • Referred to academic chairperson with contact information

  • Discussed admission requirements and application processes for specific majors

  • Completed Selection of Degree form

  • Referred to academic advisor

  • Discussed qualitative and quantitative requirements for maintaining financial aid eligibility

  • Discussed Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal process

  • Reviewed the SCSU Registrar’s Office webpage for the Transfer Equivalency Chart and Transfer credit approval form and process

Student Affairs
  • Discussed post bachelor’s degree plans

  • Referred to career services or relevant career resources

  • Reviewed resume and cover letter

  • Discussed role of pre-professional experiences in educational plan and resume development

  • Discussed role of involvement in professional, educational, personal development

  • Identified involvement opportunities to complement academic plan and personal interests

  • Discussed residence hall options, meal plans, credit requirements, and benefits associated with living on campus

Enrollment and Eligibility
  • Reviewed student bill/financial aid status

  • Discussed alternate options for funding for books and other course materials

  • Discussed application for Alumni Scholarships

  • Referred to campus financial advisor

  • Followed up on academic/financial/admissions/athletic hold(s)

  • Discussed process for readmission to SCSU

  • Reviewed Fresh Start program requirements

  • Discussed transition to SCSU

  • Referred to resources through the New Student and Sophomore Programs

  • Interpreted transfer credit equivalencies pertaining to degree and major completion

  • Discussed advantages and disadvantages of continuing at SCSU, reasons for transferring, and the process for withdrawing

  • Discussed process for withdrawal and requirements for readmission to SCSU