Online education has taken precedence worldwide, not only temporarily due to the COVID-19 new reality, but also because higher education institutions have realized the importance of meeting the needs of all types of students. As higher education institutions increase their online offerings, we need to take into consideration the importance of quality in online student support services, such as academic advising. Virtual advising is a way to provide vital, sensitive, flexible, and innovative services, which may support distance education students in achieving their educational goals. Implementing best practices of virtual advising will help break down the existing barriers of time and place faced by online learners. The appropriate use of online technology tools such as an advising portal can help students and advisors overcome the challenge of creating relationships in the absence of direct contact. To prevent feelings of isolation, reduce attrition rates, and boost retention, success, and graduation rates, the implementation of a virtual advising portal is highly recommended. Advisors should incorporate the various technology tools that can be found in an advising portal, as a connection between the students’ virtual realm and the higher education institution. The timely responsiveness and connection with an advisor promote a successful educational experience, making virtual advising a powerful retention tool.


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