Colleges and universities are trying to re-employ alumni by targeting new students at the same time.
While both two-year and four-year institutions respond to post-epidemic enrollment reductions, they face the challenge of recruiting and retaining students based on a new academic, financial and social dynamics.
Colleges and universities are trying to re-employ alumni at the same time, targeting new students, meeting current needs, and citing a variety of reasons why students are now considering higher education.
The bottom line is that there is no room for error in student retention – especially for community colleges and small private institutions. Managers are more focused on creating more time and resources.
However, flexibility is important in trying new programs and introducing small courses, as institutional leaders adapt to the needs and wants of students while maintaining strong academic programs and practices.
To balance between forecasting and variability, institutions must use all available information on campus in new ways to support student needs and decision-making. This may include identifying which courses or collections are most relevant to students and the institution, and which are at lower margins or lower than expected learning outcomes or which are of major interest.
The information now includes more than student feedback and can be used to collaborate faculty and staff to think of improvements or make other adjustments. While improving courses and curricula is not new, these types of information-based insights can help speed up the process by showing where you focus more power.
Institutions can use the following information-based best practices to continuously develop and improve recruitment and retention benefits.
Intentional structure of student experiences
Do institutions intentionally treat opportunities based on individual student needs, upbringing, and past experiences while monitoring student travel through the lens?
This approach provides a more personalized student experience, which helps to maintain and encourage success.
Gathering information on the facility eliminates barriers to helping students explore previously unfamiliar relationships and identify ways to go about it. A key component is the ability to demonstrate how experiences relate to both the academic path and the career path.
By helping students understand these ways, institutions are preparing them for life after graduation. Pathways available to any student are identified by information from other students and the current environment: they make decisions easier from the student’s perspective when choosing courses, curricula, and more.
Institutions should consider advanced analytics in order to better understand the level of student exit risk before advising educators and others. Examining key points in the student’s life cycle can help identify which students are actively participating on campus, doing well in school, and having a social network, and who are struggling to find their way.
Institutions can help students succeed through a combination of analytics and guided pathways. Using that information can also help with overall institutional goals based on historical trends and today’s labor market needs.
Examine learning outcomes and operations
Think about whether an institution can compare course evaluation information, enrollment trends for courses and classes, achievement of learning outcomes, and other adjustments to see where it will help students and the institution.
Remote sound? It’s really the data of today – the challenge is to bring that data together in a meaningful way. Such information is usually stored in silos, but is not required.
Combining course and learning outcomes with the cost of the program and faculty placement information will help to improve student experience and identify possible adjustments to reduce academic costs.
By examining these types of data communications, institutions can gather insights into which courses are most or least profitable, high or low levels of students, and other key aspects of academic student experience that can help better inform academic adjustments. Changing gift caps, adjusting the course curriculum, and more.
Keep inventing information to drive strategies
As institutions seek to develop their approaches to recruitment, academic delivery and overall participation with post-epidemic, continuous innovation is essential. Of course, this includes some risks, which are more urgent in a difficult budget situation.
However, as many institutions are now on the verge of becoming financially viable, unplanned strategies and risks often reduce tolerance. Here, information can be more predictable in the process and introduce new ideas to smaller but influential pillars.
For example, an institution that tries to re-employ students who are not enrolled for the next semester may not be able to do so, so it will provide better services by attracting student participation information to identify students who are less likely to re-enroll. However, as soon as he is involved in the campus, he will benefit from additional investment from the administrators.
Being able to quickly analyze this type of personal information will enable institutions to move the needle confidently without the need for radical change – thus improving the overall academic student experience – and driving a strong foothold in this new high-altitude environment.
As post-epidemic institutions explore the next stages of student engagement, analyzing the various combinations of existing data sets within the institution can help identify key insights that will enable institutions to focus on developing a better overall student experience.
Jedi White is the Chief Product Officer and Mirco Widenhorn is the Director of Strategic Participation Strategies in Anthropology, a provider of higher education solutions.