One of the major challenges institutions face today is students dropping out of the university mid-way. With a 66.2% retention rate in 2021, it is clear that students are facing significant issues that need to be resolved at the earliest. Therefore, institutes have started investing in student success coaching programs to help students develop life skills. These programs also aim to identify students' needs and define their pathways to success.
A study showed that the students who were assigned a coach were 4% more likely to stay enrolled for the entire two academic years. Hundreds of institutions of higher learning have coaching models in place today, with varying purposes, infrastructure, and frameworks to cater to students’ evolving needs.
Student success coaches are professionals who help students identify their goals, work on action plans, and solve problems, to enhance their chances of success. They do this by conducting purposeful and strategic inquiries about students' experiences to develop a personalized plan that focuses on their current and future goals.
When the pandemic pushed students to drop out of their colleges, 25 colleges introduced the re-enrollment campaign by joining hands with student success coaches. These coaches brought in 3000 students to re-enroll for the Summer and Fall 2021 semesters. This shows how coaches can significantly benefit students by providing guidance at the right time.
With so much uncertainty today, institutions need to develop ways to maintain student retention and enhance their success. With initiatives like student success programs, they aim to guide students in the right direction. However, these programs must be directed in a certain manner to get the desired results.
Recruitment of a diverse and adaptable cohort of coaches by institutions can ensure students get proper and consistent support in every aspect of their journey. Studies show that students with the same coach for their entire study duration experienced a 12% increase in credential completion. Institutions can also leverage data to monitor students’ progress, intervene wherever needed, and improve processes.
Apart from this, coaching should be a recurring process in universities to keep students on track with their goals while helping them acquire skills and enhance learning.
Technology is revolutionizing every area of the education sector. As a result, universities are adopting technology-mediated coaching to support students. Student success coaches have shifted to personalized and proactive coaching by analyzing real-time data of students.
AI-powered tools are also helping student success coaches mitigate redundant tasks. For example, there are many students who ask the same questions. So, universities are investing in tools that help coaches answer routine questions more quickly by analyzing the questions and gathering data from student databases. This allows the coaches to focus on complex issues of students, making the process efficient.
Similarly, coaches use these tools to identify the best teaching practices, provide information to students at any given time, and many such processes.
iSchool360 has developed a predictive model that helps universities gauge students’ strengths and weaknesses. This AI-backed tool provides insights that enable them to guide students on the right path.
It is an end-to-end student success planner starting from enrolment to graduation and finally employment. The tool informs universities about the students with the highest chances of enrolment in their institution. It is linked with universities’ LMS or the software they use to get the students' details. They analyze factors such as socioeconomic fit, academic status, institution perception, and professional experience and apprise the universities about each student's low, medium, and high chances of enrolment. The tool also provides suggestions for students on how they can strengthen their profiles to enhance their chances of admission.
With the graduation and employment bit, iSchool360 provides insights into the enrolled students by analyzing their behavior, attendance, etc. They consider factors including academic excellence, student motivation, institution perception, and socioeconomic fit to measure their performance and chances of graduating. Using these insights, universities can pay special attention to students who lag in certain areas and need help rather than focusing on every student equally. They can also give students upskilling suggestions to be relevant in the industry and step up the ladder of success.
This tool has helped universities increase their enrolment conversion rate by 12%. The institutions also noticed the candidate engagement and satisfaction rate increasing by over 36% with this tool.
The evolving needs of students have led institutions to employ success coaches in an attempt to enhance retention and graduation rates. It has undoubtedly worked as post-success coaching data for a university shows the satisfaction rate of students at 97% who met their success coaches. Moreover, the advancement in technology has enabled universities to create tailor-made programs and fill the gaps quickly wherever needed.