Recruiting new students is more important in financially challenging times, but how can your admissions process do more to ensure your course is right for a student?
More attention is being given to the role of education providers in ensuring students are choosing the right course for them. With an impact on completion rates – and the lives of students – bolstering duty of care during admissions could set both students and educators up for success.
Here’s 8 ways you can increase the chance they make the right choice from the very beginning.
1) Give good quality information up front
Enable students to self-qualify before they go down the road of contacting you or applying for a course. Provide detailed, quality information on your website and in communications that clearly set expectations on everything from your course content to the learning and student experience.
2) Provide accurate insights about careers
Give students the gift of the latest information and data about their potential post-qualification career. By providing a combination of a future vision with realistic job prospects, you will give students a fuller picture about what employment opportunities and challenges are ahead.
3) Connect them with current or past students
Consider connecting your prospective students with current students or graduates who’ve had positive experiences. Potentially arranged one-on-one or in a scheduled group meet-ups online, this could help facilitate good decisions and allow students to glean insight from people like them.
4) Tap your industry networks and colleagues
You could extend this to linking prospects with actual professionals in your niche. While it might seem a bit too early at first glance, it would be a powerful demonstration of your commitment to students and your connections with industry, while giving practitioners a chance to ‘give back’.
5) Introduce them to the learning environment
Ensuring students are familiar with campuses, classrooms, workshops, social areas or even online systems through open day or orientation efforts prior to enrolment can further acclimatise students to the commitment they’re undertaking, and get them comfortable with the environment and tools.
6) Provide deeper levels of contact and support
Provide a trained and knowledgeable contact, available throughout a student’s decision-making process, who can provide a full range of information about your courses, services and the market, and that can provide student-centred feedback on related big decisions like student loans.
7) Use AI to assess their genuine commitment level
Leverage technology to assess the likelihood of student success. For example, ReadyTech offers a behavioural science analytics tool that can determine a student’s genuine level of course commitment. Along with quantitative data, such tools can provide more insight early.
8) Ensure they have the ability to complete the course
Ensure your policies and procedures for measuring minimum English language requirements are set at an appropriate level for your course, whether higher ed, CRICOS or RTO. To promote student success, ELICOS providers should ensure they test for literacy in a student’s first language.
The beginning is not the end…
The effort to support students doesn’t stop once they are enrolled. Best practice means extending your duty of care and support through the entire student journey, from regular check-ins and support (that could be supported by AI), to providing buddies, mentors and other services.
It also means being open to changing student needs. The reality is, some students will still find they have made the wrong decision, and may be under the misguided impression they need to ‘stick it out’. In this case, a change of course may be best option so they can pursue their next step in life.