Isn’t Student Success, in the end, about getting a degree? If so, then why are some Universities and Community Colleges focused on relationship management? Account representatives are for professional sports organizations. But higher ed? Nah…
Well in the article TTU recommits to student success, Tennessee Tech University is noting the link between Student Success and relationship management. According to TTU’s Retention Services director, “The university is adding as many as a dozen professional advisers this spring. When the class of 2018 attends summer orientation, those advisers will help them register for their first semester and on, throughout their academic careers. One of the keys to retention is that students are going to feel more confident if they build a relationship with someone and have a clear path to their goal early in their college experience. That builds security and it shows that Tech really cares that you succeed here.”
This is about a University that has asked itself what drives Student Retention and Success? Part of the answer was having dedicated resources that are focused on getting to know students and develop relationships over time with those students so that needs are met, issues are addressed, goals are achieved, and progress toward success is made.
Educational organizations cannot create Student Success with a speech or by wishing that it happen. There must be a relationship development process designed that is an integral part of the strategy and includes dedicated resources. Relationship Management strategies in any organization typically include four key phases:
- Getting to Know the Student – Preferences, retention drivers, satisfaction, involvement levels, etc.
- Communicating with the Student – Setting up year-round Touch Point Plans to develop and nurture relationships with clients.
- Retaining the Student – Applying your knowledge of their retention drivers to address what would make them remain and succeed…or leave.
- Growing with the Student – Identifying and acting on ways to grow your relationship with them and continue it post-graduation.
Create a Student Success strategy that incorporates dedicated resources and relationship management.
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