Student success coaches use targeted texting to dig deep
Beyond acronyms, GIFs and emojis, text messaging is an ideal way to reach and connect with busy, on-the-go college students. This is especially true with online students, where the campus is virtual and keeping students connected is critical. And it can be a game changer for a student not fond of phone calls. As part of a strategic, coordinated and relationship-based communication program, texting offers convenience, personalized support and accessibility — serving as the basis for more in-depth support.
Texting as personal connection
For more than 20 years, InsideTrack coaches have been making one-on-one personal connections with students at every phase of their journey. And nowhere is that more evident than with text-based support. We are human-powered with communications that are tech-enabled, providing the best of both worlds.
As InsideTrack coaches will tell you, while texts are traditionally used for snippets of informal conversation, they can also be an effective way to communicate with college students with packed schedules and little time for formal meetings. This is especially true with online students, where the campus is virtual and keeping students connected is critical.
When InsideTrack coaches use text conversations, they work because they’re fully grounded by our research-proven coaching methodology. They are particularly effective at getting students on board during the initial phases of the coaching relationship, as a way to get the conversation started. Texting enables InsideTrack coaches to meet students in a way that can feel more comfortable and less intimidating. Texts allow students to ask what they worry are “silly” questions without the fear of looking stupid.
With the student/coach relationship firmly established, coaching via text can be every bit as impactful as a phone call — even more so if the student prefers texting over talking.
Along with supporting students by helping them connect their long-term goals to their degree completion, coaching by text can also be used to identify potential challenges and develop plans to overcome them. And it can provide student support for engaging with online institutional resources — from advising support, videos and tutoring to student help desks and community discussion forums.
Tech-based support for the win
A natural and necessary extension of InsideTrack methodology, texting has proven to be an effective means of connection and communication. When you have a student population that’s always on, you need a support strategy that can keep up. With more and more students dealing with work and family commitments, in addition to their education, having the ability to access support and information outside of traditional office hours is a must. Employing texts and nudges helps our coaches successfully connect, relay important information, and ultimately achieve better student outcomes.
Texting in action: One coach’s approach
Coaches like InsideTrack’s Jen Adams are skilled at explaining higher ed processes and asking open-ended questions — digging deeper to go below the surface and learn what challenges her students are facing. When Mitchell, a student she was working with, admitted he’d much rather work with her by texting than by talking, she met him where he was at and directed all communication through his preferred platform. “I walked Mitchell through an exercise called ‘The Five Whys,’ which spanned the course of a few days. He stuck with it, and ultimately reconnected with his core motivation for graduating with his degree,” Jen said. Here’s a look at a snippet of that text exchange:
*CJ = Coach Jen, SM = Student Mitchell
Discover more ways to use texting to great effect, such as incorporating session summaries into texting conversations with students.