How Better Communication Can Prevent The US Higher Education ‘Un-Enrollment’ And Drop-Out/Stop-Out Problem

The U.S. undergraduate dropout rate is 40% — two out of every five students don’t make it to credential completion. That’s over 37 million people, which doesn’t include the 24% to 40% of students who are admitted but never register or the 10% to 20% of first-time enrollees who register but never show up.

It’s a problem we, for both our society and economy, cannot afford to ignore. Whether it is the incremental hourly or lifetime earnings that degreed individuals earn or the correlation between health and degree attainment, our communities need educated participants to compete in a global economy.

Castleman and Page’s initial research suggested that text-based nudging is an important element of keeping students engaged through the learning process and keeping them moving forward step by step. However, according to my company’s research, some institutions are finding that nudging alone is not enough. Nudging has been adopted by many institutions and professionals and at this point — the way they are using the technology and the functionality — is more like nagging than nudging.

Higher education professionals ask, why?

As a texting company, Signal Vine, where I am CEO, is uniquely positioned to see messages from institutions across the country of all types and sizes. When institutions ask their students why they are dropping out or not showing up, there are general response buckets that match what all the research has found: money, work, family, academic preparation, health, transfer, not knowing who to talk to or what to do next, etc. Institutions have done a fantastic job of building one-stops, first-gen centers, peer coaching initiatives and more. Yet, the un-enrollment problem continues largely unabated.

Read more here.

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