This week, we spoke with Kathy Rose at CollegeCommunityCareer about using texting with high school and college students. CollegeCommunityCareer helps low-income, first-generation high school students enroll in a four-year college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Read the Q&A below!
What was the problem or challenge that led you to a texting solution?
Using personal employees’ phones. When employees pursued other jobs, they took all of a student’s information with them. In contrast, Signal Vine allows employees to connect with students using consistent phone numbers throughout the time they are with our organization.
What are your goals for improving communications with students?
Consistency. We stay with students for almost 7 years. As a result, it’s important to have consistent phone numbers that students can use to communicate with us the whole time.
How do you collect participants’ phone numbers/information/consent?
Each time they attend class, they check their cell phone numbers on the sign-in roster.
Who on your staff responds to text messages? Also, how often do they check their inbox?
Everyone on our staff is able to check messages and respond. We set up a schedule and have someone check it at least once a day – more if we’ve recently sent out a program message.
What are some examples of common questions students ask via text?
How do I… (contact financial aid, get information about admissions, etc.); I want to participate in a field trip or program, or I can’t come to class today because… (sick, doctor’s appointment etc.).
How has texting impacted the student/staff relationship?
Students engage more with this platform. Also, we can all check on the progress of a student.
What lessons have you learned from your texting program?
Too many texts in a row can make students not respond as well. Also, conditional questions have great responses. Finally, check messages often.
Students engage more and we can check on their progress.
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