Let’s Get Ready: Increasing Student Engagement
Let’s Get Ready provides high school students from underserved communities and first-generation college students with free services. For example, the program offers free SAT preparation, admission counseling, and other support services needed to get through college. Also, volunteer college students serve as role models and mentors. Let’s Get Ready uses Signal Vine to reach students where they are, relay information, and provide support while keeping a personalized, one-on-one feel.
Let’s Get Ready serves students from a wide variety of locations. The program uses innovative ways to keep all students on track with college-related tasks. Further, staff support students once they have enrolled in college.
Through texts, staff work to increase student engagement on their journey to and through college. Staff both nudge students around deadlines and tasks and provide space for students to reach out for support.
Let’s Get Ready focuses its texting campaign on crucial milestones for high school and college students. These moments include financial aid deadlines, summer matriculation tasks, and course registration. Full-time Let’s Get Ready staff and peer mentors monitor the platform. To ensure timely responses, they make sure they are online around times when texts have been sent out. These staff members and peer mentors answer questions about deadlines, processes, and provide support and encouragement to students.
Let’s Get Ready has messaged more than 10,200 students via text message. They have sent more than 700,000 outbound messages. Engagement rates are high, typically between 63 to 74 percent for each program. Staff have found that the most successful messages are those that are personalized, relevant, and timely. Texting has been an effective way to engage with students who aren’t close to a Let’s Get Ready office in NYC or Boston.
Students appreciate the reminders of upcoming deadlines. Further, they use texting to ask questions and talk about concerns related to a wide range of issues.
Ultimately, using Signal Vine has helped Let’s Get Ready increase student engagement and provide timely and accessible support to all of its 10,000 students. Let’s Get Ready anticipates that using texting will continue to boost their student college matriculation and graduation rates.
Having peer mentors engage with students on the platform is especially helpful. We often match students who are matriculating to college with the mentor who will be providing on-campus support in the fall. Students feel comfortable engaging with these peers and asking questions about what it feels like to be on a particular campus or how to navigate the adjustment to college life.
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