The Door: Engaging Students and Building Trust
The Door provides comprehensive youth development services to 10,000 young people across New York City. Among its programs is one called This Way Ahead. Each year, This Way Ahead trains over 600 students and offers internships to over 300 students. The Door uses Signal Vine to engage students and build trust.
Coaches for the This Way Ahead program communicate with their students on a weekly basis. Before using Signal Vine, the coaches had a hard time reaching students the old-fashioned way. Emails got lost in inboxes, so students missed important updates and didn’t get immediate responses to urgent questions. Once, This Way Ahead had an office closure and no way to contact students to let them know.
This Way Ahead collects student information through the program’s application process. Students are also asked in their classes to provide a phone number that can receive text messages. Four coaches manage texting communications. Most staff keep their Signal Vine message inbox open all day so that they can quickly respond when a student texts them, and they check their inboxes once at 8 pm to handle any late messages.
Text messages sent to students cover a range of topics: setting up meetings, notifying students of boot camps, and reminding them of workshops. In addition, the Door uses Signal Vine for quick one-on-ones to answer questions and build relationships.
Students are constantly on their phones, so it’s easy to get their attention via text. As a result, texting has significantly higher engagement rates for This Way Ahead than email or phone calls. While emails used to get lost in the shuffle, students now know that their coaches are only a text away, which has built trust and reliability. Overall, This Way Ahead’s program operations and service to students have improved as a result of the Signal Vine text messaging platform.
Implementing text messaging will be one of the best decisions you make. It will enhance student engagement, it will strengthen your relationship with students and open accessibility between you and students.
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