University of New Mexico: Engaging First Year Students
The University of New Mexico uses Signal Vine to engage first-year students with timely and relevant messages. The goal is to improve retention rates by sending reminders about important deadlines and answering questions from students. See their Q&A below:
What was the challenge you had that led you to texting?
We wanted an innovative way to communicate with students, through a way that they communicate. We make a lot of phone calls and send out quite a few emails to students. We did not receive a good response as far as students answering their phones or reading their emails, so we wanted to try the texting approach.
How do you measure student success?
One way is by determining (through registration) if a student has returned for a second and third semester. Also, we measure success by attainment of scholarships and/or financial aid, along with persisting through graduation.
How did you plan the timing and content of your text messages?
We already had an email and phone call communication effort. From this, we were able to identify areas in which texts would be beneficial regarding important reminders. We strategically send these out every 3 weeks.
Which staff respond to text messages?
A graduate student is responsible for answering the texts. When we send a text out, she continuously responds within the first few hours. I am backup for responding to messages.
What advice would you give to other universities thinking about texting?
I strongly recommend this platform. I’ve been extremely pleased with the customer service and support we’ve received. The platform is very user-friendly. The example text messages that were provided to us worked extremely well in helping us see that we were right on track.
The customer service has been fantastic. The platform is very user-friendly.
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