How PathwayU Helps Schools Retain Students
It’s no secret that the biggest financial issues facing educational institutions are enrollment and retention. For colleges to thrive, they need to attract and enroll students that will be successful and stay four (or more) years. As students are more focused than ever on life after graduation, their career, and the return on their educational dollar, it's time that the standard process used to attract and enroll students needs to change.
The secret is a robust, comprehensive career services department. For that career services department to provide the best value to students, they need technology, like PathwayU, that gives students a clear roadmap for their entire education journey.
Since the pandemic, students have been worrying more and more about the value they’re receiving at a four-year institution. Many of them had to go remote for long periods and therefore missed out on the in-person amenities they were paying for.
Alongside that turmoil, students are keeping track of the job market they’re going into. They’re seeing many people express being unfulfilled in their careers and regretting their choices in college. How do you convince these students that they need to come to your institution and stay there? You have to help them along every step of the way. @JobZology says that a great career services department can really influence student retention. Here’s how:Click to Tweet
Clarify the Runway
Students drop out or transfer at alarming rates when they aren’t certain of their path to graduation and beyond. Students are no longer entering college because they have to. There are a lot of different paths individuals can take to find a career. Students are entering college because they think it’s a good investment.
They’re entering your school because they think you have the tools to help them find the right career. If they get to junior year and have seen no evidence of movement towards an advantageous career path, why would they stay?
That’s where the right career services platform can come in handy. Get to students early and open their eyes to all of the career opportunities in the future. Then, give them concrete plans for achieving those goals.
Give Real Career Help
Improving your student retention doesn’t just mean getting students to graduation day. Helping get a degree is just not enough. You’ve got to give them real career guidance and help them land opportunities that lead to a satisfying career.
A career services platform with the right software and resources can assist you in preparing students for the real career world. You should be providing interview prep, networking opportunities, mentorships, seminars, and other resources that give students a leg up on the competition as they come toward the end of their academic journey.
You have to understand what drives students. If your students are coming out of your school with degrees and getting good jobs because they had robust career services support, you’re going to be able to parlay that success into retaining the next wave of students.
“See? Look what our graduates are doing. Here’s how we got them there.”
Students are looking at their career opportunities from the moment they start looking at colleges. In order to retain them, you need to provide them with robust support and lead them to a great career outlook: Click to Tweet
Make Your Services Centralized and Active
A great career services platform like PathwayU helps you centralize your services. Students will know exactly where to go when they need advice, support, or resources. You don’t want students having simple questions and waiting days or weeks to get them answered. That leads to frustration.
If students know exactly where to go for the information they need, you know where to put the answers. Furthermore, you have a source of truth to collate the results you are getting. How many students are using your platform? Who are they? What are their graduation rates? Are they above average? How about their job prospects and employment outlook?
You can start answering these questions with confidence because you have the data. Then, you can create interest and confidence in your career services offerings by displaying these results in a compelling way.
Where to Go from Here
Student retention is absolutely vital to your institution. If you’re doing well in enrollment, congratulations! You’re getting students in the door, but you’ve got to make sure they’re getting what they need out of their education, ensuring they are prepared for the next path forward in their lives. You need to be the springboard toward the career they want.
If you make the runway toward that career clear, provide support as long as you possibly can, and create a centralized platform that students can turn to, you’ll be well on your way to improving retention. You need PathwayU in your department in order to easily implement these necessary steps.
For more information on improving the offerings of your career services department, please visit pathwayu.com!