Persistence and student academic success has become one of the most important measures of institutional effectiveness in higher education. Consequently, colleges and universities across the country are making investments in technology, support staff and learning resources to help improve student success. Due to these additional investments and the high stakes nature of quality academic outcomes, institutions are also looking for ways in which they can ensure the effective performance of their student support professionals.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways in which administrators can manage the performance of Success Coaches and other student service professionals to make sure that student outreach is occurring and those employees are proactively attempting to ensure student success. This post will describe the use of call lists, key performance indicators and accountability meetings as tools to manage Success Coach performance.
Identifying and prioritizing students who need an intervention is an effective way to help students succeed. Through the use of a retention tool, managers can create focused call lists based on a variety of student behaviors. For example, a call list may be generated based on student attendance, the current grade in a course or even those students who are not yet registered for the next semester. By generating a focused call list the manager can identify the specific population of students the Success Coaches can use to prioritize their time and proactively reach out to individual students who are in most need of interventions.
Tracking student data and establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Success Coaches is also a useful way to ensure student success. KPIs are commonly used in recruitment activities as a way to track the success of a particular activity, such as converting applicants into enrollment students, but are used less often in retention activities.
KPIs for Success Coaches and other retention specialists relate to contact with students, student satisfaction, and persistence. For example, contact rate (the percentage of students with whom the Coach has had contact over a given time), the scheduled rate (percentage of students scheduled for a subsequent enrollment term), retention rate (year-to-year retention), and graduation rate (percentage of students who have graduated) are good measures of coach effectiveness. Other institutions measure student satisfaction to determine the level of student service being provided by Success Coaches.
Developing a culture of accountability is important in order to measure effectiveness and to meet organizational goals. Accountability meetings allow for managers to hold Success Coaches responsible for maintaining communication with their roster of students and for keeping their students on track. Managers should first educate employees on the expectations for student outreach and then hold weekly accountability meetings with each Success Coach to ensure expectations for initial communication, follow up, and problem resolution are being met. With the use of focus lists, key performance indicators and reports essential information can be collected to determine how well each Success Coach is maintaining relationships with students thereby allowing employees to take ownership and responsibility for their results.
The Aviso Coaching software platform can help track the proactive outreach and potential interventions necessary to help students succeed. To learn more about the other features and tools available in the Aviso Coaching software and how you can help improve retention at your institution, give us a call or email us to learn more.