5 Ways scheduling software boosts student retention & success
Student retention is a key factor in overall student success. Many institutions are discovering that scheduling software for higher education supports their strategies for improving student retention and success.
Whether a student is successful depends on a number of factors: student retention, academic achievement, and the holistic development of each individual.
But how do those factors play out in a student's day-to-day life on campus?
Student retention, or student persistence, simply means that the student continues in their university career, returning each term after achieving the appropriate milestones the term before. It’s a critical part of student success because, clearly, a student can’t succeed at an institution if they’re not enrolled.
And what keeps a student enrolled?
Research shows that more than 75% of students who withdraw from higher education are in good academic standing. They aren’t struggling with the learning. Something else is making them leave higher education early.
So it is up to the institution to ensure that every part of a student’s journey is supported as much as their academic achievement.
Experts who study student success consider six specific experiences to be common to successful students. They are:
Colleges and universities that are looking at ways to increase their retention rates need to focus on creating these experiences in as many interactions as possible.
Using online scheduling to support student retention & success
Scheduling software for higher education can help support several of these experiences, and boost student retention and success because it offers
- Customization to instill confidence and transparency
- Personalization to recognize each student as an individual
- The choice to allow students to determine how, where and when meetings happen
- Flexibility to let students easily schedule meetings 24/7
- Automation to ensure you have the data you need to get a 360 view of each student's progress.
In this article, we look at how the best education scheduling software options can be deployed to leverage these 5 benefits to improve students’ experience.
This is about a student feel they are seen, and that they matter to your institution. We know from research into today’s Gen Z students that they appreciate very personalized experiences.
The best online scheduling tools will allow a lot of extra personalization which lets you convey that you understand them as an individual. YouCanBook.me offers loads of ways to customize the entire booking journey to your department, to specific groups of students, and even to individual students.
1. Customizable booking pages
- Create multiple booking pages to develop individualized journeys. Some pages might be for 1-1 meetings. Another might be designed to schedule the first available advisor on your team. Create different pages for different cohorts, or offer group sessions.
- Add your school colors, logo, and appropriate messaging to give confidence and transparency.
- Optimize for accessibility and security.
2. Customizable booking forms
- Get the answers you need ahead of time with detailed questions relevant to each booking.
- Unlimited questions let students explain their needs.
“My best meetings happen when the person gives lots of information on the booking form. The notes they add become a kind of agenda for our meeting. It lets us both think about the issues ahead of time so we can get to a better solution.” - Jeremy Hommowun, Illinois College Case Study
3. Personalized email & SMS messaging
- Unlimited, automated, and tailored to every situation
- Send different messages based on choices from the booking
- Send messages directly from the selected team member
- Eliminate generic instructions and send only the information they need
This factor is rooted in giving students the agency to exert influence and control over their own progress.
Offer choice at every step
- Bookings available 24/7 let students schedule meetings on their own terms
- Booking pages optimized for mobile devices for students who want the convenience and ease of online bookings on the go
- Let students decide! Give options for the type of appointment, meeting length, and location
- Provide an opportunity for them to give you feedback by automatically sending surveys after their meeting
“YCBM provides a consistent student experience. Whenever a student schedules something, it always looks the same, even if they’re talking to a different department. It really removes barriers and uncertainty in the student experience and smooths it out.” - Aspen Padilla, Chemeketa Community College Podcast Interview
Student engagement can be an excellent indicator of student success. When universities develop programs that engage students in their academic journey, those students are more likely to feel actively involved in the process.
Scheduling software for higher education can help faculty and staff be more effective in supporting students in their success. Our research shows that 65% of higher education users believe it leads to higher student engagement. It can
- automate complicated processes
- eliminate low-value tasks, and
- save time so you can develop new initiatives to support students.
“It really took a lot of the administrative back and forth off our plates. And that freed up time to allow us to pursue other initiatives that we had kind of put on the back burner because our time was being eaten up with the redundant efforts of trying to schedule.” - Jaime Ross, Missouri State University Case Study
Create a high-impact, fully automated pathway
Whether you are working as an academic advisor, a careers specialist, or financial aid support, it is never a “one and done” situation.
In most cases, you need to see a student multiple times. Sometimes sessions will happen after specific milestones, but others will be on an as-needed basis.
- Scheduling software helps you to automate a series of meetings by triggering reminders and follow-up messages letting them know when and how to book their next appointment.
- It integrates with video conferencing tools, email marketing software, and your CRM.
- It eliminates the manual tasks of booking, freeing up time to develop and improve your programs.
- When students don’t book - or if they do book but don’t show up for the appointment - you can send that information into a central database or dashboard that tracks student success metrics.
Taking responsibility and leading the way
Not so long ago, if a student left higher education, colleges and universities considered it to be the student’s problem. Today, higher education leaders know that every institution has a role to play in ensuring students stay - and succeed - in their academic journey.
A key way to engage with today’s students is to leverage technology in a way that improves the overall student experience. Online scheduling software can support student retention initiatives on a number of levels and has earned its place as an essential tool for improving students’ success.
People also ask:
Which higher education departments can benefit most from online scheduling?
Online scheduling can be used across a wide range of departments, including Academic Advising, Careers Services, Financial Aid, Admissions, and Enrollment Management.
Does scheduling software work for higher education Advising departments?
Scheduling software can be a great solution for any higher education department.
YouCanBook.me offers flexibility and customization so each department can create a booking experience that works best for them and their students.
For university advisors, offering online bookings makes it easier for students to make and keep their appointments.
Advisors using YouCanBook.me love that it removes all the administrative work of scheduling meetings with hundreds of students each year. They use it to meet current students, prospective students, transfer students, and nontraditional students.
What’s the best scheduling software for higher education teams?
For higher education teams, scheduling software needs to be flexible, customizable, and easy to use.
To maximize your investment, you want to select a higher education scheduling software that will work across all departments and all kinds of teams. YouCanBook.me offers 1-1 bookings, group bookings, and team booking pages.
You can use it to schedule student advising sessions or resources. It offers multiple reminder options and can be easily updated to show departmental logos and colors.
Most importantly, it is the easiest way for students to make online bookings. It’s available 24/7 and eliminates all the admin around scheduling meetings with students.
How can I reduce the back and forth of booking students?
For university advising teams, who have to meet with hundreds of students every year, scheduling those appointments can take up a significant amount of their time.
A great solution is to use scheduling software for higher education.
It dramatically reduces the amount of time you need to spend scheduling students and could save you hours every week.
It couldn’t be easier for students to schedule time. It’s available 24/7, works great on mobile devices, and has automated reminders to reduce no-shows.
What's a good scheduling solution for higher education?
YouCanBook.me is one of the most popular options for higher education scheduling software. It is easy to set up and can be customized to offer exactly what each department needs.
Some of the most popular features for higher education teams that use YouCanBook.me are: Appointment Types, automated reminders, team booking pages, and customizable booking forms that let you ask the questions you need to prepare for every meeting.
YouCanBook.me’s 30% Education discount means it’s great value, too. Students love being able to book meetings online because it’s available when they are.
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Kate was an early YouCanBookMe employee and loved supporting our Customers for almost a decade. She's now focused on spreading the word about online scheduling, how to improve productivity, and the Oxford comma.