How to Select Retention Software
If you are supporting students in higher ed then you likely could benefit from one of the many solutions currently available. A great retention solution will do a couple of critical things for student success:
- Get the right student information in the right hands at the right time
- Eliminate grunt work so your focus is on quality student support
Whether your first-year retention is 90% or 60%, student advising and engagement is vital to the health of a university. You have a wide range of options to explore. This article focuses on 5 things that should be on your list when considering a retention solution:
Cost: The solution you select should more than pay for itself. Determine a reasonable expectation for an increase in retention (whether its total enrollment, first year retention or a specified sub-population) and ensure the resulting tuition gain is significantly greater than the cost of the software.
Implementation: I hear about system fatigue a lot. IT teams are always overloaded. Faculty needs a break from new system integrations. Student support staff are comfortable with what the antiquated system they are currently using. The more complex your solution, the greater impact on resources. Select a solution that has minimal impact on your IT team and can train your staff in less than a day.
On-going Admin: The more complex a retention solution the more on-going admin support and maintenance you will need. When you hire or reallocate a part or full time individual as an on-going administrator, you have to include this in your overall cost.
Type of Partnership: Do you prefer a collaborative partner with higher ed expertise or would you prefer to be left alone with the software? Many solutions out there will have you pay extra for the "consulting" portion. A true collaborative partner will be just as invested in supporting the achievement of established retention targets without piling on extra fees.
Features: It's going to be hard to find a solution that meets every single one of your needs. Go for the solution that has your essential components and choose a partner that is nimble enough to build the extra features you need down the road.
There are several options out there to enhance how your faculty and staff engage students. Include faculty, student support staff and IT in your decision-making process. They will thank you in the end.
Aviso Retention provides analytics, software and expertise to increase student retention and engagement. Click here to learn more.