6 Tips To Get More Students From Enrolled To Active Status in Vocational Schools
At vocational schools, an admission team’s job isn’t done once the student is enrolled. Here are six tips to get more enrolled students to active status.
Many admissions and enrollment teams are responsible for ensuring that students get in the door on day one and make it through a portion of their program—typically anywhere between 3-11 days. Plus, short program lengths and frequent starts mean that once one cohort begins, it’s already time to prepare for the next—while also managing a pipeline of prospective students.
Fortunately, there are tactics that teams can utilize to streamline operations—including automations that take the burden off your team.
Here are six tips to help your admissions team get more future starts from enrolled to active.
Table of Contents
Communicate across channels
At this point, just about every student is a digital native and uses a mobile device. In theory, that should make it easy to connect with them. In practice, not so much. Some students love chatting on the phone but work 9-5 and can’t take a call. Others prefer texting and avoid phone calls as much as possible. Some admissions representatives and advisors even reach out to students via social media when all else fails. To ensure the message gets across, call text, and even reach out on social media to maximize the chances of reaching students.
Automate as much as possible
Career education admissions teams are the ultimate jugglers. They must balance connecting with prospective students, getting future starts to active status, ensuring every student is set up for success, and more. Communicating with students to get them through the door takes up a significant portion of this time. One admissions leader estimated that her team spends half their time calling and texting students to ensure they show up on day one.
Automating basic communications frees up your team’s time to tackle higher-value tasks and spend more one-on-one time with the students who need it. Some example automations include:
- A countdown to day one
- A reminder to turn in paperwork
- A day one check in / congratulatory message
That being said, students can suffer from communication fatigue and confusion if they hear different things from different departments.
Eliminate department silos
Have an open line of communication with financial aid and other departments to ensure that incoming students receive all the information they need without sending mixed messages. For example, suppose financial aid sends out a communication confirming that a student submitted paperwork, and admissions send out a reminder to submit paperwork two days later. In that case, the student may be left confused and uncomfortable. For some students, enrolling in school is already daunting enough. Eliminate barriers and confusion to create a smooth process that makes getting to day one a breeze.
To eliminate silos, implement a system that connects all your different tools—SIS, LMS, and CRM—into one platform that’s accessible to every department. Financial aid has better insight into what admissions has and has not communicated to the student and can tailor outreach accordingly. As a result, students experience a smoother process that creates confidence that they made the right decision.
Create excitement – online or in person
For longer programs, many schools host welcome activities for students before the year begins. Students feel more involved in the community if they have the opportunity to meet their peers, instructors, and advisors before day one.
However, because many vocational students are nontraditional, they may be supporting families, working, or otherwise unable to attend an event. Instead, you can engage them online using social media or with a mobile app. Many schools have found success creating a Facebook group for the cohort so they can ask questions, share resources, and connect with their peers.
Check in on day one
Because many admissions departments are responsible for getting students through the first week of school, admissions representatives should check in with students at the end of day one. At this point, admissions representatives have the strongest relationship with the student, so they are the best equipped to address any student’s concerns about moving forward with their education.
Life happens, and something may come up between a future start’s enrollment date and start date that prevents them from entering your program. Make sure your policies allow students to easily push their start date, particularly if your program offers monthly or quarterly starts.
Have a plan in place to keep students who push their starts engaged through a combination of automated communication and personal outreach. For example, if a student pushes their start for a health or family issue, a personal phone call or message shows them that your school is invested in them and their future.
Request a demo to learn how CourseKey helps admissions teams across the country streamline operations to get more students from enrolled to active.