Today's educational institutions are no strangers to technology. Many training programs, universities, and colleges have incorporated online learning into their curriculum. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, few were prepared to transition to a fully remote model.
While schools did an admirable job shifting their classrooms online virtually overnight, challenges persist. Moreover, students who have accepted a lower standard of education in the short term are unlikely to continue to invest in online learning that is currently seen as "less than" the traditional model.
To overcome these challenges, education organizations need to understand and solve the problems they face. This article explores those challenges, as well as how Salesforce CRM is helping educators overcome them.
Recruitment strategies need to shift based on student demands
Most educational institutions were struggling with enrollment challenges before COVID. After the outbreak, these issues have been magnified by a great deal of uncertainty as students reconsider when, where, and even if they will further their education. With enrollment expected to dip, schools need to ask how they can adjust their recruitment strategy to meet students where they are and engage them in a post-COVID world.
Online learning is here to stay, and educational institutions need to adapt
Pre-COVID, less than 4% of training centers and higher education institutions served 50% or more of their students online – and nearly half of institutions had no online education at all.
Needless to say, schools had to adapt – fast. Within a matter of weeks, educational institutions had shifted to remote learning. The process has been a learning experience, with both students and faculty discovering through trial and error how to create online education that is as valuable as in-person learning. As we transition into a post-COVID world, online learning will likely be here to stay, necessitating schools to create student experiences that justify the price tag.
Schools need to ensure the student experience returns to pre-COVID standards
For all the conveniences of online learning, there are several drawbacks, most notably the social student experience. From clubs to dorm rooms to lunch hour study sessions, many educational institutions have relied heavily on physical facilities to provide students with a sense of community.
Outside of academics, engagement is the most critical factor in student success and retention. The data here is clear: students who do not engage on campus are at a higher risk of dropping out. Therefore, schools must ensure they feel like they're a part of a community.
Educational organizations need to figure out how to create new experiences to fill the void online if they want to attract and retain students.
Educators should consider partnering with IT providers
IT has stepped in place of campuses as a critical partner in helping schools deliver their mandate. The role of Education Technology (EdTech) will be pivotal in strengthening academic delivery as we transition back to a "new normal." And with the disruption of traditional enrollment and recruitment processes, education organizations have a unique opportunity to undergo digital transformation and come out of the pandemic ahead of the competition.
How Salesforce Education Cloud is driving student success in the digital age
Salesforce's Education Cloud provides a set of solutions that allow training providers, higher education institutions, and online course providers to ensure students succeed across their entire journey, from prospect to alumni. Organizations can break down silos and integrate previously disparate data from learning management systems, financial aid, and student information systems to get a 360-degree student view.
With a complete understanding of student data, educators can provide students with personalized, timely support, meet fundraising goals, and make better admission decisions. As online learning becomes a more critical part of the education landscape, solutions like these will be critical to educational practices and institutions' success.
Let's take a quick look at how Education Cloud can help in two key areas: student success and recruitment and admissions.
• Recruiting and Admissions: The Salesforce Recruiting and Admissions solution helps schools create personalized, targeted marketing campaigns, build brand awareness based on data-driven web analytics, and ensure your pipeline is filled with the most qualified applicants possible.
• Student Success: Foster your student community and provide best-in-class support to your students through Salesforce for Student Success. Get a clear understanding of what works and what doesn't for the purposes of improving student retention and identifying at-risk students so you can take a proactive approach. Everything from student communities to social engagement and case management can be managed through the Student Success platform.
To learn more about how you can ensure your education institution survives and thrives through COVID and beyond, contact the team at Gerent today.