Starting university or college can be stressful for many students. As the United Kingdom’s National Health Service points out, “[Students] may feel stressed about starting university, exams, coursework deadlines, living with people they do not get on with, or thinking about the future.” This, combined with other challenges, such as managing work-life-study balances or financial concerns, can transform the beginning of term into a nerve-racking experience.
Universities can ease the transition to higher education by providing resources and services that demystify the academic experience and that offer new students ways to connect with the institution and their peers. For the digital natives embarking on new academic journeys, personalized digital outreach by the university will be just as important as its in-person welcome events in making them feel at home. Here is how the Ex Libris campusM app can help colleges and universities engage new students and get them oriented quickly:
Engaging university students starts by helping them get to where they need to go on campus. There is a lot for students to take in geographically at a new institution, such as where the library is, where the classes are situated and how to get from class to class or identifying the closest bathrooms to their classes. With campusM maps, admins can customize campus maps to display useful information that helps first-year students find their way more quickly.
One best practice to support student engagement is to check in with students within the first few days of the semester. Sending out a student engagement survey gives students a sense of being seen while offering student affairs administrators micro and macro insights into how students are faring.
Using Quick Polls to evaluate student wellbeing can benefit students throughout their academic journey. As Rachael Wall, Head of Membership Services at Middlesex University Students’ Union notes, “It’s been incredibly useful to have the ability to track and measure how students are feeling each month, and knowing this data is specific to MDX …[Quick Polls] has enabled us to collect short term data every month, and gives us the ability to build this up over time to create a longer-term picture of student mental health at Middlesex.”
Many students are eager to dive into their new social and academic lives on campus, while others may be reticent. Whether they are excited or nervous about this new experience, all students can benefit from orientation events that let them know more about what to expect from their degree track and what types of clubs, volunteering and student work opportunities are available to them. campusM’s student engagement app allows university event coordinators to promote welcome and orientation events through push notifications, banners, and a personalized events calendar.
From the moment a student is accepted to and registers for a university, the bureaucratic tasks begin to mount. There’s a lot of small print and effort involved in completing tasks like
Universities can reduce barriers to registration and encourage student retention by breaking down challenging administrative tasks into manageable check-list items within campusM Task Board.
Most new students cannot afford a personal assistant to help them make sense of the new academic world they have stepped into. However, universities can offer students a free virtual assistant to walk them through their first semester and beyond. Using the campusM new user notification campaign, app admins can set up a series of push notifications that guide new students and give them useful tips about how to make the most of their time on campus.
campusM is a powerful campus app that helps universities improve student engagement on a daily basis. For more information about how campusM’s student engagement platform is making it simple for universities to provide outstanding mobile student experiences and services, click here.