Universities across the world are facing challenges to increase student enrollment and maintain retention. With the uncertain economic climate and the constantly increasing tuition prices at 4-year institutions, many undergraduate students are turning to community colleges to continue their education and obtain advanced degrees. While many 4 out of 5 enrolled students intend to transfer, community colleges offer a cheaper alternative for completing general coursework and can provide a foundation for many when adjusting to the rigors of the higher education learning environment.

At Mountain View College, a part of the Dallas County Community College District, Donyan Rogers is making great strides in the college’s enrollment and retention by engaging and reaching students using the Blackboard Connect 5 system. Responsible for the college’s marketing and public relations efforts, Rogers uses a multi-channel approach to communicating with students, sending text messages, phone calls and updates to social networks to get the word out. Not just for urgent situations, the college has found using Blackboard Connect to be effective in sending general outreach information and targeting messaging for specific student groups.

As a recent report from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, reveals, what we know and perceive about typical college and university students is changing. Nearly forty percent of students enrolled in higher education institutions are ‘non-traditional,’ and face greater obstacles as they juggle more personal responsibilities and pressures outside of their college course load. Following the success of the general outreach communication efforts, Mountain View College established and implemented the R.E.A.C.H. program to better connect with non-traditional students and help ensure their academic success. Using Blackboard Connect to send targeted messages, the R.E.A.C.H. program helps at-risk student currently on probation, suspension or dismissal get back on track by providing resources to improve academic performance while helping establish relationships between students and faculty and advisors.

To learn more about how your institution can use Blackboard Connect to help make advances in student enrollment and retention, view our recent online presentation — Promoting Student Success: Accelerating Key Initiatives through Targeted Multi-modal Messaging. For more information about Blackboard Connect 5, visit our website.

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