We know that student retention is critical to any institution’s bottom line. Yet 2 and 4-year graduation rates have remained flat for over 30 years, resulting in roughly $16.5 billion in lost revenue from attrition (ranging from $10K to $102M per school). Those statistics are quite alarming.
The good news is that there are many ways to positively influence student retention. For now, we will focus on engagement through communication. The more touchpoints institutions have with student, the more likely students are to stay in school and be successful. There are three types of engagement that have proven to affect student outcomes and retention:
- Academic advisor outreach
- Instructor-to-student relationships
- Student-to-student or peer connections
But what are the best channels for these types of engagement to occur? Institutions, advisors and teachers tend to struggle to connect with today’s student because they often attempt to do so on platforms that students don’t prefer to use or don’t want to use (email, text, outdated messaging platforms, etc.). That’s where our partnership with Pronto comes in.
Developed by HitLabs, Pronto is an LTI-compliant, organization-wide, real-time communications platform that improves student retention by enabling everyday touchpoints with faculty, advisors, administration, and peers. Pronto’s sleek, modern design and advanced functionality enables users to connect and collaborate in ways that students prefer – from their mobile devices or directly inside Blackboard’s LMS platforms. From real-time messaging with read-receipts and presence detection, to live video chat, to file sharing with unlimited storage, Pronto offers institutions a solution that truly enhances the way users communicate.
The integration with Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Open LMS enables users to access their Pronto account directly within a course, making it easy for students to connect with their classmates or for instructors to communicate directly with their students. The integration syncs with Blackboard course rosters, so users are automatically added or removed to Pronto, depending on their enrollment in the course. This is a huge time-saver for system administrators, allowing them to focus on other mission-critical tasks.
Pronto is an application that students actually want to use. Within months of implementation at one institution, students were using Pronto as much or more than they use the world’s most engaging messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp.
The Y axis is the % of monthly active users that use Pronto daily.
After just six months, Pronto became more widely used than Facebook or WhatsApp.
Want to learn more about our partnership with Pronto and how their integrated communication application can impact engagement and retention at your institution?