Even if school was to return “back to normal” soon, students who have dis-engaged during the current global health crisis are at tremendous risk for failing to graduate. And, of course, it’s possible that our “new normal” will be the status quo for some time to come.
So what can you do to re-engage students who are struggling to attend classes — virtually, in hybrid fashion or face-to-face – during this time? To start, take these steps:
Fully exploit your contact lists
One of the hardest parts of the re-engagement process is actually finding students who might feel like they don’t really want to be found. Leave no connection unturned. Try every phone number and email on every record. Call, text and email — multiple times each. There is no vice in being annoying when you’re trying to help a student get back on track.
Utilize search services
For those students who have outdated or inaccurate contact information, new information will have to be collected. Search services can provide information on family, friends, neighbors, coaches and religious leaders. A small investment in one of these services can pay big dividends.
Letters and postcards
Phone calls and text messages can be easy to ignore. But more than a decade of tracking down students has taught us that sometimes the real problem is that students and their families simply haven’t been “primed” for the call. Sending letters and postcards can help ensure that, when you do call, the recipient of the call will already be aware of some of the details of what you are offering.
Flyers with tear-off contact information
Not every student in need of re-enrollment will be on your list. Make it easy for them to take the first step in their journey by contacting you by leaving fliers with tear-off contract information in restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, community centers, homeless shelters and wherever else you believe your potential students may be found.
Peer-to-peer outreach and community organization involvement is one of the top ways to ensure students engage with the programs you are offering.
Graduation Alliance partners with school districts, workforce agencies and various other organizations to help create alternative paths for individuals who need flexibility and support to earn a diploma. To learn more about our services, or to contact us, simply click here.