The Student Support & Engagement Team: Who We Are
We are student affairs leaders and innovators partnering with campuses to reimagine ecosystems that foster the success of online learners. We design and deliver exceptional student support experiences, unheard of in higher education. When we think we’ve reached excellence, we raise the bar higher. Our efforts are driven by our passion for retaining students and giving them an experience they did not even know they could expect.
Designing and Building an Ecosystem of Online Students
We leverage our RISE (responsive, inclusive, supportive, and engaging) Rubric to assess the status of the online student experience at your university, and in particular, the services and support currently available to online students. We will work closely with you to establish a vision for creating an ecosystem that is inclusive of online students and regularly assess and improve the student experience.Online programs must be built around student needs. Students expect to log into one place at any time of the day and see that all options/services are provided and personalized; they expect real-time and accurate responses with real-time resources. A single access point—the student’s computer—opens doors for navigating the “inside” and “outside” of classroom experiences seamlessly. Our technology and approach make it possible to integrate often disjointed policies, practices and infrastructures to create a cohesive student support system.
Student Support & Engagement
Universities spend enormous amounts of time and money recruiting online students, but usually allocate far fewer resources making sure those students stick around and succeed. That’s not good for students, and it’s not good for an institution’s financial health and reputation.
That’s not the way Noodle Partners thinks about online student success. Online programs built by Noodle Partners achieve retention rates comparable to those of corresponding on-campus programs.
Retention starts with having a team available seven days a week. When a student makes a request, by phone, email, text or chat message, the Student Support team responds right away. But “reactive” support services are not enough. Noodle Partners is proactive, with Student Success Coaches who create a rapport with your students from the day they’re admitted until the day they graduate. Through our technical Support Desk and Success Coaches, we provide teams prepared to address concerns and tech issues as they arise— while constantly leveraging learning analytics to better understand where students are struggling and proactively support them. The unified support team that we create can handle basic logistical issues on its own and is trained to connect with your appropriate campus personnel for resolution and then follow up until the issue is resolved.
Student Success Coaches (SSCs)
Just like on-campus students, online students succeed when they feel a sense of belonging, motivation and confidence. We provide a highly trained team of SSCs who proactively support your students through their educational experience. SSCs build rapport with students and coach them as needed through their journey. The SSCs start getting to know students from the moment they enroll, guiding them through the orientation process, and helping to ensure they start their programs organized, focused and motivated. Through both scheduled and ad hoc coaching sessions, they work with students to set priorities, articulate weekly goals and identify potential obstacles to meeting those goals. Further, they guide students through the processes of registering for classes, understanding prerequisites, and organizing deadlines and assignments, in concert with existing support centers at your University — for instance, financial aid or academic advisement offices.
SSCs also maintain an awareness of at risk indicators by harnessing Noodle Partners’ analytics to proactively retain students. Integrating your key data systems (CRM, SIS, LMS) with our analytics tools, Noodle Partners will identify and reach out to students with potential academic, social, or financial problems. SSCs work nights, weekends, and many holidays helping to bolster the availability of campus support services during those times. The success team works to resolve small issues ourselves and bring you in when necessary. This approach provides advocates for students with problems or questions, and leverages your existing infrastructure.
Technology is the conduit to learning in the online environment. For that reason, technical support is a priority in every campus partnership we establish. We bring a Support Desk that is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to assist students with technical issues. The Support Desk is staffed by highly trained individuals committed to student satisfaction and success; they track all queries from students in order to identify patterns in student behavior that might create an at-risk alert or be used to better inform practice.
Mental Health Support
Our Mental Health Support team fills a gap that on ground student counseling services often can not address because they do not have the bandwidth to support additional students and they do not have counselors licensed to practice with students out of state. Our team provides 24/7 telehealth service for your students who may be at risk of experiencing a behavioral health crisis, and follow up sessions for ongoing support to de-escalate issues and foster continuous mental health support. You will work directly with our team to share your reporting needs and escalation protocol.
A good orientation is one that not only gives new students necessary information but also makes them feel like they are part of a community. Our student orientation was created by leveraging research and best practices in orienting online orientation. The orientation is created in a blended format where students participate in a group live session, navigate content within an orientation course in the learning management system (LMS), and participate in a second live session. The orientation course takes place in the LMS and is designed in a similar manner as students’ courses, offering a realistic introduction to the learning experience. In general, orientation for online students welcomes students to the University community, establishes expectations of community member behavior, shares personal support resources, familiarizes students with the online classroom, curriculum, and expectations, and gives students the opportunity to practice using the LMS. We will work closely with you to personalize this orientation experience to your campus and student needs.
Our goal is to help universities and your students achieve their goals, which for most students means gaining employment post-graduation. Our team will work alongside your career personnel to integrate online students into their programs (e.g. workshops, mock interviews, resume review, etc.) and to provide engaging asynchronous career development learning experiences. We want to ensure our students receive the career support they need to advance their careers on the heels of graduation. To implement a holistic career services program, we can integrate career-related support into orientation, courses, student success coaching, and career specific webinars, and provide career coaching. We bolster the asynchronous learning experience with a mentoring program that pairs students with industry professionals and/or alumni who serve as a guide to students throughout their academic and career journey. At your request, we will provide a career coaching service to support students’ career development, exploration, and preparation.
Grounded in retention literature, our online student experience incorporates opportunities for your students to engage with each other and with faculty and staff beyond the classroom. Students can utilize synchronous or asynchronous tools within the LMS to connect with a classmate for a study session, review an interesting current event posted by a peer, learn about virtual ways to connect with campus organizations, and much more. SSCs facilitate social engagement activities with their students; they plan and facilitate “meet ups” for students, match students with similar interests or needs, and facilitate asynchronous activities in the online student union.
Online Student Union
The Online Student Union is a virtual space designed to connect your program community together. On the most basic level, it can be a repository for basic information about a program, and the portal to answer any question. At its best, it can draw together a community of online learners and enhance the student experience. In our traditional programs, students often cite the quality of interaction with faculty, administration and their fellow students as a key element of satisfaction with the program. We want to make sure the same is true of the online program.
Agnostic to any program or university, our experience has been that very common struggles for the students we serve are academic success and content comprehension. This is a result of many different factors, but whether it is a particular course that is difficult, a hardship with other life commitments, or just a desire to have additional support outside of class time, our students would greatly benefit from a high quality, digitally based, flexible tool to provide ongoing tutoring support on demand. Providing the option to access online tutoring communicates to students that the program cares about their success, and, if it helps retain a student, helps the program sustain financial viability. The cost of providing tutoring to the few students who will access it will be outweighed by the number of students the service helps retain. Our team will work with you so they understand the academic challenges students might encounter in your program and identify a process for ensuring student needs are met either via our tutoring provider or an on-campus resource.
Enrolling in a master’s program is a significant life decision and an investment in time, money, and effort. We want to make sure prospective students feel connected and prepared as they make their decision to enroll and prepare for the first term. This program provides opportunities for currently enrolled students to connect with like-minded people and share their experiences. The Student Ambassador Program (SAP) personalizes the admissions process by connecting prospective students to current students to get an up-close look at what it’s like to go through our programs. Once your program is in its third term, your Student Affairs team will discuss implementation of the program with you.
Still have questions about Noodle Partners’ approach to student support and engagement? Contact us and we’ll get some time on the calendar to discuss.