Our recent European-wide survey conducted in partnership with Times Higher Education identified “student expectations” or “changing student expectations” as the number one driver for higher education institutions to develop student success strategies. Surprised? Probably not. Influenced by their experiences as consumers, students now expect a more personal, connected experience that maps to their individual needs – something that brands they engage with everyday are delivering.
In education however, it’s not just an engagement today, this month or this year – education is becoming more than a series of isolated chapters; it’s a continuous journey of lifelong learning and those expectations extend throughout all parts of that journey; from education, to support and services, to wellbeing, and alumni and community engagement.
These are the reasons we worked closely with the higher education community to develop Salesforce Advisor Link (SAL) – to transform student advising and to increase student success. Launched in 2017 across North America, SAL has enjoyed great success, and we are delighted to now make it generally available in the U.K., Finland, France, Spain and Switzerland and to partner with higher education institutions to support student success. The Netherlands and Norway will be next to access to the product later in 2019.
Salesforce Advisor Link for Student Success
Salesforce Advisor Link leverages the power of the Salesforce Platform to offer institutions an ‘out-of the box’ solution to support students across the entire lifecycle. With Salesforce Advisor Link, universities can offer a continuous, proactive and personalised experience throughout the student journey by empowering their teams with the tools and the information they need to take action, and cultivate a thriving community.
Across higher education today, data silos and disconnected systems remain an issue and a pain-point for student success. In our survey, more than 40% of respondents cited “administrative silos” as a barrier to improving student success at their institution and almost 40% suggested that it was “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to share or access student information across departments or collaborate with other departments on student issues.
Delivering a connected experience requires an understanding of the student across all touch-points and interactions – we call this a single, or 360 degree view – something hugely powerful for higher education and one of the pivotal reasons that our customers choose Salesforce.org.
Built on the Salesforce Platform, Salesforce Advisor Link allows universities to amalgamate data from disparate systems and give advising teams a comprehensive view of what is happening with the student in one single user-friendly console. Its unified advising student records enable support teams to focus on what really matters and scale their impact.
Supporting Students Your Way
While a fundamental part of creating intelligent, connected experiences sits with technology, it’s the people who interpret the data and act on the insights who truly make the difference. With SAL, we’re making technology their greatest enabler so teams can easily and proactively identify and engage with at-risk students, and develop tailored plans to ensure every student is on a track to succeed.
In our survey, we further found that “student support” was tracked least out of a number of options across European institutions and that “student wellbeing” was only recognised by 20% of respondents as a factor of student success. Yet, outreach for services, such as pastoral care and other support services has increased. Just in the UK, student demand for counselling rose by a third between 2008 and 2013.
As student demographics shift, it’s important for higher education to acknowledge the importance of support and services for student wellbeing – and recognise it as a holistic part of student success and the student experience at university. Yet, we know that each institution is unique, and will approach student success in a way that makes most sense to them which is why we designed Salesforce Advisor Link to work for all types of higher education institutions no matter what student success means to you. Salesforce Advisor Link integrates with diverse student information and learning management systems and its capabilities can be further extended with compatible partner applications that teams might need.
Technology as an Enabler
Technology should be an invisible part of any student success strategy – indeed, survey respondents recognised a number of technologies, including student advising systems would support them in improving student success at their institution. Yet 70% stated that their institution doesn’t have or are not aware of a technology roadmap to support their efforts which highlights the lack of communication across the institution and the importance or urgency to clarify plans and act towards it.
At Salesforce.org we work closely with higher education institutions to align the right technology solution to support them in achieving their mission and goals. Our goal is the same as yours; to help students succeed. With SAL, we both move closer to realising that goal.
STUDENT SUCCESS WEBINAR
Want to learn more about Student Success and Salesforce Advisor Link? Join our webinar where The Times Higher Education will present additional survey results and the team at Salesforce.org will showcase the power of SAL for student success.