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Student Onboarding as a Building Block for Student Success

07th December 2021

Helping students graduate from your institution on time without any problems, or simply student success, is something every institution works hard to achieve. Many factors play a part in achieving student success. From high-quality education, to the right support at the right time, and high level student engagement; they all contribute a lot. However, often underestimated is the effect of student onboarding on student success. It is truly one of the most important building blocks.

HESA data shows that graduation as the projected outcome as a percentage of all students, has declined over the last few years. For students that started in the 2012/2013 academic year, this rate was still 81.8%. The most recent number, from the students that started in the 2018/2019 academic year, was only 78.9% having steadily declined over the years in between. While institutions seek to improve student success, it is student onboarding, or induction, that has proven to be one of the most important building blocks for student success.

Out with the old…

Every institution realises that the situation for first year students is a fairly difficult one, due to a number of factors. For starters, their studies lay the foundation for their working lives. At such a young age, there is an immense amount of pressure that students need to deal with. Additionally, it is an entirely different experience to what they are used to. First year students often live away from home for the first time, away from family and friends. Apart from a new way of learning, they have to adapt to a new social environment and go through the process of making friends all over again.

With so many new things happening, you can imagine these are exciting times for first year students. As a result, there is an increased chance of students dropping out, having to delay their studies, or to go through many struggles that maybe could have been prevented. As an institution it is your responsibility to take care of your first year students in the best way possible.

Get Ready for student onboarding

It is not every day that first year students go through the onboarding process, but institutions already have a lot of experience. You know exactly what first year students need to be aware of, what they need to arrange in advance and what they need to prepare for. For that reason, the first step towards a successful student onboarding process is figuring out a way to share this information with first year students in a convenient way, and well on time.

Secondly, you cannot underestimate the importance of engaging with first year students, and driving engagement throughout your campus community. You can provide your students with all the information they need, but if they end up facing difficulties, only those students that are comfortable enough with the campus community will reach out for help. Find a way to drive student engagement right from the start of the year, and help your students succeed.

If you want to learn more about student onboarding, get a hold of our latest guide ‘The Art of Student Onboarding’ and watch the recording of our Student Onboarding Webinar with the lessons learned from the University of Gloucestershire.

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