Phone Calls a Popular Student Engagement Tool in Virtual Environment

October 19, 2020 | By NACE STAFF

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TAGS: best practices, coronavirus, Internships, nace insights, operations, technology, trends and predictions,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

During NACE’s quick polls last spring, colleges were asked to select the main ways in which they were interacting with students, as nearly all contact had become virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, as reported in the new NACE Report: COVID-19 Quick Poll Series, phone calls were a popular student engagement tool.

Of course, almost all respondents reported using email as the main form of virtual interaction. However, more than three-quarters—77.8 percent—were connecting with students via phone. This is interesting insight given that many colleges are currently reporting difficulty connecting with students.

Davenport University’s career services team was effectively engaging students by phone last spring.

Shelley Lowe, executive director of career services at Davenport University, described her team’s desire to become more “electronically visible” to students, while understanding that students are getting flooded with email.

Calling the phone calls “…a good way to put a voice to an office and make us real,” Lowe explained that career services team members were reaching out to Davenport seniors to inquire about their status and offer support.

“The most important thing we have found in these calls is a huge level of appreciation,” Lowe said.

NACE conducted a series of monthly coronavirus quick polls—from March through June 2020—to assess the impact on and response from colleges and employers in our field. The four quick polls addressed a variety of topics, including office closures, travel restrictions, internships, plans for fall recruiting, on-campus activities, changes in budgets and staffing, revoked offers, delayed start dates, virtual onboarding, and changes in service provision. Download NACE Report: COVID-19 Quick Poll Series here.

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