Engaging with technical school students and prospects offers unique challenges.
There are always obstacles in the way of reaching your constituents. And, while every campus has students with different characteristics, technical schools have additional challenges that 4-year institutions might not experience.
Understanding the 2-year technical school student
A significant percentage of the student population of a technical school has likely been out of high school for a few years or more, while there are also students who attend technical colleges within months of graduation from high school.
Because many students are already in the workforce and supporting families, your staff will encounter students who are less likely to be engaged in the overall college experience. Typical 2-year college students will only reach out to your school if they need information.
While 2-year students have a more focused agenda, there is still an opportunity to form relationships, increase retention, and reduce summer melt. It’s important that the information you send is relevant.
What should you consider before you send texts to technical college students?
The first question you should always ask before hitting ‘send’ is, “Is this information valuable to our students?” You’re also more likely to engage with students when you include questions and/or a call to action in your texts.
Overuse of the medium is a common mistake, so it makes sense to take the time with your staff to plan a schedule of texts. This will help reduce opt-outs and increase your chances of engagement.
While it’s perfectly okay to use an emoji in response to a student who uses one to communicate with you, it’s a good idea to limit your use of emojis. Maintain a professional, yet friendly tone, and always make yourself available for questions.
Can texting reach beyond admissions?
While a 2-year technical school student does not remain on your campus for long, they become reliant on your texts as a source of information. To ensure engagement across the student life cycle, consider expanding your platform to these departments:
- Education Outreach - scheduling school visits and campus events
- Financial Aid - appointment confirmations and FAFSA renewals
- Student Services - career fairs, scheduling on-site interviews with employers
- Advancement - alumni activities and donation opportunities
Texting is a fit for technical schools
When used effectively, texting can be a key piece of your communication strategy. It’s important to use other mediums such as emails and phone calls in conjunction with texting to get the best results.