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Understanding Immediate and Longer-Term Student Needs During COVID at Concordia College

How EAB’s Navigate360 helped a small private college support students and redeploy staff during a pandemic

type
Small private Christian school
location
Moorhead, the largest city in Northwest Minnesota
undergraduates
Approximately 2,010 students

About

Concordia College is a small private Christian school with 2,010 students, an 80.2% retention rate and a 75% six-year graduation rate.

The Challenge

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Concordia was forced to cease in-person operations. Their emergency response team worried that many students wouldn’t have the necessary resources or support to access their online courses and finish the semester.

The Solution

Concordia College has been part of EAB’s Student Success Collaborative partner for six years, going live with Navigate360 in 2015. When ceasing in-person operations, Concordia emailed all students a departure form to assess immediate needs and used Navigate360 to reach unresponsive students.

Additionally, faculty submitted Navigate Progress Reports to flag students struggling with remote learning. Leveraging the Coordinated Care Network they built with Navigate360 in the months prior, Concordia redeployed student support staff to quickly act on students’ challenges and concerns.

The Impact

Using Navigate360 to reach students, Concordia saw a 16% increase in departure form submissions, and 93% of faculty participated in a campaign to identify students struggling in online courses. Additionally, Concordia redeployed more than a dozen staff to follow up on student concerns and better meet time-sensitive student needs.

How EAB’s Navigate360 Helped Concordia Staff Assess the Needs of All Students as Campus Closes

Immediately following the transition to remote instruction due to COVID-19 in March 2020, Concordia’s emergency response team, comprised of stakeholders from Student Development and Campus Life, emailed all students a departure form to assess their plans and identify students in need of support. In the following weeks, they relied on Navigate360 to uncover even more students struggling to cope.

  • Departure forms

    Sent departure forms to all students to determined students’:

    • Housing plans (return to home of origin, remain in dorm, etc.)
    • Financial situation (including ability to travel)
    • Computer and internet access for online learning
  • Text message campaign

    Used a Navigate360 text message campaign to follow up with students who didn’t submit their forms

  • Progress reports

    Launched Progress Reports in Navigate360, allowing faculty to flag struggling students. Faculty submitted alerts based on:

    • Academic participation
    • Academic performance
    • Emotional well-being
    • Financial concerns
    • Technology barriers
    • Doubt about staying at Concordia

The results

99%

Of students completed form after Navigate360 text campaign

93%

Of faculty submitted progress reports

425

Students flagged by faculty (23% of all students)

Providing timely student support based on insights from Navigate360

Departure forms + Navigate360 text messaging + Navigate360 progress reports = A holistic picture of immediate and longer-term student needs

After campus operations pivoted to remote instruction, Concordia’s Student Development and Campus Life division redeployed available staff to act on this time-sensitive information about student needs, ensuring students received quick help.

Various staff deliver timely support

Phase 0: Prior to the pandemic

Building a Coordinated Care Network with a phased rollout of Navigate360 laid the groundwork for Concordia’s quick response to the pandemic

Phase 1: Leading up to and during campus closure

Ensuring all basic student needs are met

Support efforts and staff participating in each:

  • Connected students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to clinics: Career assistant director
  • Distributed financial aid for student transportation and basic needs: Residence hall directors
  • Centrally tracked support requests and prepared emails for leadership to send to students: Orientation assistant director
  • Provide outreach and programs for 80 international students staying on campus: Residence hall directors
  • Obtained supplies for emergency quarantine of students on campus: Student engagement staff
  • Purchased gas gift cards to help students travel home: Career coach

Phase 2: Across the semester with virtual operations

Providing continued care to foster success

Support efforts and staff participating in each:

  • Created a guide on how to access online courses: Career coach
  • Troubleshooted student challenges accessing online classes: Administrative assistant
  • Compiled resources on local food pantries and organized a food drive: Campus sustainability coordinator
  • Connected students with wellbeing resources, such as housing, mental health support, and LGBTQ+ resources: Director of student conduct
  • $60,000

    Emergency aid provided to 313 students for needs identified by departure forms and Navigate360

  • 15

    Total staff members redeployed in one 40-person division to meet urgent student needs

"

"Our work with Navigate360 across the last year helped us develop a philosophy of how we want to coordinate care for students. When the pandemic hit, staff had already become accustomed to helping support a range of student needs outside their office, which was critical to our success during this incredible time."

"

Lisa Sethre-Hofstad

VP for Student Development & Campus Life

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