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Enrollment Coaching Boosts Online Student Success at Cal State University, Bakersfield

A new initiative at California State University, Bakersfield offers prospective students dedicated enrollment coaches to help navigate the institution's online programs. The university partnered with student success nonprofit InsideTrack, whose coaches help students select the right program, get through the enrollment process and prepare for the college experience.

Students communicate with their coaches via one-on-one meetings as well as connecting digitally via voice, e-mail and text messaging. The coaches "help prospective CSUB online students define their long-term goals, evaluate program options and develop the habits that will ensure their success," according to a news announcement. In addition, the university is able to tap into the coaches' observations of student behaviors and preferences, allowing it to refine the overall student experience.

Initially deployed across four existing online bachelor's and master's degree programs in CSUB's Division of Extended Education and Global Outreach, the coaching program has increased enrollment by 44 percent. The university also utilized the coaches to support the launch of its new online master's program in Kinesiology.

"As COVID-19 continues to reshape the higher education experience, students are grappling with an increasingly complex range of barriers to access and success, including personal, financial, work and health challenges," said Rhonda Dawson, director of extended education at CSUB, in a statement. "Our partnership with InsideTrack is about equipping students with personalized support to overcome these hurdles, identify programs that fit their unique professional and educational goals, and successfully start their higher education journeys on the right foot."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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